School lets students start lessons after lunch

A high school in England has initiated a new policy to allow students to sleep longer in the mornings. The private, $25,000-a-year Hampton Court House school is introducing a 1.30 to 7pm timetable in September. It will become the only school in Britain that starts lessons in the afternoon. Head teacher Guy Holloway said the altered hours should help students get higher grades. He said research on neuroscience shows student productivity increases if they can sleep longer in the mornings. Mr Holloway said: "We want to get students into an environment where they can get quality sleep and their bodies are functioning well." He added: "It's about what works in our community."

The afternoon start is based on research by Oxford University. Researcher Dr Paul Kelley said: "You can't train your system to get up at a practical time." He said we are not in control of choosing the best time to work because it's biological, just like we have no control over our heartbeat and liver function. Dr Kelley added: "Anything you do to change the rhythmic systems of your body means your organs become desynchronised with each other and this is where people get ill….There is no fixing it by giving someone an alarm clock." A student at the school, Gabriel Purcell-Davis, 15, is in favour of the idea. He said students are tired all day, "but as soon as 10 o'clock hits, that's when we…do all our work".