Longer school day idea gets caning

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Parents in South Holland say they are appalled at suggestions the school day should be extended to 6pm.

Longer school days and shorter holidays have been proposed as “the perfect election promise” to win votes for the Conservatives from stressed parents juggling work and childcare.

Paul Kirby, former head of policy development at No 10, posted a personal blog stating the school day should be extended to 6pm and school holidays whittled down to just six or seven weeks a year.

When the Spalding Guardian asked readers on Facebook what they thought, there was a huge response, with the majority of parents against the proposals.

Mum Rebecca Thirkell said: “I would barely see my children.

“I want to watch them grow not have them at school all day.”

Student Megan Hudson said: “As a pupil I am totally against this, even though I like school.

“We already spend a lot of time after school doing homework and finishing school later would mean that some students wouldn’t get home until nearly 8pm.

“I believe that rearranging the holidays so that the summer holidays aren’t so long and the Christmas holidays are longer would be a good idea, but not increasing our school day because that would be horrendous and overwhelming.”

Martyn Taylor, headteacher of The Thomas Cowley High School in Donington, was not so sure the proposals would not me implemented.

He said: “They are perfectly in keeping with the way things are now done in education – ill-thought out kite-flying for a back of the envelope education secretary to further weaken the profession and damage the improvements made over the past 10 years.”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council said: “It’s up to individual school heads and governors to decide what is best suited to them and their pupils.

“Schools will make their own judgements on what is the best interests of children.”