Full Question: The French International School follows an international curriculum but has hugely long days typically 8:30-5:30 not allowing students to do extra-curricular activities etc. I set about reforming the time of the week and day, which meant cutting by an hour a week, English, maths and French. We got it through, which meant students had 3:30 finishes. Now there is a move among the parents to try and reinstate the ‘time lost.’ I have followed some of your ideas regarding the political distractors. Do you have anything to help me in the discussion/argument with parents regarding the length of the school day?
Answer: “Oh dear – the simplistic notions. Finland has the shortest school day and school year. There is a vexed debate (see latest review) … and for most western countries there is NO relation to length of school day and achievement – not surprisingly because it depends what happens within the time one has! I wish I could have the magic answer to forestalling parents – too many want longer babysitting and this is real for them” (John Hattie, personal communication, December 5, 2016).