School Session Time Consultation – Parents and Carers

Dear Parent/ Carer

I am writing to you as part of a consultation process regarding possible changes to the times of the school day. The proposed changes and the rationale for the changes are set out below for your consideration.  The school is conducting this consultation in line with ‘The Changing of Session Times’ (Wales) Regulation 2009 which is available for your perusal below. The overall aim of the consultation is to listen to the views of learners, staff, parents and carers and the wider stakeholders in reaching a final decision about changes to the structure of the school day which would take effect from 1st September 2019.

 

Proposed change

Rationale

A reduced lunch break of 40 minutes Nearly all of our students eat lunch during the first 30 minutes of lunch. The existing lunchtimes are found by some students to be too long. Many pupils have informally requested a shorter lunch hour and an earlier end to the school day.  A 40 minute lunch break provides sufficient time to eat lunch, socialise and use the school facilities.
Earlier finish time of the school day: 3 p.m instead of the current 3.25 p.m The earlier finish time of the school day would bring us into alignment with the majority of other Swansea secondary schools. This would also support the arrangement of sporting fixtures between schools and reduce the number of pupils withdrawn early from lessons to participate in sporting fixtures with other schools. This is increasingly important to us as we work towards the educational vision of developing healthy, confident learners.

The earlier finish time would hopefully support greater pupil participation in after school clubs and the school’s Learning Zone during the winter months, avoiding the safety concerns of pupils travelling home in the dark evenings. Participation in Learning Zone and other after school clubs supports our school vision of creating ambitious and capable learners who are enterprising and creative contributors to our community.

 

There is no proposed change to the 8.50 am start time of the school day.

In proposing the above changes we have explored the following considerations:

Daily Acts of Collective Worship
Acts of collective worship will retain a central role in school life and there will be no changes as a result of the proposed earlier school finish time.

Listening to Learners
Many pupils find the current lunch break too long. A large number have informally requested a shorter lunch break. We are currently formally consulting with all learners.

School Transport
A large number of our pupils travel by bus to school. We have consulted with Swansea Council’s Education Services Unit and also the Transport Department of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, who have no objection to the proposed changes on educational grounds.

Sixth Form Partnerships
An earlier school finish time would bring us into closer alignment with our partner schools thus strengthening our collaborative work and curriculum offer.

The development of the Catholic Pupil Profile and extra curricular activities
Catholic schools are distinctive as there is an explicit focus on the formation of individual character throughout school life. The Catholic Pupil Profile has been shared with our students and sets out the virtues that we hope to nurture in our pupils as part of a faith based education. In finishing the school day earlier, it is anticipated that more students will take up the after school opportunities available to them in order to participate in activities that nurture these virtues without having to travel home in the dark evenings during the winter months.

On behalf of the Governing Body of Bishop Vaughan Catholic School, I would be grateful if you would consider the proposed changes, the rationale shaping the changes and share your views as part of the consultation.

A short survey is accessible below to share your views.

The deadline for parent and carer responses is 5pm on Monday 29th April 2019.

In line with the ‘The Changing of Session Times’ (Wales) Regulation 2009 a meeting will be held for parents and carers in order to share your views on Monday 29th April in the Main Hall from 4.00pm to -5.00pm.  If you are unable to attend this meeting you may share your views in writing before this meeting where they will be considered alongside the views of those who attend.

The full consultation will end on 29th April 2019 and all stakeholders will be informed of the consultation outcome on 30th April 2019.

Yours faithfully

 

Mrs Emma Pole
Headteacher

 

Parents and Carers are asked to complete the short survey below:

This consultation is in line with ‘The Changing of Session Times’ (Wales) Regulation 2009 which can we viewed below:

The Changing of Session Times (Wales) Regulation 2009

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