Ending the school day early

Understand the rules on ending the school day early and who is responsible for your pupils during early closures. See examples of schools that close early on certain days.

Last reviewed on 13 October 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 8164
  1. Closing school early
  2. Responsibility for pupils when the school closes early
  3. Examples of closing early 

Closing school early

In certain circumstances, you may wish to send your pupils home early. For example:

  • At the end of term
  • For parents' evening
  • For religious observance

The rules on closing your school early differ for maintained schools and academies. 

Maintained schools

You must meet for at least 380 sessions or 190 days during any school year to educate your pupils. 

Every school day must have 2 sessions, divided by a break. The governing board decides the length of:

  • The school day
  • Breaks
  • Sessions

This is outlined in The Education (School Day and School Year) (England) Regulations 1999 (Regulation 3).

That means teachers could take the register at the beginning of the afternoon session and then send pupils