A radical overhaul of Dundee education will begin in August as secondary schools switch to a 33-period week.
Councillors last night agreed to change the school timetable, despite opposition from Scotland’s largest teaching union.
For pupils and parents the decision will mean the traditional 30-period week and 9am-3.30pm school day is consigned to history.
Instead, there will be earlier starts and lessons that finish at either 2.50pm or 3.45pm depending on the day.
The step was backed by all headteachers of the city’s nine council-run secondary schools.
The switch will enable Dundee’s secondary schools to offer a higher quality of teaching to their pupils, education chiefs believe.
Pupils had gained hundreds of signatures for a petition opposing the changes, and one-in-three of the city’s teachers raised concerns.
However, councillors and other members of the education committee voted by 29-2 in favour of the proposals.
A number of local authorities already operate the 33-period week, and many others are consulting on its adoption Angus and Fife among them.
From the start of the 2016/17 session, secondary schools in Dundee will start their day at the earlier time of 8.45am and there will be two, rather than three, classes after lunch.
Pupils will have three seven-lesson days Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when they finish at the later time of 3.40pm, and two six-lesson days Thursday and Friday when they finish at the earlier time of 2.50pm.
Although the total time spent at school will not increase, the model provides pupils with an additional 114 teaching periods over the course of a year.
The city’s director of education, Michael Wood, said: “Yes it may initially be a shock to the system having three periods without a break, but our schools will get used to it.”
“The evidence that we have seen from other local authorities is that this works.
“I believe it is better for the children of Dundee. It will offer more flexibility, more teaching time and better teaching opportunities for our young people.”Teacher oppositionAhead of the meeting, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union released new figures showing that many rank and file teachers remained opposed to the change.
A survey found that 84% of the 270 teachers who responded did not agree with the switch to a 33-period timetable up from 62% before Christmas.
In addition, 78% indicated that they did not feel they had been properly consulted on the proposals.
That prompted David Baxter, EIS local association secretary for Dundee, to join Councillor Fraser Macpherson in a doomed call for the decision to be delayed.
He said: “I do not believe that the proposals have been properly shared or discussed with teachers, pupils or parents.
“That is not acceptable. They should have been at the heart of this process.”