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Starting school at 10am

(38 Posts)
Flutter12 Sun 13-Sep-20 11:40:39

I know how important sleep is on your health and so I was looking into ways of how I can improve my own DDs sleep and found that it is scientifically proven that teens not only need more sleep than younger children or adults but that their biological clock is set so that they need to fall asleep and wake up later.

The effects of this lack of sleep have massive impacts on grades, mental health, suicide rates etc.
The moodiness/laziness that we associate with teens is actually due to this lack of sleep. Obesity is increased in teens who lack sleep which then carries on into adulthood as the need for sleep is replaced with food especially sugary ones and more recently energy drinks. Reckless or addictive behaviour like drugs and alcohol dependency increases which also impacts on adulthood.

There are long lists of all the negative impacts that occur due to the lack of sleep and one researcher likened it to not letting a small toddler nap and how they would be moody and would not be able to carry out normal tasks.

There was a petition last year for schools to start at 10am but I never heard of this and haven't heard anything since.

If starting school one/two hours later has such massive benefits to not only our children but also us as adults then surely this needs to be a priority instead of spending millions on obesity, mental health, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres etc surely it would be better to try and prevent these issues rather than treat them once it's too late.

Does anyone have any experience or views on this?

OP’s posts: |
ShakerCan Sun 13-Sep-20 11:45:46

Christ no that’d be awful!
DD and I are both early birds and want to have plenty of time after school to enjoy our free time. If school started at 10 it wouldn’t shut until 5 and then DD’s hobbies couldn’t happen. In winter it’d be dark and miserable.

No thanks. Getting up early to get to work and school is something people need to do to earn a living so doing it through high school as we have for generations won’t hurt.

titchy Sun 13-Sep-20 11:49:39

Because teachers don't need extra sleep to start on time. Teachers families don't want them not none till 7.30. Because teachers don't want to miss out on spending time in the evening with their family. Nexuses teachers have kids who don't want to stay in childcare till 7. Because parents don't want their kids' evening activities finishing at 10 or 11. Plus extended rush hour, kids being in a different meal routine that their parents and younger siblings and a million other reasons.

Fyzz Sun 13-Sep-20 11:59:46

I believe it's been trialled in some schools in the US (and there was a school in the UK) with very positive results.
Its absolutely true that adolescents have a different body clock to adults and younger children. I remember it myself and have seen it in my own, now adult, DC.
It would only benefit older children but my DC would certainly have functioned better between the ages of 14 and 18 with a later day.
Might help in staggering start / finish times in schools which is one of the covid precautions.

CraftyGin Sun 13-Sep-20 12:00:53

There’s a school near me - Hampton Court School - that has a late start for the older students. I’m not sure how they do the practicalities, but I’m fairly sure they has been a lot written about them if you want to search for it.

Flutter12 Sun 13-Sep-20 12:04:01

I too am an early bird and I am more productive in the mornings than evenings. But if most schools start at 10 instead of 9 or 9:30 instead of 8:30 then it would only be an hour difference and so the day wouldn't be completely messed up but grades would significantly improve in children and mental health, suicide rates, obesity would decrease in children and adults.

Adult teachers would surely be free to go into school in the mornings to do their work if they prefer the mornings (like they can now) and would then have more free time after school.

The afterschool activities would be later but only by one hour and yes it will be darker but then so are the early mornings too.

OP’s posts: |
Flutter12 Sun 13-Sep-20 12:08:05

I didn't know there were schools in the UK already doing it I will have to look into it. I read a study from the US and there seems to be no negatives at all - in school behaviour and grades rise so teachers and pupils are less stressed and better equipped for adulthood.

I'm not sure how it works with working parents and year 7s though if they're not responsible enough to get themselves to school on time etc.

OP’s posts: |
bookmum08 Sun 13-Sep-20 12:08:16

I am the opposite. I would of much preferred to start school earlier and finish earlier. I was obsessed with American teen novels as a kid. I was very jealous of their 7.30/8 starts and finish times of about 2. You could actually have a decent after-school life (hobbies, part time job etc).

FatGirlShrinking Sun 13-Sep-20 12:10:55

Why can't they just go to bed an hour earlier?

Why does it have to be an hour later in the morning?

Frlrlrubert Sun 13-Sep-20 12:15:06

My local school has a later start for 6th form. So teachers teaching them will occasionally have a 6th lesson until 4:20, but not every teacher every day. So meetings and after school clubs can still be arranged around it. It's a fairly small 6th form though.

Flutter12 Sun 13-Sep-20 12:21:32

Why can't they just go to bed an hour earlier?

That's the issue - the sleep clock inside them releases certain hormones to make them feel tired but only after a certain time (I think it's 11/12pm) so even if they went to bed earlier they wouldn't be able to sleep properly until much later on. Which is why they wake up cranky and moody.

OP’s posts: |
Hersetta427 Sun 13-Sep-20 12:22:59

Parents don't start work at 10am though - terrible idea.

Flutter12 Sun 13-Sep-20 12:24:28

I agree it would be nice if school finished earlier and not later but I know a school who finishes at 2:30 as they have a shorter lunch and no second break so this maybe could be a way around it although if parents are working they might not like this.

OP’s posts: |
Flutter12 Sun 13-Sep-20 12:34:40

Parents don't start work at 10am though - terrible idea.

Most parents don't work exactly from 9:00-3:30pm though either.
But I get what you're saying and it would be difficult for those who have young teens but then if it means their teens are less moody or less likely to deal with mental health or drug addictions etc not only in the teenage years but into adulthood then surely that outweighs the negatives of the hour difference?

OP’s posts: |
BendingSpoons Sun 13-Sep-20 13:22:04

I think it would be good to start later. Most secondary schools start around 8.30 and most pupils are home before their parents. I don't see it would be that big a deal to shift it so the school day started later. You could have libraries and possibly even clubs open before school for those who want or are dropped off by parents. Teachers can do more marking/planning/staff meetings before school and less after, or just get in later. It can be tough for teachers to find childcare that starts early enough. I worked in a secondary school that started at 8.20, so I had to leave home about 7.15. I hated it. Yes in finished earlier but I had to go to bed earlier too or be tired. It's worse for the majority of teenagers due to their circadian rhythms.

pastandpresent Sun 13-Sep-20 13:29:56

If it was such a great idea, why many schools around the world aren't doing it? Many of us older generations survived totally fine with earlier start than 10 am.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Sun 13-Sep-20 13:35:51

DDs uses to attend school 7.30-1 (preschool class was (7.30-10.30). It was liked by all the pupils up to sixth form because if the afternoons- even with the school bus for the secondary leaving at 6.45.
I wish they had those hours now. It was a lot better school-life balance. The local standard working day was 6-2.

chocolateoranges33 Sun 13-Sep-20 13:41:20

Both my children are now starting school much later due to Covid. DD14 starts at 10am and DS15 now starts at 10.15am. It's only been one week so I can't comment on the benefits yet but so far they're liking it! It will be interesting to see how the school thinks it's gone in July. As far as I know this is here to stay all the time Covid is around.

Bargebill19 Sun 13-Sep-20 13:44:53

I’m a night owl. I remember basically sleepwalking through the first couple of hours at school. For me, a ten am start would have been bliss - not so for the rest of the household. If I’ve ever worked earlier than 10am people soon know to not ask a question before I’ve had two cups of extra strong caffeine otherwise they will get the full truth!
It’s heaven now I’ve found a job which allows me mid morning starts.

RedCatBlueCat Sun 13-Sep-20 14:08:21

No, please no.
The mornings are long enough already. We dont need MORE time to waste in the mornings. I'd rather have more of an afternoon or evening, where we can actually use the time.
I've been told for over a decade DS1 will sleep better when he's eating/walking/starts school/starts secondary. I'm holding out for the teenage years (they start next year, roll on not hearing him get up at 5.45).

Happyheartlovelife Sun 13-Sep-20 14:45:27

It is true

I work with world renowned endocrine drs.

Teenagers body clocks are slightly different

Our hormones work in accordance with our circadian rhythm. Jet lag and all sorts is due to that rhythm. If the part of our brains which control our circadian rhythm was damaged. Then we'd die. They did a study in mice where they damaged that part to see what happened. It's incredibly important. Cortisol. Thyroid. Acth. Growth hormone (which btw is released more at night. Hence why kids get growing pains at night!). They all follow the circadian rhythm

It's incredibly interesting when you really get down to it.

RedskyAtnight Sun 13-Sep-20 14:49:32

DC's school is starting the older years from 9.30 this term (to allow staggered starts due to Covid). The DC are still moaning about the early start, are not visibly any more alert and we're all noticing the downside of not having so much time after school.
But, granted it's only been a week so far.

Meredusoleil Sun 13-Sep-20 15:11:21


There’s a school near me - Hampton Court School - that has a late start for the older students. I’m not sure how they do the practicalities, but I’m fairly sure they has been a lot written about them if you want to search for it.

That school is not far from me too. It's private and teaches a lot of its curriculum in French! Hardly representative of the average state comp lol.

CraftyGin Sun 13-Sep-20 15:13:56

Niche schools have a lot to offer to other schools about how they do what they do. They shouldn’t be discounted because they are different. If a state school wants to do something different, then perhaps they can learn something from the weirdo school.

InDispairThisWeek Sun 13-Sep-20 15:15:41

DD’s college has a 10am start (UK) and she loves it, it really suits her. The latest finish time is 4.30 so not late at all (when I was at college years ago the finish time was 5.15 for some lessons)

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