Schools 'could be open for two weeks in summer' to help kids catch up
8 February 2021, 10:12
It has been reported that Boris Johnson is considering keeping schools open for two weeks over the summer holidays.
The government is said to be devising a plan that could see schools open for an extra two weeks over summer, with the missed holiday added to their autumn and winter breaks.
According to a report by The Sunday Times, the plan would see schools keep their windows open in warmer weather to reduce risk of Covid transmission.
The Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee Robert Halfon told the publication: "We have to reform the school year.
"There has to be change - things cannot carry on the way they did pre-Covid. From my discussions with No10, everything is up for debate."
Kirsty Williams, the Welsh education minister, has also said that the Welsh government was looking into whether "summer holidays should be shortened to allow for longer 'firebreak' half-term and Christmas holidays".
She added: "There is a seasonal element to Covid-19. Therefore we have to think about what autumn and winter will look like."
Boris Johnson confirmed last month that schools in England will not reopen before March 8, but he is being lobbied by 18 Conservative MPs to allow them to open their doors on 22 February.
A government spokesman has said that further £300million will be spent on tutoring programmes, building on the existing £1bn Covid Catch Up Fund.
He said: "The Prime Minister has been clear that extended schools closures have had a huge impact on pupils' education, which will take more than a year to make up.
"The Government will work with parents, teachers and schools to develop a long-term plan to make sure pupils have the chance to make up their lost education over the course of this parliament.
"And we have just appointed Sir Kevan Collins to the role of Education Recovery Commissioner, to specifically oversee this issue."
Health Minister Edward Argar didn't rule out the idea of extending the summer term, and said that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is "is looking at a whole range of things to see how we can make sure the impact on them is minimised to the extent that's possible".