I doubt the 9am-3pm school day is working for anyone – except those parents lucky enough to have a job that finishes around 2:30pm and pays well.
The difficult parental collision is that most schools run on a six-hour day – some throwback idea that assumes one parent is at home.
Most full-time jobs in Australia require staff to be in the office during business hours for around 38 hours a week – and the rest.
A new US report has recommended creating a 9-to-5 approach to schooling, and perhaps it’s a good idea.
A 9am-5pm school day would have certainly suited my working parents. It would suit me as a working parent.
A longer school day would be much better aligned to what’s happening in the lives of most working parents.
What are “normal” working hours?
The Center for American Progress found a typical school day did not reflect “normal working hours”, with most schools closing two hours or more before the end of the typical workday.
“What we saw was that schools sort of reflects this attitude of the 1950s, where there was an assumption that one adult, usually a woman, would be home to come to the school pick them up at 3 o’ clock or deal with it when the schools closed,” Ulrich Boser, co-author of the report, told The Huffington Post.
The study found lower income earners were also hit hard because they struggled to cover the cost of out of hours care and non-school days while trying to make a living.
“We just always assume schools close at 3, and then there’s some kind of jerry-rigged system we try to put on top of it,” Boser said.
Outdated school schedules didn’t work for me as a child and it doesn’t work for me as a mother.
A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education told Mamamia that NSW public schools have the flexibility to change the start and finish times of the school day.
“Decisions about school starting and finishing times are made by school principals in consultation with the local school community,” said the spokesperson.
Currently NSW public schools adhere to the Board of Studies, Teaching & Educational Standards’ minimum teaching requirements.