School day to be extended 30 minutes to help pupils catch-up after Covid, reports say

School day to be extended 30 minutes to help pupils catch-up after Covid, reports say


School day to be extended 30 minutes to help pupils catch-up after Covid, reports say

School day to be extended 30 minutes to help pupils catch-up after Covid, reports say

Boris Johnson’s government is considering a plan to make the school day 30 minutes longer in England, under leaked proposals aimed at helping pupils catch-up after the coronavirus crisis.

A report by Sir Kevan Collins – the government’s education recovery commissioner – outlines a plan for all children in England to receive an extra 100 hours of teaching a year from 2022.

Teachers would be paid extra and schools given a degree of freedom in implementing a minimum 35-hour week, according to 56-page plan reported by The Times.

The document also proposes extra tutoring for the five million pupils in England most in need of catch-up support, and extra professional development training for up to 500,000 teachers.

The estimated price tag for the three-year, post-pandemic plan is thought to be around £15bn, but the Treasury is said to be offering only £1.5bn to boost educational support.

The 56-page leaked presentation document is described as a draft of Sir Kevan’s almost-complete report, and warns the economic cost of inaction on lost learning as a result of Covid could be £1.5 trillion.

Mr Johnson has been “briefed” on its main recommendations and has indicated his support, according to The Times.

The government plan is aimed fulfilling the “ambition to recover learning losses, reduce [the] disadvantage gap to below pre-Covid levels, and improve wellbeing by 2024”.

However, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), issued a sceptical response to the leaked proposals.

“The devil will be in the detail of any extended-day proposals – we know that quality of teaching is more important than quantity,” said the ASCL union leader.

The British Psychological Society said any extra time at school would be better spent letting children socialise and engage in extracurricular activities than in longer lessons.

Research released last week by Vaughan Connolly, a leading University of Cambridge academic, suggested longer school lessons won’t do “much” to improve results or narrow the attainment gap.

Kate Green, shadow education secretary, is expected to set out Labour’s recovery plan for schools later this week.

The Independent has contacted the Department for Education for comment.


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