School days could get longer in England to help children catch up

2 November 2021, 09:50 | Updated: 2 November 2021, 10:16

School days in England could get longer under proposed new plans
School days in England could get longer under proposed new plans. Picture: Getty
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Pupils in England may be expected to stay at school for longer under new plans being considered by Nadhim Zahawi.

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School days could get longer in England under plans being considered by the government.

As reported by The Sun, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has praised 'excellent examples' of teachers who keep children in school for longer than average, and said he would like to see more schools move toward that goal.

Extending the school day has been proposed as a way of helping kids catch up with work after the coronavirus pandemic.

Robert Halfon, Tory chair of the Commons education committee, claimed that Whitehall stats show that lengthening the school day boosts maths skills by almost a third.

School days in England could get longer under possible new plans
School days in England could get longer under possible new plans. Picture: Getty

Replying to this, Nadhim Zahawi said: "There are some excellent examples... of a longer school day which I'm going to look at.

"The average school day now is 6.5 hours and I would like to see everybody move towards that average."

He added that kids catching up is a 'priority', adding that there would be £5 billion in help for them to do so.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said in a statement: "The gains that might be possible through extending the school day must be weighed against the costs of such a strategy, including the impact on pupils' mental health, reduced family time and less time for extra-curricular activities.

"Children's happiness and wellbeing should be prioritised as well as their education."