Teenagers to start school at 10am in groundbreaking experiment

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- Credit: PA

A groundbreaking experiment by Oxford University will see tens of thousands of students starting school at 10am in a bid to see whether later start times improve exam results.

The trial will track over 30,000 14-16-year-olds across 106 schools nationwide starting from next September.

Researchers at the University of Oxford say that teenagers begin functioning properly two hours later than older adults.

Professor Colin Espie, who is leading the sleep study said: 'We know that something funny happens when you're a teenager, in that you seem to be out of sync with the world. Science is telling us that teenagers need to sleep more in the mornings.

'Society's provision for learning is school, but the brain's is sleep. So we're exploring the possibility that if you delay the schools start time until 10am, that will improve learning performance.'


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The trial will run over two years. Students will be divided into two groups, with one starting school at 10am, and the other following the usual school timetable. Both sets of pupils will also be given lessons on the importance of getting enough sleep.

The £700,000 project follows a pilot study carried out in 2009 at Monkseaton High School in North Tyneside. The study saw improved grades in core subjects by 19 per cent due to the later start time.

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