Children could possibly face the prospect of being at school for nine hours a day and see their holidays cut right back under new plans being considered by the Conservatives.
Cameron’s former policy chief Paul Kirby drew up the proposals which would see a school day for children running from around 9am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, with holidays reduced from 13 weeks a year down to seven.
The reason for the proposals is down to outcome, which Kirby suggests could reduce crime rates for young people, boost the standards of education in the UK and assist in preparing children for the world of work. However, it could also assist parents in returning to full-time work.
While schools already have the freedom to set the length of school days and term times and with a large number of free schools offering extended opening hours already it’s perhaps the shape of things to come and could be an encouraging prospect for schools not yet following the trend.
For some, the idea of having a child at school for nine hours a day is not easily reconciled ideas that children should be children for as long as possible. Equally, with so many advisory bodies suggesting that taking in information is usually better in the mornings than the afternoon, one could ask whether such long hours will improve a child’s educational achievements.
Equally, whether longer hours would reduce student crime would remain to be seen, especially as one significant aspect of children getting into trouble is truancy. In other words, if you’ve got longer schooling hours this is all very well, but what do you do if you can’t get the children to school?