The proposal is to reconfigure arrangements, not necessarily to reduce. There will not be any reduction in key curricular subjects that are taught and no change to the offer of national qualifications for pupils in the senior phase as a result of the 32-period week.
The plan involves taking the 33rd period from the Friday and giving schools the ability to either use that for a registration slot throughout the week or to use that time more flexibly to incorporate appropriate local plans for young people.
The council’s Review of Curricular Arrangements (RoCA) published in May 2020 recommended that a number of specific improvements should be made. Among other things, this review was framed in response to an Employability Review which concluded in March 2020. Both reviews outlined that strengthened pathways in work-based learning and progression routes to employment and packages of support for young people and partnerships to achieve success were important to support best practice in teaching and learning.
As part of this review, secondary school pupils across North Lanarkshire will have access to an exciting weekly extra-curricular afternoon to gain skills for learning, life and work and develop their talent or interests when schools move to a 32-period week (four-and-a-half days) from August 2021.
Some other local authorities are already operating this model with success.
This afternoon session will provide children and young people with opportunities to experience activities and skills they may not otherwise get access to and crucially, provide a platform to support recovery networks to help address any lost school time over the past 12 months.