Council proposing to align secondary school start and finish times

Thursday February 1st 2024

Start and finish consultation

From left to right in front: Saleena Shinwari, Enya Hignett, Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Ellen Scott, Cedrick Sibanda and Yusuf Hassan. In the back row from left to right are Lasswade Head Teacher Campbell Hornell, Cameron Tams, Lyla Clark and Alexander Sim. The pupils are all in S1.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Midlothian Council wants to hear your views on a proposal to have the same start and finish times across all six secondary schools. Classes would start at 8.40am each day, Monday through Friday, and finish at 3.25pm, Monday through Thursday, and 12.15pm on Fridays.

Local people can fill in an online survey or come along to one of seven events, including online, to find out more about the plan and the educational benefits.

Launching the consultation at Lasswade High School in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Ellen Scott said:

“We believe aligning the school day across all Midlothian secondaries will have lots of advantages, in particular with regards digital learning.

“There will be more opportunities for not just schools to collaborate digitally, but also for further and higher education providers and businesses.”

“It will make it easier for pupils in smaller schools, where the curriculum is more limited because of staffing numbers, to be able to take the same courses and study the same subjects as their peers in the bigger secondaries. And they won’t have to travel to do so, saving them time and effort and the council transport costs while helping our net zero ambitions.”

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If given the go-ahead, the length of the pupil week for all secondary schools would be organised across 32 periods (classes), each lasting 50 minutes.

The changes would start on Monday 3rd June, the same day the six schools begin the new 2024/25 school year.

The consultation ends on Friday 8th March. A report on the findings will be considered by the full Council in the spring.

Fill in the survey at

Or come along to one of the informal drop-ins to hear more. They are all on from 5pm to 7pm.

– Beeslack Community High School: Thursday 22 February 2024
– Dalkeith High School: Monday 19 February 2024
– Lasswade High School: Wednesday 21 February 2024
– Newbattle Community High School: Wednesday 21 February 2024
– Penicuik High School: Tuesday 20 February 2024
– St David’s High School: Wednesday 28 February 2024
– Online: Tuesday 27 February (email to register and get the link)

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