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Ashford students at the Towers School, in Faversham Road, could see shorter days and a longer half-term break

01 March 2014
by Samantha Williams

The Towers School and Sixth Form Centre is proposing a change to its day so that its 1,400 pupils finish at 2.30pm, instead of the current 3.30pm, every day.

The new timetables will also see pupils attending five one-hour lessons, instead of the current six 50-minute lessons, and a reduced lunch hour of 30 minutes.

New principal Richard Billings – who adopted similar changes in two previous schools – says he is confident the new timings will add a more focused approach to learning and greater flexibility, as well as less movement and disruption during the day.

He said: “I want to create a learning environment that stretches the school day by using teachers to their full potential, and by encouraging students to engage in their learning.”

Another advantage, claims Mr Billings, will be the increase in after-school activities on offer, as well as an emphasis on pre-school provision from 8am.

He added: “In schools where this change has been introduced already, they have seen an increase in the number of hours a child attends, rather than a decrease.

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“This has resulted in an improvement of exams results and progress measures.”

The new structure will also see the end of staff development days throughout the year, resulting in a two-week half-term in October.

The Faversham Road school says it has already been in contact with the bus companies to arrange earlier pick ups for children.

Pupils will also have the option to stay until 3.30pm at a new homework club.

The plans are currently in a period of consultation and if approved they could come into force from September 2014.

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