DfE wants school day to be longer

The DfE wants all state schools to consider extending the school day to give pupils “character building activities” that will increase their engagement in schoolwork.

England’s maintained schools should run a longer day to prevent pupils from working-class white families falling behind other pupils, the DfE believes. All primaries and secondaries should provide extra-curricular activities including sport, cadet forces, the Duke of Edinburgh award and debating societies to develop pupils’ life skills, the Independent reports.

Schools should plan their day based on “what works in the best interests of their pupils’ education and not simply on tradition,” the DfE announced.

The DfE didn’t set out the length of an extended school day, but research from the Education Endowment Foundation found that “smaller increases are associated with greater gains, and with more than three or four hours a day the benefit decreases”. Some schools have already lengthened the day from seven or eight hours to 12.

In June a report from the Education Select Committee found that many working-class white pupils, especially boys, were performing worse in GCSEs than any other ethnic group.  A longer school day would benefit pupils from poor backgrounds, because it would give them time to “complete work in a calm and supportive environment”.

The report stated: “Longer days can mean schools have more time to work with pupils who need additional help, and can open up opportunities for pupils to access purposeful, character building activities that help them build the confidence to succeed when they leave school. Some schools, including some in disadvantaged areas, are already recognising the benefits of longer days and are re-organising their timetables to ensure a good balance of teaching, extra-curricular activities and self-directed work.”

Do you think an extended school day will help white pupils from working-class families? And would it be feasible in every state school?

11 thoughts on “DfE wants school day to be longer

  1. Idiots. As if most schools don’t already offer after school activities and one on one mentoring.

    It’s becoming increasingly obvious that to work for the DFE you have to have no knowledge of how schools work.

  2. and how about those who already belong to cadets, scouts, guides, bands, red cross, sports clubs………
    Will they be forced to stay in school attending clubs run by staff who don’t want to be there and lose time to do all these valuable activities?
    not to mention the staff who presently run all these voluntary activites and will no longer have time.

  3. Im from Birmingham and I know a school Sandwell Academy which starts at 8:15 and finishes at 4 everyday besides Friday (early finish 3:15 i think)

    Comparing sandwell academy academically with other academys and schools i actually think that they are making much more better progress and a less percentage of low grades/fails.

    The fact that their learning for longer hours and are given extra help and support and more time into one subject gives them a better understanding of the subject/topic.

    Also the long hours makes them in a way prepare for the future of coming into a profressional smart working life with similar hours to work hours.

  4. I wish they would just take a moment to consider
    the implications of this…students and teachers
    alike will be exhausted and of no use to anybody

  5. What we really need is to drop this obsession with
    GCSE’s. Some students are just not cut out for it
    and to put them through it just causes huge amounts
    of stress and workload. What was wrong with the old
    day release apprenticeship schemes. The country still
    needs a workforce or are we planning to rely on Eastern
    Europeans etc for ever!

  6. My son is at primary school and goes to after school clubs etc. when he gets home at 5.30 he is exhausted and homework is a struggle. He goes to a before (paying) club from 8 am. I don’t think he could physically cope and learn any more in one day. His teachers work him hard all day and I follow it up at home with homework.

    I think that poverty doesn’t stop any parent from getting a reading book out and helping their child with their homework. It’s just poor or lack of parenting.

    I don’t personally wish my child to ever take part in any cadet or duke of Edinburgh award , that’s my choice as a parent and school should not have that authority to make decisions for me.
    I highly value my child’s education and do all I can to support him, my parents were low income hard working people and did all they could for my sister and me to get an education and we did. That’s because they made us see the value of education and never lived off benefits and thought it was ok.

    It is wrong to change a whole system to cater for one category of the population. If one category is identified, then maybe something ought to be put into place for them, to support them, not inflict it on every other hard working school child.

    As for the education system , it seems to want to make PH d academics out of all children which is wrong because we are the way we are and the best education is the one which enables children to flourish in what they are good at be it mechanics or setting up your own cleaning business because those professions are as important as academics.

    I have degrees and went to uni and of course I aspire for the best for my son, but at the end of it I will support and encourage him in the direction of what he enjoys most and excels at. And I won’t let the education system to waste his time or abilities, because that’s my job as a parent, not to rely on teachers to bring my child up for me.

  7. What about family time? After an extended day pupils will go home and have homework to do and will have have no quality time with their parents. That cannot be good for them.

  8. Totally agree with Dan. The Apprenticeship schemes that were stopped in the eighties were very important for the non academic males which is perfectly normal. Not everyone is academically minded and are far better at manual skills especially males. This government takes away everything to help young people get on with those essential skills in order for the europeans to take over. This is not about length of time it is about the quality of education that is needed in areas that this government is not prepared to give.

  9. I completely agree, Dan. And where is the money coming to pay for it, or are we expected to give the extra hours on top of the time spent in meetings, marking and planning?

  10. I agree with Dan, why are we forcing students to do so many GCSE’s when they are not cut out for them? As for the length of the school day, we stayed at school until 4pm everyday and so did every other school. Why do so many finish between 1pm and 3pm?

    An average day at the office is 9-5 why can’t teachers have a similar day and use the time after school to do their prep work and then they wouldn’t have to take it home with them?

    I never found time spent on planning my lessons wasted as it made my teaching day more enjoyable and the students were given quality lessons that met their needs and overall it made my job easier.

    I am sure that most teachers would not complain about extra time for planning, it is the endless meetings and report writing that gets them down, not the planning and teaching in the classroom.

  11. A LONGER day?! Do people think at 3:15 we run out of the door with the pupils? We hav Ed 3 morning briefings a week and sometimes 2 meetings after school. I, like other teachers do an 8 or 9 hour day then come home and either plan or mark for a minimum couple of hours including Sundays. Many give up some weekends and holidays for trips and catch up sessions-unpaid. Add the hours up and I think those 13 week holidays become about 6 or 7 in reality. We teach because we care so please stop the teacher bashing politicians.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>