Opening Hours Consultation

Proposed changes to one school day and for Teachers’ School Improvement Time

We were delighted to welcome our Secondary school parents to our Consultation Evening on 13th June. As you will be aware, we were there to discuss the reasons for the proposed change to the Secondary (Years 7-11) school day from September 2017.

I think it is fair to say that the majority of the parents who attended came to oppose the change, but we are delighted to report that after a detailed explanation of why we were proposing the change and the benefits it would have for our children’s education, all parents agreed with the proposal. Below are two of the comments we received:

Parents comments from the evening:

“It was a pleasure to be part of this. I found it very useful and informative.”


“Although I still have concerns as to how effective this will be I do believe the reasons for doing it in principle are valid. I totally back your proposals and it does make sense to amalgamate the training for the three schools. I also understand that extending the time for Year 11 students until 4:15pm as this will help prepare them for a long and extremely important year.”


To reiterate, we believe that the proposal will:

  • Improve learning and teaching opportunities at BSCA for all children.
  • Improve our children’s life chances.
  • Further develop practice in the classroom to move from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ (and beyond) for the benefit of students and staff.
  • Further increase the expertise of teachers in school priority areas, especially with regards to significant national changes in examinations, curriculum and assessment.

Apart from the above benefits, it will also support the following;

  • Fewer teacher training days.
  • Your child will be taught by their teacher more often as they will not be sent out of school for training.
  • There will be ‘catch up’ for those who need it provided by learning support staff from 2.10pm to 3.00pm.
  • All Year 11 will have an extended day on a Wednesday until 4.15pm prior to their exams (February – May 2018) in their core subjects (English, Maths and Science). This allows for the other subjects to run with an extended lesson from 3.10pm to 4.10pm on other days.
  • Staff developed to a higher level which can result in a more stable staffing over time.

We have researched the benefits of this proposal and have seen the improvements at schools such as St James’s High School. We passionately believe that this will make a huge difference to our Secondary school and improve both the results and outcomes for our children. A letter to confirm the outcome of our consultation will be sent to parents after the 26th June.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much teaching time will my child miss?

50 minutes per week – this will not reduce the amount of options they have from Year 9. However, some children will have catch up with learning support, and Year 11 will have an extended day from February half term to focus on English, Maths and Science.


Which subjects will be affected?

There will be no reduction of options and there will be no changes to the amount of subjects we run. However, a very limited number of subjects will be reduced, but only by one lesson. These will be non-core subjects. We will aim to use a different subject each year so that the spread is even over time.


How do you decide which subject?

They will not be core subjects (English, Maths, and Science) and the breadth of the curriculum will be maintained with only one lesson in one subject affected per year. Going forward there will be more after school enrichment opportunities for all these subjects.


How will this effect results?

We believe they will improve, as they did at St James’s High School, but, we will be held accountable to you for this.


Please be aware that it is going to be difficult to compare results due to the new assessment criteria for exams introduced by the government moving away from A-G grades to 9-1 standards, 4 being the equivalent of a C.


During this time Year 11 will be offered specific enrichment activities to prepare them for their exams.


What if my child cannot leave at 2.10pm?

They will be able to stay at school and be supervised with their work by our Teaching and Learning Assistants and leave at their normal time. The library will also be open until 5pm for independent work.


Bus Times

911 – 3.10pm

561 – 2.11pm, 2.31pm, 2.51pm and 3.11pm

562 - 2.24pm, 2.44pm, 3.04pm and 3.24pm

507 – 2.21pm, 2.41pm, 3.01pm and 3.21pm

(These times are as of 14/06/17)


Please refer to Transport for Greater Manchester (tfgm): 


What will my child do during this time?

We hope that the majority of students will do their homework, revise, read or take part in independent study. A minority of children may go home and ‘play out’, but they will still need to manage their work and we will be stressing that this will be the best time to do it. Our new Headteacher will be looking at the homework policy in September.


Will meetings still happen?

Yes, we will still have all our meetings on other evenings i.e. Form Tutor meetings, departmental meetings, Senior Leadership Team meetings. This is extra work for teachers.


Why take it from the children?

The Teachers Conditions of Service states they may work up to 1265 hours per year so our plan fits in with this. Students are likely to lose very little time and many other beneficial opportunities will be made available to them. One parent asked if we could pay the teachers’ overtime, as many of you will know, schools now have a very limited budget and this is not possible.


The proposal gives all teachers every week to spend from 2.10pm to 4.30pm enabling them to develop their teaching and learning, and therefore, benefit the students. Teaching and Learning Assistants will support students that stay in school on Wednesdays and every four weeks sessions will be held for core subjects for Year 11 students.


This will reduce the number of training days that staff have during the year, therefore students will be in school making some of the time back.


It will also reduce the need for supply teachers to cover teachers on training as this will be, in the main, covered on the Wednesday after school session, so students will learn better.


Are teachers and governors on board?

Yes – teachers are filly supportive of this proposal. They support our vision and want more time to learn the new syllabus, curriculum and assessment methods brought in by the government, and develop themselves as teachers. Time pressures are very high and time will give greater quality and better conversations with our students. They want to be good enough so that your child achieves their potential.


Finally, as you are aware from the consultation invitation letter, both the governors and your new Headteacher, Mrs Rachael Lucas, are in support of this proposal.

Consultation Outcome and Decision

Having taken into consideration all the above, the governors are minded to authorize the school to change the school day in line with the proposals. However, this is a pilot and if we do not see significant improvement as a result of this programme then we will review it again the following year.

Many thanks for all your support with this consultation,


Yours sincerely,


Mrs Tania Lewyckyj                                       Mr Richard Senior

National Leader of Education                     Interim Principal

Supporting School Improveme


Consultation Evening Presentation

13th June 2017



Richard Senior: BSCA Interim Principal

Tania Lewyckyj: Head of St James’s and CEO of The Bishop Fraser Trust


Why propose the change?

The St James’s Story…..

2011 Maths 71% English 69%

2016 Maths 85% English 91%

Stable staffing

A National Teaching School



  • To improve learning and teaching opportunities at BSCA for all children.
  • To improve our children’s life chances
  • To further develop practice in the classroom to move from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ (and beyond) for the benefit of students and staff.
  • To further increase the expertise of teachers in school priority areas, especially with regards to significant changes in examination and assessment.


Research shows that where there is a good CPD programme for staff:

  • Standards rise across school for children’s outcomes.
  • There are improvements in learning and teaching.
  • Differentiation and challenge is more evident and effective.
  • There is continuous challenge and rigour.
  • The school will move from Requires Improvement to Good.


Other benefits…

  • Less teacher training days
  • Less cover- supply staff
  • Catch up for those who need it
  • P7 demands reduced
  • Staff developed to a higher level
  • Another advantage will be that teachers will be teaching their classes more often = less disruption and higher quality teaching.
  • The number of lessons covered for training purposes only in 2015/2016 was equal to 100 teaching days.



Examples of training

  • Curriculum to ensure it is relevant and meeting the needs of all students.
  • Updates on new assessment/GCSEs- this may include visits from exam boards.
  • Professional training for teachers on areas of Learning and Teaching e.g. Promoting thinking skills in students, ‘questioning’ to deepen learning, differentiation.
  • Showcasing of lessons demonstrating ‘outstanding’ practice.
  • Pastoral/ethos sessions to plan and prepare for the role of form tutor to enhance the well-being of students.
  • Shared training with St James’s.
  • Parents, students, governors and the DFE must see improvements at the end of KS4
  • Students must be at the heart of all we do


We are committed and are striving to provide every child with a positive learning experience that is relevant, enjoyable, challenging and will equip them with the tools they need to be a first class 21st Century learner.