School Timetables: Definition, Purpose & Examples

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  • 0:04 Sally's Dilemma
  • 0:34 What Is a School Timetable?
  • 1:01 Why Use School Timetables?
  • 1:52 Examples
  • 2:29 Create and Interpret a…
  • 3:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jesse Richter

Jesse holds two masters, a doctorate and has 15 years of academic experience in areas of education, linguistics, business and science across five continents.

Looking for a quick overview of school timetabling? This lesson explains the nature of timetables, describes the purpose of timetabling and provides tangible examples, as well as advice for manually creating timetable documents for school purposes.

Sally's Dilemma

As a new teacher and member of the school planning committee, Sally finds herself overwhelmed with the massive amount of information she must manage and is looking for a way to organize everything in one comprehensive reference document. Specifically, Sally needs to plan how student and teacher schedules will fit together according to the periods of the school day, the days of the week, and classroom availability. A colleague recommends that Sally look into developing a school timetable.

What Is a School Timetable?

A school timetable is a reference document created by professionals that clearly shows how school resources, such as teachers and classrooms, fit together with student schedules and school schedules, as well as with days of the week. School timetables are typically developed in a spreadsheet format and may be created manually using commonly available software, or may be generated by specialized software found online.

Why Use School Timetables?

The purpose of timetabling and strategic scheduling in schools is multifaceted. First, timetables give students, teachers, parents, and administrators a clear picture of what's happening in the classroom at any given time. Second, timetables assist in maximizing school resources such as classroom availability, teacher availability, and materials availability. Third, timetables add structure to the school system for planning and documentation purposes. Lastly, timetables help to ensure accountability. For example, are the students receiving sufficient instructional time in each subject area? Timetabling also helps in the facilitation of parent-teacher meetings, scheduling across multiple campuses, and assigning classes to teachers.


Now let's look at some examples that have been created manually. Let's start with Table 1, which an elementary teacher might post inside the classroom and distribute to students and parents for easy reference.

Table 1
table 1.1

Table 2 is an example of a table outlining a teacher's schedule. This type of table will most likely be created by an administrator and then assigned to the teacher.

Table 2
table 2

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