Private school to start lessons at 1.30pm so students can get a lie-in before class

Research suggests teenagers 'have a biological disposition to go to bed late and struggle to get up early'

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The Independent Online

A private school is set to start lessons for sixth formers at 1:30 pm so "sleepy" students can get a good rest before class.

Hampton Court House in Surrey will introduce the new timetable- starting class at 1:30pm until 7pm – for all sixth-formers from September, making it the latest school start time in the UK and the only one to begin lessons in the afternoon.

The £15,000-a-year school claims the new regime will make students more productive and reduce journey times as they travel to and from school after rush hour.

Headteacher Guy Holloway said: "There are 168 hours in a week and how productive they are depends on how they choose to use those hours.

"At Hampton Court House we don’t think we have the answer for everybody, it’s about what works in our community. We want to get them into an environment where they can get quality sleep and their bodies are functioning well."

The move is based on research by Russell Foster, an Oxford neuroscience professor, who argues "teenagers have a biological disposition to go to bed late and get up later" because their body clock shifts when they hit puberty.

Gabriel Purcell-Davis, 15, who will be one of the first to benefit from the new start time, said: "I want to wake up in my bed, not in my maths lesson."

Lessons for all other pupils at the school will still start at 9am.