Schools should stay open until 5pm to help kids catch up, says education czar

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EVERY school in England should stay open until 5pm in a post-pandemic overhaul to help kids catch up, an education czar says.

Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza is urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to find an extra £1.9billion a year to pay for longer days.

Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza says schools should stay open until 5pm to help kids catch up post-pandemic

Dame Rachel wants after-class activities such as catch-up lessons, sports and drama to be the new norm.

She said it was wrong some schools send kids home after lunch — and demanded pupils be put “at the centre of recovery from the pandemic”.

She told Times Radio: “We shouldn’t have schools closing at 2.30pm.

“I want those schools to open, the children to actually do the activities they need.”

The Association of School and College Leaders wants £5.8billion to help kids catch up.

Dame Rachel called it a “sensible figure” and said it was “worth a battle to secure it” despite Treasury reluctance.

Her remarks come after The Education Policy Institute calculated lost class time due to the pandemic had wiped out £78billion in lifetime earnings.

It said at least £13billion recovery funding would be needed to prevent lasting damage to life chances.