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16 January 2015, 06:00
Education specialists from the North East Education Forum are calling for a longer school day.
The Forum, which is made up of education specialists including headteachers from across the region, returned a 5-1 view in favour of a longer school day.
Lesley Robinson, Co-director of First Class Supply who chairs the Forum, was one of those in favour of a longer school day.
She told Heart:
"The longer day would better prepare students for the world of work.
It would more accurately reflect the standard working day; and also be more convenient for those parents who both work full-time jobs and who would otherwise have to rely on relatives or other forms of child care.
Many pupils need a structured environment to complete homework, particularly if they are not receiving adequate support in the home.
Teachers can be supportive and encouraging of the pupils and help with any questions they might have. There will also be more time for some students to catch up in a supportive and encouraging setting."
David Dunn, Headmaster at Yarm School told us:
"An extended school day would help other schools, whether state or independent, to better help students achieve their full potential in the broadest sense of the word.
After-school support in the academic sense would also serve to help those students who are falling behind or who would perhaps benefit from a more structured environment in which to learn and do their homework."