Break and Lunch times

in Schools

Research on school breaktimes and the social lives of young people


These web pages report on our ongoing research into children's social life in and outside of school and in particular in relation to break and lunch times (recess), children's peer relations and friendships in primary and secondary schools in the UK. The researchers are based in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at the UCL Institute of Education in London and carry out research to inform educational debate, practice and policy.

Breaktimes during the Covid Pandemic

We are currently undertaking research into how breaktimes in primary, secondary and special schools may have been affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. The research takes the form of a short questionnaire survey of a member of staff in school and there are slightly different surveys depending on the pupil intake/age range covered by the school. Please do participate in this research.

The BaSiS Project

Our recent research project, the "Breaktime and Social life in Schools" (BaSiS) project, was an independent national survey of the nature, length and organisation of break and lunchtimes in primary and secondary schools in England. This project provided a much needed follow up to our previous surveys of break times in school undertaken in 1995 and 2006 and effectively provides an indication of the nature of breaktimes in schools over the last 20 to 25 years. The provocative findings from this research received much coverage in the national and international news media. A Full Report, Executive Summary, Research Briefing, and Blog on the research and findings are available - see below. Please see the BaSiS project page for further information.



Executive Summary

Research Briefing