School Hours / The School Day


All students are expected to be in school by 9.00am and leave after 3.05pm.  

The total contact hours provided in a typical school week are 30 hours and 25 minutes. This includes breaks and lunchtimes which are used for the development of social and communication skills.

The school with the support of the Governing Body has taken the decision not to extend the school day for the following reasons:


  • Many of our pupils struggle with and clearly tire across the length of the current school day.

  • Many of our Hillingdon pupils are transported to school on school transport that picks them up as early as 7:45am and drops them home as late as 4:45pm.

  • Some pupils placed at Meadow are from other LAs including Hounslow, Bucks, Slough, Harrow, Bedfordshire, Ealing and Wandsworth.  These pupils already have very long and unpredictable length journeys.  Some find these journeys stressful.  An earlier start or a later finish would increase the likelihood of their journeys regularly encountering traffic delays.

  • Many of our pupils who travel independently find travelling on busy buses very challenging and altering the end of the school day would mean they travel alongside pupils from other schools.  Bullying has also been an issue encountered by pupils when travelling with pupils from other schools on public transport.


  • Many of our pupils struggle with changes and this would potentially place additional stress on those families who already struggle to get pupils to school. 


  • A longer school day would mean that we would have to increase the working hours of our support staff.  We currently have * TAs.  This is an unfunded significant uplift in costs that the school cannot support.  (Add approx. cost of extra 30 minutes a day to all TA contracts. Ie Number of TAs x 30 minutes x 195 days x rate of pay for 30 minutes)

  • Having classes without TA support is a safeguarding concern.  Pupils who are dysregulated or presenting with other behaviour challenges often require support from several staff.

  • TAs with children have told us that shorter hour contracts suit them.  If they work longer hours, their child care costs for before and after school clubs make them financially worse off.

  • As a school we struggle to appoint TAs.  This is partly because geographically we are located between Inner London boroughs where pay is at a higher rate and now outside London areas where there are no ULEZ restrictions. 


The School Day
From September 2023

09.00am - 09.25am  Registration & Tutor Time
09.25am - 09.50am Reading Intervention
09.50am - 10.30am Period 1
10.30am - 11.10am Period 2
11.10am -11.25am Break
11.25am - 12.05pm Period 3
12.05pm - 12.45pm Period 4
12.45pm - 13.05pm Lunch - 1st Sitting
13.10pm - 13.30pm  Lunch - 2nd Sitting
13.30pm - 13.40pm Afternoon Registration
13.40pm - 14.20pm Period 5
14.20pm - 15.00pm Period 6
15.05pm Dismissal