Longer school days trialled in Wales - with kids spending an extra five hours a week in class

2 February 2022, 12:22 | Updated: 2 February 2022, 12:39

The pilot scheme is being trialled in 14 schools in Wales
The pilot scheme is being trialled in 14 schools in Wales. Picture: Getty
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

The pilot scheme has been introduced in 14 schools in Wales.

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A number of schools in Wales are taking part in a pilot scheme that will trial longer school days to help kids catch up after the pandemic.

It began yesterday, with 14 schools keeping children longer than the normal school days.

As reported by The Sun, the scheme will run for 10 weeks see 1800 kids spend an extra five hours a week in class, taking part in art, music and sport, as well as academic lessons.

The trial is focused on helping disadvantaged children and schools affected during the pandemic.

It is goes well, 'next steps will be considered' on whether to introduce it to more schools and areas.

Some pupils will spend an extra five hours a week in the classroom
Some pupils will spend an extra five hours a week in the classroom. Picture: Getty

Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles said: "The trial is a great opportunity to gather further evidence on how we use and structure time at school and how that might evolve in the future. We will be learning how these additional sessions might improve well-being, academic progression and increased social and cultural capital.

"As we move forward, we will continue to support schools with even stronger community engagement so that we deliver on our mission to tackle the impact of poverty on educational attainment and achieve high standards for all."

Not everyone is happy with the scheme, however, with Laura Doel, director of education trade union NAHT Cymru, saying: "There may be some educational benefits to reforming the school year and we are open to discussions on what those benefits may be.

Many children had their education disrupted during the pandemic
Many children had their education disrupted during the pandemic. Picture: Getty

"All the focus from the Welsh Government has been on the school day fitting in with family life and working patterns, with no mention of the education benefit to learners.

"All the evidence available suggests that there is little or no data that supports keeping learners in school for longer because longer periods in school does not increase a child's capacity to learn.”