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NAHT Northern Ireland

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NAHT Northern Ireland represents principals and vice-principals in around two-thirds of 1,150 schools in Northern Ireland. NAHT Northern Ireland provide advice, training and support for its members on a range of issues faced by senior leaders in schools. Along with our colleagues in England and Wales, we are there to defend and extend the rights of school leaders.  

NAHT NI is democratic and member-led, and supported by its Belfast-based team of staff alongside their colleagues based in both Wales and England.

NAHT Northern Ireland
Carnmoney House
Edgewater Office Park


02890 776633 

School breaks and lunchtimes

More often than not, NAHT’s advice team produces regular advice and guidance to support school leaders to run their schools effectively. 

Occasionally, however, we produce a ‘thought piece’ to provoke some thinking among the school leader community on areas that are known to be of interest – in this case, school breaks and lunchtimes. 

School breaks and lunchtimes have become of greater interest to school leaders as they look to reconcile the need for pupils to take regular physical exercise and balance this with the need to improve academic standards and progress. 

The challenge for all school leaders is to achieve an appropriate balance between the quality of children’s play experiences and social interactions with other pupils and the need to maximise classroom time to improve pupils’ academic progress and achievements. 

This ‘thought piece’ contains a number of recommendations arising from the ‘School break and lunchtimes and young people’s social lives: a follow-up national study’, which we encourage members to consider in the design and development of their school’s offer and overall curriculum. We think you’ll find this a thought-provoking read. 

First published 26 August 2020