Reform Scotland

A Class Apart: Shedding light on school hours

Reform Scotland has issued new research showing a huge variance in the number of hours of teaching time offered in state schools across Scotland. The data for the research has been obtained through Freedom of Information requests to local authorities.

Reform Scotland does not object to variations in school hours, believing that local authorities (or, ideally, schools) should have more control over their operation, but the think tank is calling for much more transparency for parents, in order that they know the policy of their local authority and the impact it has on their children.

Aberdeenshire Council and West Dunbartonshire Council offer the most teaching time in Scotland, with 1,000 hours per year in primary school and 1,100 hours per year in secondary school.

By contrast, Moray offers the least primary school time, at 851 hours, whilst Dundee and Midlothian offer 855 hours of secondary school teaching.

The variance is 149 hours per year at primary level, and 245 at secondary level. Reform Scotland has applied this to seven years of primary education and five of secondary education, which shows a variance of over 1,000 hours of primary teaching time and more than 1,200 hours of secondary teaching time.

At both primary and secondary level, this equates to over a year of teaching time. In other words, children in some parts of Scotland receive two years less state education than in other parts of the country.