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School breaks and lunchtimes


More often than not, NAHT’s advice team produces regular advice and guidance to support school leaders to run their schools effectively. 

Occasionally, however, we produce a ‘thought piece’ to provoke some thinking among the school leader community on areas that are known to be of interest – in this case, school breaks and lunchtimes. 

School breaks and lunchtimes have become of greater interest to school leaders as they look to reconcile the need for pupils to take regular physical exercise and balance this with the need to improve academic standards and progress. 

The challenge for all school leaders is to achieve an appropriate balance between the quality of children’s play experiences and social interactions with other pupils and the need to maximise classroom time to improve pupils’ academic progress and achievements. 

This ‘thought piece’ contains a number of recommendations arising from the ‘School break and lunchtimes and young people’s social lives: a follow-up national study’, which we encourage members to consider in the design and development of their school’s offer and overall curriculum. We think you’ll find this a thought-provoking read. 

This article is available to NAHT members only.

To view this advice, log in or become a member