Angus parents are being educated in the workings of the new school week due to come into operation in the area’s secondaries later this year.
As pupils head into the crucial exam period, parents have been sent details of the nuts and bolts operation of the 33-period week which will be introduced in August after youngsters return from the summer break.
The switch was the subject of extensive consultation with pupils, parents and staff before councillors agreed the move last June, but not without criticism over issues including transport arrangements and controversy over the choice of which day of the week a new half-day would fall on.
Under the new set-up — which applies only to secondary schools — the school day will continue to start at 8.55am but will finish at 3.50pm Monday to Thursday and 1.20pm on Friday.
The school lunch break is being cut to 50 minutes and moved to a later 1.20pm start Monday to Thursday.
“Young people and teachers will spend the same amount of time in school in the new week,” the authority has told parents.
“What has changed is how the learning time is distributed across the week.”
The new system has also been designed to offer youngsters extra-curricular opportunities on Friday afternoon.
A programme of additional activities has been developed by Active Schools Angus, Angus Alive and Angus Community Learning but critics say it remains to be seen how effectively that will operate and the level of take up.
In the briefing note to parents, the council has said that no additional transport will be provided on Friday afternoons for young people wishing to take up optional activities at the end of the new school week.
Arrangements have also been put in place to run the 33-period timetable within the current school day during the traditional transition period from the start of June.
The changes follow an Angus move to a 35-period week in 2012, which included five half-hour form time periods that have been dropped under the new arrangement.
In adopting the 33-period week, the council is following the lead of a number of other Scots authorities, with education chiefs saying the arrangement is designed to be more efficient and develop the pupil experience within Curriculum for Excellence.