What do teachers think of the proposal to stagger the times schools in an area start the day to reduce traffic congestion?

28th November 2003 at 00:00
Dave Harvey, teacher, Elmwood junior, Croydon: "Staff who work here have children at other schools. If their children start school later than they do, it could cause problems. At the moment, buses run late, so children are late to school and get into trouble. The only solution to congestion is reliable public transport that people have confidence in."

Chris Brown, head of information and communications technology, Colne community school, Essex: "I like being able to get into school early and get things done before people arrive. It would be a real headache to have staff and students in earlier. If we finished the day later, in winter it would be pitch-black before students were off the premises. That's very demotivating for them."

Pam Chapman, head, Bridgnorth endowed comprehensive, Shropshire:

"I'd love to have a flexible day. But we're a rural school, so some students travel long distances to get here. Children who currently get up at 6am would have to get up at 5am if we started the day earlier. And some children travel on a bus service that operates only four times a day. The logistics would be impossible."

Brian McNulty, head, St Matthew's RC high, Manchester: "At least half our pupils come from single-parent families. An early finish would mean children being left unattended for even longer each afternoon. There is potential for increased bad, or even criminal, behaviour. I would love to see the introduction of American yellow school buses. If we had more of those, there would be fewer cars on the road."

Trevor Shay, history teacher, Thorne grammar school, Doncaster: "I think we should have a continental day, with an earlier start and an earlier finish.

It would mean more daylight for netball, football and extra-curricular activities. And children work better in the morning. Timetabling at the moment is basically childminding, rather than thinking about what is most productive for learning."

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