Forcing teenagers to get up early ‘may cause mental and public health issues’

The Press Association (via the Mail) is reporting that the headmaster of the first British school to delay lessons until the afternoon has said forcing teenagers to wake up early could cause mental and public health issues.

Private school Hampton Court House, in Surrey, introduced a new timetable for sixth-formers in September 2014 following research which found that teenagers have a “biological disposition to going to bed late and getting up late”.

Guy Holloway, the headmaster at Hampton Court House, said teenagers who wake up for a traditional starting time are “chronically sleep deprived”.

“The cards really are stacked against them because they are overriding nature by getting up early in the morning in order to be on time for school,” he said.

“Schools on a day-to-day basis are dealing with a whole range of issues – sometimes mental health issues, and I would argue a public health issue really, in terms of a nation of teenagers, particularly older teenagers, that are going to school chronically sleep deprived.”

The school’s timetable for 16 to 18-year-olds begins at 1.30pm and ends at 7pm. The research has found that a 7am start for a teenager is the equivalent of a 4.30am start for an adult.

One student at the school told the BBC: “I find it easier to concentrate in lessons whereas before I would sometimes be falling asleep over the first three hours of the morning…

Paul Kelly, of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford, said in September that the mental health of young people was under “serious threat” because of sleep deprivation…

More at: Forcing teenagers to get up early ‘may cause mental and public health issues’

 

This is always a controversial issue on this site, and there is currently a major study underway, but what do you make of the suggestion that normal school start times may be causing mental health issues?

Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…

 

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link

Former School Minister warns cuts will stall improvements to education
Explainer: new-look regulation on cards for higher education
Categories: Health, Policy and Secondary.

Comments

  1. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove What is overriding nature is wasting the time of the bright eyed young with Pythagoras, poetry, Poitiers & Past Historic.

  2. EvidenceTeach

    SchoolsImprove Will wait for trial results, but evidence to date suggests it’s hours of sleep, not the start time. Ban screen after 10pm?

  3. PaulineAnnP

    SchoolsImprove for goodness sake they are mollycoddled enough I was up at 6pm to do a paper round when I was 14. Get a grip. U0001f623U0001f623U0001f623

  4. Busy Mum

    Earlier bedtime if they are not getting enough sleep?
    Yet another suggestion that will allow teens to believe the world revolves around them; lesson number 1 – it doesn’t and it shouldn’t.

  5. goodatenglish

    Does this mean that Germany is full of mentally ill people?  (Or even has a larger proportion of mentally ill people in the population?)  All schools here start at quarter to eight.  Personally, I think pupils would be better served starting at nine, but the idea that this causes a great propensity to mental illness sounds like a lame attempt to get headlines.

  6. MadgeJesss

    SchoolsImprove Just been reading about 13 year olds getting up before dawn to work in coal mines 100 yrs ago. Now THAT was dangerous.

  7. PaulineAnnP

    SchoolsImprove for goodness sake they are mollycoddled enough I was up at 6pm to do a paper round when I was 14. Get a grip. U0001f623U0001f623U0001f623

  8. everwoodtoys

    SchoolsImprove HCHSchool I supposed it has sod all to do with games consoles, social media,24 satellite TV and smart phones.

  9. PaulineAnnP

    GuyHolloway_HCH SchoolsImprove at 19/20 I was working full-time in an office I had to be up at 7.30 to be at my desk for 9 “real world” ☺☺

  10. GuyHolloway_HCH

    PaulineAnnP SchoolsImprove yes, many people do this, but they override nature in doing so… it’s a fascinating area for further research

  11. PaulineAnnP

    GuyHolloway_HCH SchoolsImprove I doubt you are ever going to convince industry. From 18 youngsters in apprenticeship won’t have a choice.

  12. live4literacy

    PaulineAnnP SchoolsImprove kids here have 2 be up at 6 to be in class by 7:30. Big difference & they aren’t adults. All in good time. Geez

Let us know what you think...