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NSW Premier's plan to shake up school hours draws critics

Dominic Perrottet has reignited the debate over school hours, but is it based in reality?

NSW Premier's plan to shake up school hours draws critics
NSW Premier Dom Perrottet
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In what can only be described as bizarre news, New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet has decided to address the state’s school hours.

Currently, the NSW school day typically runs from 9am to 3pm (with some small exceptions such as 8:20am to 3:30pm in a handful of private schools).

These hours are, according to the Premier, from an outdated part of our history.

The school hours of nine ‘til three, that was set up at a very different time in life (hopefully no pun intended). The world in the 1950s is very different from the world we live in today,” said the Premier.

That said, the sun still rises and sets at the same time and most working parents are still working a similar full-time shift.

It has long been acknowledged that kids leaving school at 3pm is a problem for working parents – which is why many attend a wide range of after school activities to keep them occupied until their parents can come and pick them up.

Of course, you can’t drop kids off too late either, because parents have to get their children to school and still make it into work on time.

Should we … lengthen the school day a little and try and improve the depressing standard of education in Australia?

No. According to Perrottet, the solution is to change the school hours from 7am to 1pm.

Most parents will have convulsed in horror reading that. What are working parents supposed to do with their children for two extra hours? Not only that, it is hard enough to get tweens out of bed for a 9am start, let alone 7am.

Personally, we used to have orchestra practice that started at 7am and there were always empty chairs from students that just couldn’t be dragged out of bed for the sunrise shift.

If Perrottet is looking for ways to endear the people of NSW to his leadership after holding them hostage under Covid orders, fining them, policing their private lives, stalking them with government apps, financially ruining their businesses, and throwing them out of work with vaccine mandates – this is not a good policy choice.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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