A CONTROVERSIAL consultation into proposed changes to a school day has finished.

The governors of Darwen Vale are set to announced their decision whether to start lessons at 8.45am and extend class times from an hour to 80 minutes.

Students would also get half an hour for lunch rather than an hour.

When the plan was first announced hundreds of people signed a petition protesting.

School bosses have said longer lessons will give students more opportunity for practical work, group activity and to work on improvements while there will be more natural breaks throughout the day.

In a statement on the school's website, a spokesman said: "We are aware that there may be concerns around the idea of 'back to back' lessons.

"What we need to make clear is that the vast majority of lessons are planned to be 80 minutes in length.

"This was a key point that came out of the staff consultation.

"We would only consider back to back lessons where subject teachers have asked for them, where it’s felt that learning would be enhanced, and where the timetable only allows for them.

"To reiterate; no back to back lessons will be timetabled without very good reasons.

"We are in fact proposing an increase in lesson times of 20 minutes.

"This will reduce movement time within the school day."