A trial study of 32,000 Year 10 and 11 students in the UK is about to begin, which looks into the effects of a later school start time on GCSE results. This research, by the University of Oxford, is prompted by scientific findings that teenagers work to different circadian patterns to adults and, thus, a later school start time is aligned to times that will better optimise their performance. The full article can be read here, and is really worth a read.
I would love to hear some of the opinions from our members on this study and the potential effects of it, should the changes be implemented. From the teachers among us, it would be great to hear your views on how you feel this would help or hinder your students (not to mention how it would impact on your own working hours). And for careers advisers who are used to dealing with work experience or the transition from education to work, what are your views? How realistic is it that teenagers, for a period of years, will work to a different timetable to the rest of us when ultimately they need to revert back to ‘regular hours’ at the end of it all? Is the prospect of improved exam results enough to justify this? Or is it more important that they are taught the real life lesson that the world of work rarely runs to our hours of choice and we need to learn to build the resilience to adapt to this? It is certainly an interesting set of questions to ponder.