The government is reviewing school hours as part of “further improvements” to the English teaching system, confirmed Gavin Williamson.
The Ministry of Education (DfE) has announced that in addition to the already promised 1.7 billion
The £ 1.4 billion equates to around £ 50 per student, the BBC reported.
As part of the government’s multi-million dollar catch-up program for children in England facing school disruptions due to Covid-19, students are being offered up to 100 million hours of teaching.
This morning the Minister of Education told Sky News, “In the longer term, we want to see more changes and improvements.
“That’s why we check the time within the schools to see how we can best use it.
“I think there is a debate about whether children should leave the school gate at 2:45 pm, as some schools do, or whether they should come to school later.
“Have we shortened lunchtime? It used to be an hour, sometimes half an hour in schools.
“It is right that we work with schools and teachers, as well as parents and children, to find what will bring them the best benefit.”
He later told BBC Breakfast that he was “excited” to extend the school day.
Mr Williamson said the £ 1.4 billion announced for students to catch up with Covid was “part of a recovery process”.
The cabinet minister also said he was “working closely” with the government’s catching-up Tsar on the plan after Sir Kevan Collins reportedly called for £ 15 billion in investment to improve learning opportunities.
Mr Williamson told Sky News, “It’s a lot of money and it builds on the £ 1.7 billion we’ve already given to child care – it’s an additional £ 100 million in tutoring.
“We are making sure that children who need this help, who need this support, that we are running this tutoring revolution to help them get it.
“But we realize that it’s part of a process. In the last 12 months we have announced additional funding worth £ 1.7 billion and are exploring a number of additional ideas on how we can continue to support our children to ensure that none of them are left behind. “
Responding to the reported recommendation from the Education Restoration Commissioner, Williamson replied, “We have worked very closely with Sir Kevan Collins and, in fact, the tutoring interventions that enhance the quality of teaching build on the work we do together Realizing how incredibly important it is for us to adopt these interventions to help children. “
The £ 1.4 billion, however, was dismissed as “pathetic” by a school principals union.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), told Sky News, “It’s pretty daunting, here I am a union leader and to all of my co-workers it feels like this morning whether we have higher ambitions for the children and young people of the country than the education minister.
“It’s pretty pathetic, it wasn’t until yesterday that we heard stories about the extension of the school day and even if some people didn’t approve of it, there was a feeling of ‘let’s do something radical, let’s do something different’.
“Today’s announcement is essentially the equivalent of £ 50 per capita, compare that to the US, which is spending £ 1,600 per capita per young person, or the Netherlands, which is spending £ 2,500 per capita.
“So what makes these children in the Netherlands or in the US worth more than our government seems to be saying?
“It is time, in my opinion, to stop rhetoric and start the campaign in favor of children and young people.”
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Kate Green, secretary for shadow formation, meanwhile, calls for more support for after-school activities in schools.
Ms. Green told BBC Breakfast: “We propose that a child and youth support package should include a number of measures.
“Yes, more time for small group tutoring and catching up on lost knowledge, but children cannot study well when they are worried, when they are anxious, when they don’t have time to play and develop.
“That is why we propose to include extracurricular activities, games, drama, art, etc.
She added, “Children need some time to relax and enjoy life. We think that in the summer and the new school year it is important to ensure the fabulous facilities of the schools, the sports fields, the art rooms, the music rooms, etc., can also be used for after-school activities.
“So we’re talking about the school being open longer, but not for a lot of additional formal learning. We don’t want kids to do maths at five and six in the evening when they’re really tired. “