Advantages and disadvantages of 4-day school weeks

The debate over 4-day school weeks is not a new topic, and the United States is the pioneer in imposing the measure. In Europe, on the other hand, there is some suspicion about accepting it due to the great heterogeneity of the countries that make up the European Union, among other things. France tops the list of the European countries most likely to implement this measure and consequently we ask ourselves… are Spain and other territories also prepared to adopt it?




Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages that best fit this idea of 4-day school weeks .


Advantages of 4-day school weeks

  • The first studies that have been carried out after the adoption of the measure in some countries have shown an improvement in the school performance of primary school children, fundamentally, and mainly in the areas of mathematics and language.
  • As a result of the reduction in school days, the absenteeism rate for many students has been reduced , which is undoubtedly directly beneficial to school performance.
  • The monitoring of the measure also reveals that the proposal encourages the autonomy and responsibility of children, having to manage three days off a week instead of two.
  • The reduction of the school day also motivates teachers , since they manage to be more rested to face the school days as well as have more time to dedicate to the profiles and work of each student. This reduces the weekly stress accumulated by teachers , responding at the same time to one of the most common problems in the educational world.

Drawbacks of 4-day school weeks

  • One of the main drawbacks observed, particularly in Spain, is the inability of some parents to adapt to this new and greater care of children and that they would have to face with this new measure, since the effective reality of a a need as great as that of being able to reconcile . Those most affected by the measure would be, mainly, parents who do not have flexible hours or who work very demanding hours at their jobs, so all this would mean many additional expenses that could unbalance family finances in the long run.
  • Reducing the weekly school day could create more stressful educational days, by having to concentrate all the work in less time, which would not be easy for all children to assume. Although children are more flexible than adults to accept all kinds of changes, it would be necessary to also take measures for those who are less flexible or have more attention problems. Adopting methodologies that are fun and of greater interest to children , however, could counteract this inconvenience to a great extent.
  • The pace of learning could accelerate with the 4-day school week, but missing a day of school would mean the loss of important weekly educational material. Therefore, the responsibility of the parents and the autonomy of the child would be skills that they would have to manage together in order not to be affected by the new schedules.




Ultimately, the possibility of implementing the 4-day school week is an open debate that should be approached with all the seriousness and respect that such an important issue as the education of the youngest deserves. Let us not forget that, in itself, the negative impact of everything new on the academic performance of children is a factor that is latent in many countries.

We can say that there are already studies that reveal a positive academic performance of those who have adopted this measure of the 4-day weeks, but that something is beneficial for some does not mean that it can necessarily be so for all, so it would be necessary to carry out evaluations at the level local and longer term. In other words, those countries that find it interesting to apply this reform should do a thorough monitoring or even go area by area before fully implementing it.

The debate is still open … what do you think? Do you think it would be beneficial for the education system to implement the 4-day week? Would it delay or advance educational attainment?



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