Breaktime Research


Home  Background  Research Team  Publications  Links  Other Research


Welcome to the Break and lunch time research website!

This web site reports on ongoing research about children's social life in and outside of school and in particular in relation to break and lunch times in primary and secondary schools in the UK.


The main project reported on here, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, was an independent national survey of break and lunch times in primary and secondary schools. Systematic information on breaktimes is not collected by the DFE or any other organisation and thus there is little understanding about these important aspects of school. The research also involved a survey of children's social life outside of school and provided important data on children's travel to school.


New publications available (updated Nov 2012) - CLICK HERE!



The Nuffield project was jointly directed by Professor Peter Blatchford and Dr Ed Baines based at the Institute of Education, University of London. The project provided a much needed follow up of a national survey conducted by Prof. Blatchford 10 years ago which identified marked changes in the school day, the reduction and abolition of lunch and the afternoon break, and the suggestion that pupil behaviour out of school had worsened. Since then further changes have taken place in schools (e.g. extended school services, and community use, after school clubs and further adjustments to breaktime) and we were keen to identify the extent of these changes. Results from this research will help share practice across schools and will inform management decisions and educational and social policy about breaktime and school.


The web site also reports on a recent project on the Social Implications of School Meal Times (carried out by Ed Baines with Helen MacIntyre during 2011) and a study of 'Playground games: their social context in elementary/junior school' (carried out by Peter Blatchford, Anthony Pellegrini, Ed Baines and Kentaro Kato). Further details are on the Publications page.


IoE   Nuffield Foundation