Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) - The intention of the North Rhine-Westphalian state government to allow classes to start later raises many questions in the school community. A number of aspects such as the care situation of the families, the space available, the connection to buses and trains and making teachers' working hours more flexible must be considered, said the chairwoman of the NRW school management association, Antonietta Zeoli, the German Press Agency in Düsseldorf. The Education and Training Association (VBE) made a similar statement.
In their coalition agreement, the CDU and the Greens announced that they would "allow the school conference to decide that school should start at 9 a.m.". The currently valid circular regulates the following: "The lessons begin between 7.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m.." During the pandemic, however, for reasons of preventive health protection, it was already possible to start classes between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. in order to equalize the flow of students.
The VBE state chairman Stefan Behlau told the dpa: "A change in the beginning of the lesson always has further consequences" - even if the later start time could be attractive. Schools in rural areas in particular would have to coordinate their starting times closely with neighboring schools and the regional transport companies, which in turn would not only have coordinated the school buses but also the regular timetables with the schools.
"Last but not least, the parents will also have to deal with the question of childcare - especially with younger children," said Behlau. This also applies to teachers and educational staff. In this respect, individual solutions adapted to the respective school community and location are important.
NRW School Minister Dorothee Feller (CDU) explained in an interview with the "Rheinische Post" at the weekend that a decision by the school conference was necessary to reconcile the needs of parents, transport companies and municipalities.