The regular 9am to 3pm school day could be a thing of the past on the South Coast and across New South Wales, with Dominic Perrottet revealing plans to modernise the school day.
The Premier said the state government will trial new hours in a pilot program in certain schools across the state.
“When something has been the same way for I don’t know how long, decades, on decades, on decades,” Mr Perrottet said.
“The world in the 1950’s is very different to the world that we live in today and you can’t just overturn that overnight,” he continued.
“What you need to do as a government is trial new things, I don’t want small little tweaking around the edge policy ideas, I want revolutionary ideas that trail blaze a new approach for our state.”
However author of the books Teacher and Dear Parents and former South Coast teacher, Gabbie Stroud, said it’s yet another redirect to distract people from the true and most pressing issues in education.
“Teachers everywhere are rolling their eyes,” Ms Stroud said.
“We need to be looking at the more important issues that face us in education today,” she said.
“Particularly around teacher attrition, the impending teacher shortage, the increase in anxiety and mental health disorders in our youth, overcrowded curriculum.
“For teachers this is like looking at a house with a burst pipe and saying what this house needs is a good coat of paint.”
Ms Stroud said schools have many moving parts and huge amounts of consultations would need to take place for changing school hours.
“The trouble with vague and simple solutions to deeply complex problems is that something that will work in one place, won’t work everywhere,” Stroud said.
“Context is incredibly important, especially for schools.”
When asked if our schools need to be more flexible with traditional school hours, Ms Stroud said there’s so much of what’s happening in education in Australia is archaic.
“Using the example of the school day being a decades old idea is not the Premier or any politicians strongest argument,”
“If you want to unpick that idea, your starting point is talking about the theories of education and the pedagogy behind them.”
“So the school day argument is a very simple argument to a deeply complex problem.”
Image Credit: Bemboka Public School, Gabbie Stroud