Kids face a longer school day in year-long catch up plans


KIDS could face a longer school day as part of plans to help them catch up on missed school work.

Ministers are finalising plans to help those who have missed
out since all schools closed their doors to pupils in March.

Kids could have a longer school day to catch up on extra learning

Only reception, years one and six have been welcomed back in, but the Government wants more years to return if they have the space to do so.

The Government’s catch-up plan is expected to be revealed tomorrow.

One part of it would be for “bolt on” sessins at the start or end of the school day to help those who have fallen behind, The Daily Mail reports.

A Whitehall source told the paper: “The best place for children to learn is in a school environment, so it makes sense to try and do catch-up work at school rather than trying to do it through home learning.”

“There has rightly been a lot of focus on the impact on disadvantaged children but all children have missed out on their education so we need a catch-up programme that is open to everyone.”

The school day extension won’y be put in law, it reports, but teachers will be encouraged to run extra classes.

Meanwhile, the Guardian claimed that the programme would be “year-long”.

No10 suggested that they wanted a long term solution for catch-up classes for the summer “and beyond”.

Schools will be funded to hire private tutors to deliver one-to-one and small group lessons to pupils who have fallen behind, the paper claimed.

There is likely to be a mixture of face-to-face and online teaching, which is likely to start in September.

A source close to the project said: “The overall catch-up package is quite significant.

“It will be long-term, at least a year. All schools will be able to access it, but it will be targeted at those with high numbers of disadvantaged pupils.”

The plan is also expected to involve summer camps for some pupils too throughout the holidays.

However, it’s unlikely that they will remain formally open.

Government sources dismissed the reports as “speculation”.

The Education Secretary is due to reveal the plans in full this week.

The Government has said it aims to get all kids back into school by September.

But this morning Tory MP Geoffrey Clifton Brown said it was likely that the 2m rule would have to be changed before that could happen.

He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am absolutely sure, your contributor was right, we are not going to get all children back to school in September unless the 2m rule is changed.

“I am quite certain from everything I have heard, that it will be changed by then.

“The PM, as he’s made public, is undertaking a detailed study on this.

“I am absolutely certain that by September it would have been changed.”


A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We are working with partners to develop a long-term package of support for children to catch up on lost learning as a result of coronavirus, building upon the £100 million of support already made available to help children learn from home.

“Detailed and ambitious plans for this will be announced shortly”.

It comes after a fiery PMQs yesterday when Sir Keir Starmer refused three times to say if it’s safe for kids to go back to school.

The Labour leader repeatedly failed to answer the question when asked by a furious Boris Johnson.

The PM assured parents it was safe to send kids back to school.

Tory MP and education select committee boss Robert Halfon demanded to know why millions of kids can “shop at Primark” while unions opposed their return to the classroom.

Millions of kids who have been being taught at home during the pandemic have been falling behind in lessons.

Two million are doing just a couple of hours of work a day or nothing at all, fresh research out this week showed.

Experts have warned Britain’s poorest kids could fall years behind because of school closures.


Moaning Mary Bousted said schools “cannot” fully reopen if social distancing rules are still in place after the summer holidays.

Struggling parents could be stuck at home trying to juggle work with teaching their kids for many more months, she suggested.

Her explosive comments enraged ministers and MPs, who accused the National Education Union of waging war on schools reopening and making it out like they were “death traps”.