School days ‘to be made longer’ to help children catch up after missed classes

1 June 2021, 07:58 | Updated: 1 June 2021, 08:05

School days could be made longer next year
School days could be made longer next year. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

School days could be made 30 minutes longer to help children catch up after the coronavirus pandemic.

School children could be made to stay in class for an extra 30 minutes a day, according to reports.

Millions of pupils have missed out on vital learning over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under a new proposal - seen by The Times - each child will have to have an additional 100 hours of schooling per year from 2022.

Boris Johnson could approve new school plans
Boris Johnson could approve new school plans. Picture: PA Images

It was previously reported that ministers were considering extending the school day, with School Standards minister Nick Gibb saying he’s ‘open to all ideas’.

He told the Commons education committee earlier this year: "We just have to leave no stone unturned in making sure that we can help those young people catch up from the lost education."

According to The Times, a leaked presentation written by education tsar Sir Kevan Collins reveals the plans for youngsters to have a minimum 35-hour week.

It also states that five million of the worst-hit students in England will get extra tutoring and 500,000 teachers will get more training.

School days could be increased by 30 minutes
School days could be increased by 30 minutes. Picture: PA Images

Officials are said to even be considering an extra year of college for sixth-form students to complete their A-levels.

Insiders have told The Times that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already been briefed on the report and is expected to give it the go ahead.

This comes after schools across the UK were closed during the national lockdown back in March 2020, before briefly reopening.

They were then shut down again in January this year, but re-opened as part of the first step of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.

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GCSE and A-levels were cancelled in 2020 and have been cancelled this year as well, after Mr Johnson said it wouldn't be "possible or fair" to make pupils take exams.

Michael Gove, former education secretary, said at the time: "Obviously we can’t have A-levels, GCSEs or Btecs in the way that we have had them in the past but there are ways of ensuring that we can assess the work that students have done, give them a fair recognition of that and help them on to the next stage of their education."