You are here

It's time: Transformational timetabling practices

Jan Eyre, Sophie Watson

This New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) research project explored the ways five diverse secondary schools shaped their timetables to support innovation in teaching and learning. The timetable is often a taken-for-granted presence in schools, even though it plays an important role in how teaching and learning are experienced. This report identifies key factors that schools may find useful to consider when making changes to their timetable.  

This research shows that the timetable is best positioned as the end product of a process that begins with deep exploration of the school’s beliefs about its purpose and what it wants to achieve for its students. The process of change is different for each school, however there are challenges that are unique to different school types. 

The report highlights the importance of a coherent approach, through clear leadership and vision, involvement of students, teachers, and the wider school community, and on-going and relevant professional development for staff.  It includes interesting ideas from each of the case-study schools, and a series of reflective questions for school leaders and teachers to use in their thinking and discussions about timetable changes. 

This project builds on work completed by NZCER for the Productivity Commission on Subject Choice for the Future of Work. 

Watch a video of NZCER Kairangahau/Researcher Sophie Watson talking about the key findings
from the "It's time: Transformational timetabling practices" report in a presentation at the online NZARE conference in 2021: 
Putting the timetable back in its place

Year published: 
Publication type: 
Research report
Full text download: