Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

School day extension still being considered

Peston quizzes Nadhim Zahawi on lengthening the school day

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He said the £1.4billion allocated “falls far short of what is needed”. But Ms Atkins said the policy is about “targeting” children who are most affected by the pandemic. She said it is “very much focused on what we can deliver and deliver quickly”. The programme includes £1billion to support up to six million, 15-hour tutoring courses for disadvantaged pupils, as well as an expansion of the 16-19 tuition fund.

It has been reported Sir Kevan called for £15billion of funding and 100 extra hours of teaching per pupil.

Sir Kevan had said schools and colleges should be funded for a flexible extension time, the equivalent to 30 minutes extra every day, as part of his long-term plans.

But Ms Atkins said the Government was still considering the proposal.

She said: “We are reviewing this recommendation about extending the school day.”

Boris Johnson is facing fierce pressure from within the Tory party about the plan.

Education Committee chairman Robert Halfon MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Treasury can find the money from the back of the sofa, and there has to be that political will because we need a long-term plan for education, a proper funding settlement.”

Former immigration minister Caroline Nokes MP added: “The Government needs to listen to what Sir Kevan has said. It’s important that the investment goes into children – or they become a lost generation.”

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