Longer school day, shorter holidays, aibu?(108 Posts)
To think Michael Gove should fuck off? I spend less time with my DC than their teacher's do as it is...
Michael Gove should fuck off to the far side of fuck, and when he gets there, fuck off some more.
"In Scandanavia and Finland they have longer holidays (particularly summer) and shorter school days, naturally on the whole it is a more successful system. Gove is a fool." Quote from a Guardian reader
Or perhaps they should invest more in education and reduce class sizes for a start.
I wholeheartedly endorse Euphemia's fuckoffity themed statements.
I'm sure that teachers will be willing to work more days than their contracted 195 days if they also receive an appropriate increase in pay! Not sure Mr Gove has budgeted for that!
I don't even have the words to say what I think about that man and his policies. Love the quote from the guardian reader.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
The man's a complete twat.
Maybe he should concentrate on making sure there are enough school places first.....
I don't think we have to worry about Gove too much, I'm pretty sure he's about to rip his rubbery face off and reveal himself to be one of the Slitheen. Any minute now. Waiting...
Do you think this could be brought in? I know a local school who are now staying open until 4:15
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Those lambasting Gove might like to be aware that this is a rip off of the US KIPP programme, also under discussion for implementation under Gordon Brown, and also under study by the Scottish Executive (links on he thread In The News).
So say the policy is stupid, by all means, but remember that it's neither a Goveism, nor the first time it's come up.
Actually, I think this is a good example of one of those ideas at pops up intervals to stimulate discussion without there ever being a realistic chance of it being implemented. There are quite a few cyclical educational theories that do this.
Very bad idea. Would rather homeschool than DC be in school all year with less holidays. It's always about childcare.
So, to sum up, both the policy and the Idiot Gove should fucketh off!
Kids are knackered at the end of term. This is yet more evidence that Gove hasn't a clue about teaching or schools.
My dad was a teacher, he left the house at 7.30am and returned at 6pm and did planning and marking on top of that and was in school at least twice a week in the holidays. That was on a 32.5 hr contract I would have never have seen him if he had had to actually teach longer hours than he did.
So quite apart from the fact children would be exhausted I can be quite sure that teachers would lose the limited time they have with their families and would quit in droves.
Gove is a prize idiot.
I am thoroughly glad I am not teaching anymore!
According to today's Times he wants to get rid of TAs too and have teachers get back to collecting dinner money etc.
I think we need to get rid of Michael Gove- he certainly wants to get rid of teachers! How does he think the country can afford the extra days he wants them to work?
Even the comments on this policy on the Daily Hate website think this is a bad idea....
They will quit in droves CockyFox - they might as well live in a cupboard at school!
If that was to happen, I'd home school.
Don't think it would happen in Scotland though.
Gove is a wanker.
But he's a dangerous wanker, with an awful lot of power. We have a lot to be afraid of while he is in power.
Has Gove completely forgotten his entire childhood? Most children would be utterly exhausted and miserable.
On a further note, if the school holidays are shortened the price of holidays in this period will absolutely rocket.
As far as I can see, the Scottish Government is only looking at KIPP in relation to Post-16 education. I've certainly never heard it mentioned in Primary.
I think he means working parents and business friendly. It's certainly not child-friendly or friendly to families that have time they want to spend together.
Well as a single parent who works full time, it'd save me a load of money in child care fees!
yabu for starting another thread on this when one is ticking away nicely
wish people would post on the same thread!
Well that's ok then Looosy, buggar what is best for children?
For my son square, it wouldn't make much difference as he already spends a lot of time in childcare after school and in the holidays. That's the reality for many children and families. The only Real difference is it would be cheaper.
This proposal suits those who see schooling as child care, whether its parents or those who employ them. It has nothing to do with education.
well if the plan is for both parents in the majority of families to work full-time, obviously it would be easier for them if dc were in school for longer days and had shorter holidays. I don't think it would be good for the dc and I don't think it would improve standards of education. At some point you are too tired to learn effectively. Possibly there is something to be said for having shorter holidays so dc don't forget so much of what they have been taught and then have to spend time relearning it when they go back. However, I do think IME the dc need the holidays they get.
What they do in Asia is perhaps suitable from the point of view of Asian families and accords with their requirements, their work ethos and attitudes to school. It may work fine there but I don't think parents want something akin to Chinese schools in the UK. No doubt they are ahead but I know my dd would suffer from a longer school day and shorter holidays.
I completely diagree with that Loosey - as a former teacher myself, my dc have always needed to go to wrap around childcare, but what they do at breakfast club / at the CMs is COMPLETELY different from what they do at school.
Our council are speaking of implementing shorter school days to save money. Parents are against.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Well said euphemia and I'd like to add nob to that.
Has anyone thought how expensive flights/holidays would be, if everyone were trying to book in a four week slot? Not to mention the problems with parents trying to book holiday time at work?
If teachers worked 9-5
It won't solve the drop off problem
It won't solve the pick up problem
If your children take the bus/cycle home they will be on the roads during rush hour.
If your children walk/scooter home they will be crossing roads during rush hour.
Who will supervise your children when they get on the bus?
If teachers are to mark work when will they do it?
When will teachers moderate coursework?
When will they meet parents?
What will happen to afterschool clubs?
When you ring the teacher when are they supposed to ring you back?
Children need a childhood!
My DDs are already out the house from 7.35am until 4.30pm due to their useless bus. (It takes 60 minutes to do a 15 minute journey because the council are too mean and too disorganised to come up with sensible bus routes )
Therefore, Gove can fuck the fuck off again! He's already been told to fuck of for new Ofsted frame work and farting about with the curriculum. I'm still not certain what exams DD2 will get!
As for shorter summer holidays, it's already insanely expensive to go in the holidays. 4 weeks will leave most families no choice, but to book in term time and refuse to pay the fines.
Hopefully that will clog up the court system big time.
Oh, and being Continental European myself, I am of the opinion that British children aren't behind in education because they have holidays that are too long or because their school days are too short. It's because the school system is rubbish!
Other countries have shorter school days, longer holidays, children start school much older and they are still doing better.
Where is your evidence for that MrsHuxtable
There isn't a "British" school system, MrsHuxtable, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.
Wow, doesn't anyone think it would make it easier for mothers to work if there was less disparity between the school day and the normal working day ?
I'm not working ATM and most work I have done in the past has been school hours and terms.
Am just slightly surprised by the universal response here ?
I think more breakfast and after-school clubs on site would certainly help many parents.
But then, Scandinavia is usually right, and Gove is usually wrong when it comes to education - so, as you were
Schools exist to educate children, not to facilitate parents going to work.
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
BTW I see there are a few posts in favour of proposals now - mainly due to them facilitating work and child-care.
- I wrote most of my post a little earlier and then suffered a family computer hijack. Just got it back, finished post and posted it, and see thread has moved quickly since.
Finland discussed in this Guardian article here:
Interestingly, in Finland the learning of second and third languages from an early age has been identified as being one of the ways to increase attainment. In addition, it's rare for Finnish TV to provide subtitles on foreign programmes which aids learning of languages.
Research has shown that learning languages early on promotes thinking skills.
Should have said, Finland consistently ranks very high on PISA tables.
Just reading the thread and was a bit surprised at that Blissx. You know what nonce means? It means someone who rapes children. That's a bit strong isn't it? Not seen anyone call anyone else that on MN before.
Anyway back on topic. I think it is a good idea for schools to facilitate childcare on the premises to make life easier for people who work. So like our school has breakfast club which we use and is really good, I'm sure other parents would appreciate more after school etc.
I do not think that more hours teaching and more weeks teaching sounds like a very good idea. Children and teachers would be exhausted.
Yes, I noticed that about the strong language too Tabard - weirdly uncalled for
"Finland consistently ranks very high on PISA tables."
The PISA tables where never ment to be put in to a league table (even their own website says so)
The tests are only every couple of years and they do not measure the same thing each time.
They are not a measure of educational excellence.
How would these extended hours be funded? It costs money to keep schools open, and as has been noted up thread, a council has been looking to shorten the school day to save money?
Possibly they could charge a fee for extension activities. Oh, hang on...
OK, point taken Boney but the fact remains that they are a measure of capabilities/skills for matched cohorts of students in core areas.
Nobody has mentioned Private Schools have longer holidays, yet...
Exams were never intended as a way to rank schools in the UK, but they are. If the UK were to progress in the PISA ranking, I'm sure Gove would take the credit.
Breakfast club and after school clubs are not school. i totally agree with all schools providing these but my dd's after school club is run by an outside agency not school staff.
I notice on the bbc article, it quotes schools with different term times, but these don't have a longer day or work more days. I worked at a school that did the 6 week term model with 5 weeks in the summer and 2 weeks in October and most staff and parents liked it. We also started early but also finished early on a Friday.
the optimum class size for infants is 14. that would make a massive difference to progess. 14 children in the class means the teacher can work with them all twice everyday.
send in off-fuck
there is no such thing as a matched cohort of students, all students are different. Just because they are set 1 for maths doesn't mean that they are the same as everyone else's set 1 for maths.
Blissx - Private schools also, generally, have smaller classes, longer days, sometimes school on a Saturday, set prep times for boarders, and the staff are expected to provide high levels of support to pupils outwith lessons.
Sorry, I lumped all the British school systems into one but they are not that different from each other compared to other European ones.
Shorter school holidays, time spend in classroom:
Later school starting age:
And then you can compare that to Pisa results or similar. Am not going to look for more links as I'm actually busy with an assignment but it wasn't too many years ago that I had to compare pupils achievements across Europe for my degree so am pretty confident in what I'm saying.
It just bugs me to see another attack on family life in Britain and prolonging school days and shortening the holidays is exactly what it is.
If summer holidays are shorter they will be even more expensive than they are already.
Fuck my workload, holidays etc as a teacher - I am most annoyed about this witless idea as a parent. I barely see my kids as it is. If I can finish early, then take them out for tea or play outside now it is light for a few hours before bed, it is bliss. That is what they need, not more bloody school.
Boney: from PISAs website -
"Who takes the PISA tests?
Schools in each country are randomly selected by the international contractor for participation in PISA. At these schools, the test is given to students who are between age 15 years 3 months and age 16 years 2 months at the time of the test, rather than to students in a specific year of school. This average age of 15 was chosen because at this age young people in most OECD countries are nearing the end of compulsory education. The selection of schools and students is kept as inclusive as possible, so that the sample of students comes from a broad range of backgrounds and abilities."
So they do select a broad range,in each country, from the same age cohort. That's what I mean by matched. Probably didnt express that very well did I??
I teach in a private school. We teach until 4.15 our day pupils are in school until six, our boarders do two hours at least prep a night, 8 weeks off over the summer, smaller classes - having 18 instead of 35 children in a class is so beneficial.
Gove - I have as many words for him as he has experience in running a school.
I am so so glad to have left the state sector. I hate to see what he's doing to it.
I think it is a ridiculous idea. I think the academic part of the school day should be shorter and children should only study until lunch time. My afternoon lessons are nowhere near as productive as morning lessons as I think they get tired of concentrating. I know I have some of my classes in the morning and on other days in the afternoon - productivity is so much lower in the afternoon.
Rather than go home at lunch, the afternoon could be given over to other skills - sports, creative stuff etc. the school day would still finish at 3, but after an afternoon of 'fun' activities, the children might feel more refreshed and in a better state if mind to study at home.
I'm not one of those people who says 'if I lose my holidays I'll leave' because I love my job. But, things would slip. I wouldn't have time to plan so thoroughly or mark work in as detailed way as I do now. I would want more money to reflect the increased hours.
If something like this were to go through, I would also have to give up my Guide group - I don't mind giving up my time at present but if I had less, I wouldn't be quite so willing so that's an extra curricular activity for children that may cease to exist.
It is not true that all independent schools have significantly longer schools days.
DD goes to an independent primary and is going to an independent high school. They are typical of all the independent schools locally, infact her primary has slightly longer days than the norm even for the local independents :
Infants: 8:30am to 3:30pm
Juniors: 8:30am to 3:45pm
Secondary: 8:30am to 3:30pm
They have a longer lunch time and have two breaks each day (morning and afternoon) where most of our local state juniors and secondaries only have a morning break.
They have 3 extra week's holidays - a week extra at Christmas, Easter and the summer.
The finish at noon before each of these holidays. They usually break up on a Thursday, and they always return back on the Tuesday. They have half to a full day off a year for scholarship day - to celebrate the Y6s getting scholarships into the high schools.
DD's primary school never closes for snow as small enough to cope on skeleton staff. The other independents DO close on snow days, regularly.
There is NO weekend school.
The after school clubs and homework clubs are all optional.
The breakfast is optional.
They do have smaller classes. Rather than paying for teaching and support staff to open longer and longer - why not plough the money into more staff to enable this is state schools instead?
There should be free wraparound care and holiday clubs to help working parents but no way should kids do more school.
The PISA tables have been covered, see upthread
YANBU. It's a bad idea for many reasons.
My dc are already really tired at the end of a long term. I don't want them to have shorter holidays and I definitely don't want them to have to do longer days. I feel that I sometimes don't see enough of them as it is. I get the feeling this is a plan to turn schools into glorified child minders so that we can all work longer hours
They are not standard tests though as (for example) one year is maths, one is year English, and the next one is science, nor do they test the same children again so they cannot measure any form of progression within that group.
The PISA tests take a snap shot of the ability of a group at a single point in time. To say that they are taught better is a fallacy as there is no meaningful way to track data. or create a datum from which to mark.
Salmotrutta So read my other post stating that very fact-smaller class sizes would be more beneficial than changing the holidays, hence my point. Geeez!
NiceTabard-hold my hand up and say, no, I did not know that. I take it back and thank you for educating me. I feel humbled. Still didn't like what Mrs Huxtable said though.
I've done some supply in independents Hulababy (Scotland) and the Secondary day was longer than state schools. Lunch was just an hour, and no afternoon break.
Many of them finish at 4.15-4.30 and I know a couple who have Saturday mornings too.
Obviously they will all vary - but in comparison with state sector the day is "fuller" although the holidays longer.
State schools I've worked in tend to have longer form times, shorter lessons at certain points in the day.
I work in a private school and our school day is 8.30-5.00 for Juniors/Seniors and 9.00-3.30 for infants. We also have Saturday school for Juniors/Seniors and optional activities/care up to 6.00 for infants. Juniors and Seniors can stay till all hours as we are also a boarding school.
BUT - we have longer holidays.
The children couldn't cope with the extended week combined with the shorter holidays, they need one or the other.
what breaks do you have during the day?
How long are your lessons?
Yes - some independents may have longer hours but in no way is it all, not even sure it is even most. My experience of using independent sector is that they are, throughout the whole year, in school for about the same time than state schools.
But my point is that - regardless of this - independents generally do better. So if it isn't the time spent in school what is it?
i suspect smaller class sizes is one of the biggest things - both as a parent and as an ex teacher, plus now too as a HLTA.
So put the money in there.
Pay for more teaching staff and reduce class sizes. Give each child more 1:1 time with their teachers and TAs.
I actually don't have a problem with this at all.
My 'new' school day courtesy of Fuckwit Gove!
4:45am Rise and shine. Not only do I get myself ready, but I get my toddler ready too.
5:45am Drop off toddler at childminders. Someone else whose working day will be longer!
6:45am Arrive at work after a 60 minute drive.
7:30am School begins. (I can REALLY see 4 year olds happily skipping to school at 7:15am!)
5:30pm School ends. I have an endless task of planning, resourcing, assessing and marking work as well as meetings, displays and organisational duties to do. I suppose tea will be at work too!
7:30pm Set off for home.
8:30pm Arrive home. Husband has picked up toddler from childminders. DH has been home for four hours and toddler iin bed for 90 minutes. I then have a cuppa, quick chat with DH and continue the work I couldn't finish at school.
11:30pm Am predicting this will be my new bedtime.
I AM A PARENT TOO!
Yes, I see what you mean Boney - I still think Finland is doing well by their pupils though but it may be due to a combination of so many factors?
Languages, less "testing", more freedom for teachers. This is partly what Curriculum for Excellence is trying to achieve in Scotland.
Except they haven't given us the time, money or resources to deliver it properly
from september next year
bollocks to that
give us a chance to resign first Gove - you utter wanker
I don't think that resigning will be an issue.
Paying the extended long term cover for all of the burnt out teachers on medical leave will be the issue.
I think he hasn't really worked out how much this would cost. It's not just teachers who would be paid more, it would be TAs, secretaries, Lunch time supervisors, supply teachers and other staff being paid more, as most of these staff are paid hourly/daily. More resources would be used by students, and there would probably be more wear and tear on the school buildings and facilities too. School transport would cost more and be at peak times. There would be more useage of electricity and water.
It would also impact on the businesses of childcare providers- these people must contribute to the economy too.
Obviously children are the most important thing, but given Gove is talking about economic benefits, he should also consider the economic losses.
There's no doubt smaller class sizes have a big impact on attainment.
Far more chance to spend one-to-one time and private schools also have fewer "behavioural" problems. Less time spent on sorting out disruptive pupils!
Oops! Thread has moved on - again!!
Terrible idea, I would home school if this happened. I actually like spending time with my child and wish some of the holidays were longer.
Teachers won't get paid more as they won't have to be qualified.
gove wants to do away with the TAs.
Well if my TA job goes and this came through - don't think I'd bother returning as a teacher that's for sure.
Mind you - half of the teachers they decide to employ will probably be of the unqualified variety anyway based on past comments from his like.
Actually, I don't know who's worse - your Gove or our Russell
Whilst you're at it you could link to the thread here to read how Gove has persistently misled parents & then sign the petition to ask him to stop treating out children as political footballs.
And then bump it.
And then get as many other parents to sign it too.
I would be happy to see the DDs have a slightly shorter school day, perhaps just 8.30 - 1.30pm...but just have 4-5 weeks of school holidays per year.
It would perhaps suit teachers better. Then they could work a regular, daily 8.30am - 5.00pm (using the time in school from 1.30pm - 5.00pm every day, to do all their prep/marking/planning), and also just have 4-5 of holidays per year.
Oh and no Admin help as he is removing that clause from the terms of service as well. So some of the office staff will go as well.
Infants have breaks 11-11.30, 12.30-1.30 and 3.00-3.10
Younger Juniors have breaks 11-11.30, 12.10-12.30 (lunch), 1.10-1.50 and 3.30-3.45.
Older Juniors and Seniors have breaks 11-11.30, 12.50-1.50 and 3.20-3.30
Our lessons are 40 minutes long. There are 9 of them a day (but 2 per day are sport)
Just interested in your day
When you say sport is that as in teaching PE, or a choice of a sport that is supervised?
Is Technology also a double?
I mean teaching PE. And yes, technology is always a double as is art. Science, Maths and English usually have at least one double a week.
Why don't we just put our children in an institution at birth and see them again at 18? Then we could all work full time in the non existent jobs and have no childcare worries. All children would be brought up exactly the same and all problems eradicated.
Thank goodness I home educate. I actually like seeing my children once in a while, thank you Mr Gove
Seems like a good timetable to work to.
you know I think this suggestion about the longer day could be a smokescreen and his main aim is the dismantling of teacher's pay and conditions (which would mean the longer day would eventually be brought in anyway).
Obviously thought up to facilitate both parents working more hours.
Well we are struggling for people to fill up those thousands of vacant positions in the uk.
Ridiculous. The amount of hours IMO has nothing to do with why we trail behind a lot of other countries education wise. In infant schools the afternoons are already pretty much a write off because the children are so tired. Certainly the more important stuff is done in the morning when the children are alert. Longer days is just going to mean they are tired all the time.
Absolutely insane. I would also be looking to homeschool if this came in.
I live in an area with lots of independent schools and I think there are a few reasons why children thrive in them but its not longer days! Most of the independents have the same overall time in school as the state schools, but the main difference is the use of specialist teachers for gym, art, music etc. It means the class teacher is free to focus on the class topics without having to also plan art lessons or PE classes etc. Also the children benefit from being taught subject by people who are specialist in that subject and are enthusiastic about it eg art.
To make the state sector equivalent they would need to free teachers time so that they can teach.
True about independents... they use far more specialists in schools ime.
Just thinking of DD's primary school, all of the below are within the normal timetable for all children:
Languages - specialist French teacher who comes in just to teach French but to all children from preschool up, and also go on the French residential trip every other year.
Cookery - specialist teacher; throughout juniors
PE - qualified Pe teacher who was also an Olympian twice; throughout whole school
Diving - Olympic diver (see above) - Y6
Tennis - qualified tennis coach - juniors
Ballet - qualified ballet teacher - infants
Judo - qualified instructor - Y3 and 4
Woodwork - qualified instructor - throughout juniors
Kickstart (ball skills) - qualified instructors - infants
That's just some of them.
The juniors also have different teachers for different classes - so they have an English teacher, a Maths teacher, a science teacher, a humanities teacher, a music teacher, an ICT teacher, etc. These teachers all have subject specialisms and then teach throughout the key stage, specialising in their known subject.
And they have reduced class sizes.
Agree with Mrshuxtable. Other European countries have longer summer holidays and shorter school days and have, IMO, more successful education systems.
It's a stupid policy which is trying to get teachers to subsidise child are through the back door with a complete disregard of the welfare of children, teachers and pupils alike
My DS is at an independent school and their day is 850-310 for infants, it increases to 330 at juniors and a bit longer at seniors. They still have 4 extra weeks holiday a year plus an inset day each term.
They do sport lessons 4 times a week from juniors, languages from age 4, compulsory imstrument lessons and various other additional lessons that the local state schools don't do.
They have smaller classes of course but seem to get all these things done in a normal school day with more time off and get approx 40% more A-C gcse grades than the local state schools in spite of being non selective.
The answer is most definitely not longer days - this is just an effort to mask the fact that there are too many children in the class room IMO. Surely putting the money into having smaller class sizes would be more beneficial - even 20 at infants/juniors would be a massive improvement.
This document makes a comparison of school hours and how it is spent, across key stages, for a range of developing countries
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