Will having a lie-in boost teenagers’ GCSE scores?

The TES is reporting research that will mean some teenagers across the UK are to be allowed a lie-in before school to see if more sleep can help them to get better GCSE grades.

A hundred schools are being invited to take part in the research, designed to test the theory that restoring natural sleep patterns to 14 to 16 year olds will improve their academic performance.

Dr Paul Kelley, one of the study leaders from Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Institute, expects that it will. He passionately believes that ignoring the body’s internal clock mechanism has led to physical and mental illness and poor quality of life in modern societies around the world…

The new teenage sleep study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, will compare a group of children starting school at the normal time – on average around 8.30am to 9am – with another beginning lessons at 10am.

“The science of it says they will perform better,” said Dr Kelley. “They will sleep more, they’ll have less stress and anxiety, and a lower rate of drug uptake, both legal and illegal. I can’t predict how much it will improve their GCSE results but I would put money on it being a statistically significant positive change.”

Later class times were also expected to lead to improvements in family life and would help parents making the school run, allowing them to drive on less congested roads…

More at: Will having a lie-in boost teenagers’ GCSE scores?


I love the idea of parents being able to do the school run when the roads are empty… but what happens to their own jobs?

So much has been talked about this issue that it will be very interesting to see what impact this experiment actually has.

Would you take Dr Kelley’s bet that results will improve significantly?


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  1. Later class times would help with the school run, would it?  Very helpful to parents who have children in primary (early start) and secondary (later start).  In any case, shouldn’t secondary age pupils be getting themselves to school?  Can’t rely on parent taxis for ever.

  2. LearntSchool

    SchoolsImprove “Hey teens! We’ve some new theory to test and you’re our guinea pigs! Yeay” …we couldn’t do this to adults.

  3. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove Is it just me or was the general standard of marking in this summer’s GCSEs woefully inadequate? Cambs IGCSE bounds bizarre.

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