Plans to extend the school day are 'cruel' say readers
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It’s a firm NO from Huntingdonshire residents in response to Government proposals of extending the school day – with parents citing the idea as “cruel” and “miserable”.
Teachers’ unions have also criticised the plans to make the school day longer by 30 minutes in England and said they could potentially do “more harm than good”.
The response comes after a leaked report last week proposed a minimum 35-hour week and 100 hours of additional schooling compared with existing timetables in many state schools and colleges.
The Hunts Post asked readers online what they thought of the idea – with the overwhelming majority saying they were against plans.
Those who commented stated poor mental health – for teachers and pupils – who have continued to work through the pandemic.
Others also said the plans would leave children with less family time and “no level of concentration and just very miserable”.
Caztor Troy said: “No, kids and teachers have been through enough. There's so much in the news about how the pandemic has affected adults' mental health, but it has for kids too.
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“Making them work harder is cruel after everything that's happened. What about their social development too? Let them have fun with their friends.”
Katie Nicholls said: “No way, not for primary age. My kids wouldn't be able to cope with longer days and would result in them missing out on their social/out of school activity clubs i.e.. cubs where they learn just as many important skills."
Lisa Rodda said: “Certainly not, wouldn’t be fair on teachers who have worked through the pandemic and it’s not fair on the children. In my option they spend too much time in school and not enough time with their family!”
Becky Christina said: “Children are humans not machines.”
Michelle Rowan added: “Why not shorten school holidays until children have caught up?”
Commenting on the Government report, Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The marginal gains that might be possible through extending the school day must be weighed against the costs of such a strategy, including the impact on pupils’ mental health, reduced family time and less time for extra-curricular activities.”