You are here:

Last reviewed on 19 March 2019
Ref: 4491
School types: All · School phases: All

Read the rules on setting and changing the school day for maintained schools and academies. Get advice on how to consult on the changes, and see examples of other schools' consultations.

Whose responsibility is it? 

In maintained schools, the governing board is responsible for setting the length of the school day. You can set the school day as you see fit, as long as every school day has two sessions divided by a break. This is set out in Department for Education guidance on school attendance (page 15). 

Academies should check their funding agreements to see who is responsible, and whether there are any restrictions.

There's no formal process

There's no specific process you need to follow if you want to alter your school day. You don't need to notify the DfE or hold a formal consultation. The DfE confirmed this to us.

The headteacher draws up plans to change the school day The headteacher presents the plans to governors, who discuss and scrutinise them  The school consults with parents and other stakeholders The headteacher or other senior leader analyses the responses, and presents them to the governing board The board considers

More from The Key


Bitesize training with a big impact

Our on-demand training has your whole board covered and lets them learn at a time and pace that suits them.

Help your new governors hit the ground running with our expertly-designed induction training, and our role-specific courses support your link governors develop key skills and confidence in their role.


New eLearning: DSL refresher training

Your DSL’s training should be refreshed at least once every 2 years. 

Designed in collaboration with safeguarding experts, our 2.5 hour online refresher training course reminds DSLs how to put their knowledge into practice, with in-depth, real-world scenarios.


The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.