Thursday, November 16, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Queensland schools now have the option to opt for a four-day school week from term 1 2024, with new procedures set in place by the Queensland Department of Education.
The updated policy, effective from January 22, 2024, applies to all Queensland state schools, and outlines the responsibilities and processes for making changes to school hours in state schools.
“The Department of Education has updated its policy to ensure a consistent approach when schools are contemplating changes to school hours,” a spokesperson for the Department of Education said.
“Any changes to school hours must occur in consultation with the school community including parents, staff, students, and other key stakeholders and be approved by a Regional Director.”
Changes that schools can suggest include changes to school hours, such as altering start and end times of the school day, the length of the school day, the number of school days in a week or a fortnight, or a combination of the aforementioned.
Each school must hold a trial period, minimum of one term, to test the feasibility of the changes, before the change is implanted permanently.
The Department of Education will provide approval prior to any school commencing consultation on changes to school hours,” the spokesperson said.
“It will also review the outcome of consultation prior to considering the approval for a trial of modified school hours. Consultation will consider a range of factors with the overwhelming focus of ensuring students are actively engaged in learning for the whole school week. Changes can only occur where the school community determines it provides benefits for students and families.”
Regarding supervision, schools must provide appropriate supervision for students who are at school before the day begins and afterwards.
The spokesperson said, “It is expected that all Queensland state schools continue to operate for five days a week and the new policy does not give schools a green light to implement a four-day week.”