The Budget carried a lot of news for schools from the expansion of the academy system to funding changes. It seems now is the time for a comprehensive restructure of English schooling. Another part of the proposals from the Budget was the announcement of a longer school day. What kind of effect could this have on our children’s education and what will the additional contact time be used for?
The policy aims to provide children with a broader education but how this will be delivered under a longer timetable is still unclear. There are several suggestions and ideas being floated around. Here’s our round up of the most popular…
Some are suggesting that as opposed to extra lessons, schools could use the extra time to provide a wider range of extra-curricular activities. The hope is that more sporting activities could be offered with funding from the sugar tax which will also be introduced as a result of the Budget. This could encourage more children to enjoy sport and lead to a healthier generation.
The extra time could be used to provide a support period for pupils to complete homework in. This would involve pupils working on homework in school time but also receiving support and advice from their teacher as they go. The hope would be that this additional support would lead to improvements in pupil performance in homework and subsequent exams.
Subjects that are not currently taught or are under-taught could receive more time as part of this proposal. This would provide a broader education for students and may lead to more general academic improvements.
Some parents will benefit from the change because it will reduce the number of hours of childcare they need. It could also make arrangements for collecting children after work easier. The cost of after school clubs and sports teams may also be reduced.
However, despite these many positives, there are some question marks surrounding how pupils will react with many fearing they will be overly tired and therefore underperform.
The extra hour is optional for schools and they can choose whether it implement it, but the funding will only be available to 25% of schools. It will also only be possible in schools that apply for and are successful in getting extra funding specifically for this purpose. This means that there will not be a radical change to the school day for everyone but if trials are successful it could be rolled out nationwide.
Do you think it is a good idea for schools to continue beyond 3:30pm? Would this help you as a parent? Let us know on our social media pages