School days could be made longer and holidays shortened to help children catch up on learning

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 12:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 12:30 pm
Education Secretary Gavin Wiliamson has not ruled out longer school days for children (Photo: Getty Images)

Education Secretary Gavin Wiliamson has not ruled out longer school days for children, as the Government aims to help children catch up after disruption to learning due to Covid.

The Education Secretary said that ministers are looking at a range of measures to help pupils catch up on missed face-to-face teaching due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Williamson told Sky News that the Government is “looking at a whole range of different actions, but what we want to do is give schools the extra resources they need to be able to take action immediately.

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“Some of the reforms that we want to look at and consult on – we will look at the whole expanse of what we can do in terms of helping children have extra teaching time, have extra opportunities.”

This could include longer school days or the shortening of the school summer holidays, but the Education Secretary would not confirm any exact details.

'How we can boost and support children in a whole range of different manners'

The Government has just announced a £720million funding package for schools in England, to help children catch up on lost learning due to Covid-19.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said this extra funding for schools in England “will equip teachers with the tools and resources they need to support their pupils, and give children the opportunities they deserve to learn and fulfil their potential.”

However, Mr Williamson said the funding was just the “immediate response”, and that the newly-appointed education recovery commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, will investigate more extensive measures to allow children to catch up on education.

When asked if extending the school day or shortening holidays could be among the measures, Mr Williamson told Sky News that Sir Kevan will “be looking at how we can boost and support children in a whole range of different manners.

“But it’s not just about time in school it’s about supporting teachers in terms of the quality of teaching and how we can help them.”