To ask if parents support a longer school day?

(198 Posts)
namechangingf123 Thu 17-Oct-13 22:56:02

As Michael Gove is proposing? Would it help you as a working parent?

How long would suit you/your child? And if you didn't agree with longer day (as I don't) would you/could you just pick DC up at 3.15ish as usual?

WorraLiberty Thu 17-Oct-13 23:00:12

I don't think we should be looking at this from the point of view of the parents.

What is best for the children is what we should be looking at here.

I don't agree with a longer day because I believe six hours is enough for my kids, although I know a lot of teachers who are under too much pressure to deliver so much within those I don't blame some of them for wanting extra time.

If my DCs school hours did change, then no I wouldn't just pick them up when I wanted to.

I'd abide by the school rules or home educate.

josephinebruce Thu 17-Oct-13 23:01:08

More importantly, what effect would this have on young children who have already spent several hours that day working? I fully support the need for decent childcare after school, but this should not involve any extra work for the children - or the teachers. By 3.15 children need a break - some time to chill, play, relax and then go home.

SaucyJack Thu 17-Oct-13 23:01:44

Six hours a day, every is more than enough IMO. They practically live at school as it is.

WorraLiberty Thu 17-Oct-13 23:02:37

Mind you, I'm 44 and when I went to Primary school the hours were 9.15 - 4pm.

My kids school hours are 8.55am - 3pm.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 17-Oct-13 23:03:04

I think a longer school day is muddying the issue. What parents need is after school care. I don't agree with a longer school day. I don't think Gove is capable of distinguishing between the two. Mainly because he is not interested in education. Or children.

MoneyMug Thu 17-Oct-13 23:03:28

School is there to provide children with an education, not to provide parents with childcare.

ShoeWhore Thu 17-Oct-13 23:04:06

The current school day is easily long enough for my dcs.

After school they enjoy activities and unwinding at home, spending time as a family etc.

I also wonder when teachers would have time to plan/mark/eat/sleep?

17leftfeet Thu 17-Oct-13 23:04:06

Younger than 7 my dcs wouldn't have coped

7-11 they would have been quite happy at school until 5 but I don't pick them up from childcare until 5.45 so would make no difference

11+ I think time for sports/clubs/social activities becomes more important so I wouldn't want them to have a longer formal school day

BlackberrySeason Thu 17-Oct-13 23:04:42

No - I think it is a truly terrible idea.

ShoeWhore Thu 17-Oct-13 23:05:09

Totally agree that better wrap-around care is needed.

I do not support this at all.

DD1 has only started in P1 and is in until 2. She is exhausted all the time. She will settle, but even for the older kids, and teens in secondary, the day is long enough. I remember coming home from secondary and being so exhausted I fell asleep before dinner.

AuntieStella Thu 17-Oct-13 23:05:28

It depends on the age of the pupils.

An hour or so on a homework club (homework, reading, quiet drawing; minimal supervision needed) could be a good thing - probably covering the middle school years (4-8)

EthethethethChrisWaddle Thu 17-Oct-13 23:06:18

Well I work in a school so it would only make my working hours longer, and I'd rather spend them at home with my own children. So no, I wouldn't support a longer school day.

FloozeyLoozey Thu 17-Oct-13 23:07:05

Longer school day but with more sports to fill the extra time. Would be cheaper for me as a full time working single parent than four days a week at after school club. And yes it is in ds' interests for me to work full time when it puts food on the table and shoes on his feet and a roof over his head! I don't work for fun, I work out of necessity! In an ideal world all children would be able to trot home at 315 but that isn't the reality for many people now, including two parent families.

WorraLiberty Thu 17-Oct-13 23:09:00

Who wants to be forced into a homework club five days a week after already putting in 6+ hours of schooling?

I know kids who already have trouble coping with an hour in breakfast club, 6+ hours at school and then another 3 hours with a CM or after school club.

Fortunately the 2 kids I'm thinking of who don't cope that well, only have to endure this 3 days a week.

But extending the school day would mean spending longer at school by law.

Blu Thu 17-Oct-13 23:09:00

I am a wohm, f/t.

Yes, It would help me as a working parent but no I wouldn't support it.

Too tiring.

Now, I find it convenient when DS chooses after-school activities, but that is his choice and he enjoys them, and is relaxed about it.

They are children, they should not be expected to be in a compulsory, structured environment for the same length as an adult day.

Provision of childcare is a different matter.

tethersend Thu 17-Oct-13 23:09:42

Would schools' longer days be offset by longer school holidays as with Toby Young's free school model?

hiddenhome Thu 17-Oct-13 23:10:14

No way. Both my kids are ready for home by 3:15. They also do out of school activities so longer school hours would be too much for them.

elQuintoConyo Thu 17-Oct-13 23:10:34

Spanish primary school hours are: 9-1 then 3-5. Nuts.

NoComet Thu 17-Oct-13 23:10:49

No way, good after school clubs, yes longer school day, no!

Children need space to be themselves, to do things they love and to be with peers they choose not just go to the same school with.

They need time to play in their gardens or local park and invent their own games.

Huge amounts of 'learning' went on it the park while the mum's chattered on summers evenings. Complex games involving dens and sticks and climbing trees. Totally impossible in the confines of school or an organised club.

Gove's holiday rules already make school feel like a prison sentence. He doesn't need to make things any worse.

gleegeek Thu 17-Oct-13 23:10:50

No not at all. If children can't learn enough from 9-3 then I think that's pretty poor. Being there longer does not necessarily mean better grades...

My dd does ballet, swimming, piano, Guides, drama after school and sees friends and does her homework. All that would go (apart from homework possibly, but the clue is in the name, surely it would then be schoolwork???)

Our poor childrensad Wrap around childcare is one thing, but more school hours of work? No way.

Moonstorm Thu 17-Oct-13 23:13:26

There's no way I would support it.

Mellowandfruitful Thu 17-Oct-13 23:13:49

Agree with every word bearleftmonkeyright said above. The school day should not be longer; better afterschool care should be in place. Not that Gove actually cares what happens to children.

JewelFairies Thu 17-Oct-13 23:16:00

I want quality, not quantity.

MrsBungle Thu 17-Oct-13 23:18:11

I wouldn't agree with it. My not-long-turned 4 year old's school hours are 8:50 until 3:30. The high school kids round here do fewer hours than that.

Our school has excellent wrap around care, I do think this should be available at all schools.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 23:18:47

No - the day is long enough for little kids, and at secondary there's enough who have to travel quite a way to make it unfeasible (esp in rural areas). My DD has to be out of the door 7:30 and isn't home before 4:45, later if there's any after school activity.

Good breakfast/after school clubs (and homework/ICT/library access for older pupils) on the school premises yes, but the basic day is about right.

timidviper Thu 17-Oct-13 23:20:40

Agree this should be around what is best for children, not what suits working parents.

My DCs went to a senior school that had a compulsory cadet corps after school on a Monday so school finished at 5.30pm. It was brilliant!

I am not a working parent. I do not want my children to be kept at school for longer hours so that those parents who choose to work have fewer childcare issues. However, I wholeheartedly support any proposals which improve the availability morning and evening childcare to those families that want and need it.

QueFonda Thu 17-Oct-13 23:21:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 17-Oct-13 23:22:59

For me an extra 10 minutes would help.

Abbierhodes Thu 17-Oct-13 23:28:03

I'm a working parent and a teacher, so looking from both sides of the fence.
I would not support this at all!
Better wrap around care would be great, and I'd love to see a better range of after school clubs.

My children do martial arts, scouts and swimming, all quite late in the evening. Which means 3 days a week I have to pay for after school care, rush to pick them up and then rush them to their clubs. By the time they finish it's pretty much bedtime, so very little family time. They don't want to give up their hobbies and I won't make them, but I do wish they were on between 3 and 5!

Flatiron Thu 17-Oct-13 23:30:41

When I was scrolling through the threads, I read this as a 'longer school play' grin No to both!

jellybeans Thu 17-Oct-13 23:31:59

The school day is long enough. I would not support longer school day. Yes to good before and after school clubs for those who want or need it but I would pick my kids up usual time or home ed rather than have my kids in 8 till 6 when I don't need it.

clam Thu 17-Oct-13 23:50:05

WorraLiberty: "I know a lot of teachers who are under too much pressure to deliver so much within those I don't blame some of them for wanting extra time."

Seriously? You know of teachers who want a longer day? I don't know of ANY (and I know a LOT of teachers!)

Jellypudmum Thu 17-Oct-13 23:53:50

Why is Gove so insistent on wrecking children's childhood? When was it ever considered a good thing to put even more pressure and less relaxation time on children?

valiumredhead Fri 18-Oct-13 00:02:50

Ds asked his head teacher about this and shorter summer hols as he'd heard or it read it in the news, apparently she muttered something about 'over my dead body' grin

clam Fri 18-Oct-13 00:04:41

Yeah, wasn't it Gove who said, "if teachers enjoy their job, they should be glad of the opportunity to do it for longer for no extra pay?


HulaHooperStormTrooper Fri 18-Oct-13 00:06:44

I would prefer shorter hours spread over 6 days instead of 5. Longer school days in my opinion would be of no benefit to the child.

Sparkle9 Fri 18-Oct-13 00:08:47

My school is open 8 to 6 but the teaching hours are a normal 9 to 3.15. A not-for-profit company provides the 8-9 and 3.15-6 wrap-around care for those children/parents requiring it. IMO this is the best model - the costs are low because the company is using the school premises and doesn't have rent, energy, council rates to pay (but does make a contribution to the school to cover energy etc). I'm a teacher and I am usually at school 8-5 but I need that time around the teaching time of 9-3.15 to be able to do all the other parts of my job that don't involve directly working with my class! There is not a chance I could work longer hours with the children and still be able to mark, plan, assess, organise trips, meet with parents, arrange the Christmas play, organise my classroom, order new classroom resources, speak to the SENCO about children, mentor my student teacher...... You get the idea!

I agree with other posters that compulsory longer days are no good for the children either.

Sports coaching etc would be excellent in the wrap-around time but these coaches cost more than the quite low paid childcare workers and parents already think that after-school care is outrageously expensive so I'm not sure where the funds would come from for this.

Notcontent Fri 18-Oct-13 00:15:23

It's a stupid idea. What we need is smaller classes and better, more focused teaching, not a longer day.
My dd goes to a good school - but they spend so much time doing very little...

WorraLiberty Fri 18-Oct-13 00:21:43

Yes Clam I do know teachers who feel that way.

But that's mainly because my DC's school is one of only 12 in the borough that starts at 8.55am and finishes at 3pm.

All the others finish at 3.20pm or 3.30pm.

I know it's only 20 mins to half an hour's difference, but to them they feel they have to deliver the same as other teachers in the borough, but with less time.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 18-Oct-13 00:21:57

I don't see how giving a choice in terms of education would work tbh.
Fair enough to supply after school activities, and childcare but those not staying would have less time at school for education purpose.
If it was compulsory to stay longer many small businesses and self employed service providers would lose part if not all of their income.
Likewise dc would miss out on extra curricular activities and groups not organised by schools.
They don't need more time in school, its a ridiculous idea.
We H.ed and fit into a couple of hours what it takes all day to achieve at a school so are lucky in regarding lots of free time, but for those who aren't they really need this time to play, fun activities or hobbies, chill out and be kids.

farewellfarewell Fri 18-Oct-13 00:26:42

what is all this' working parents' stuff about anyway? do I think it is something which would benefit children? no I don't-and that is the question we need to ask ourselves. childcare is a whole other question. I work full-time, doesn't mean I want to see all children stuck in school from 8-6....

Xochiquetzal Fri 18-Oct-13 00:32:52

reception DD's school day is 8.50-3.15 and she generally falls asleep within 45 minutes of getting home from school, she couldn't cope with longer days!

Isityouorme Fri 18-Oct-13 06:12:46

In terms of secondary school, I would support a longer day where the children do homework at school in a structured environment where they can get support. Secondary schools finish earlier than junior schools round here!

No. I have deliberately sacrificed a higher income to be part time to spend time with my child. That is my choice, as it is individual choice of full time working mothers. I would be pissed off to be honest if our family life had to be dictated to by their choice.

Better options for out of school childcare for those who want it is a better option. My ds goes to bed fairly late but finishing at 5, our 'quality time' would be tea, homework, bath and bed. Where is the time to be a child?

oliveoctagon Fri 18-Oct-13 06:31:16

Dd does 7.30- 5.30/6 and she is 5 but she is having fun with her friends at that time. I dont want her in school as she loves where she goes.

sleepywombat Fri 18-Oct-13 06:54:51

My private school used to finish at 5, for all juniors (over 7s, the under 7s finished at 3.30). But we had NO homework at all. I loved it.

The schools around here (Australia), private & state, finish at 2.30, but children have ridiculous amounts of homework from year 1 age. A lot of which are craft projects etc. I know our neighbours (my dcs are still pre-school) hate it - takes up the whole afternoon, evening, weekends - children don't get to play outside, parents don't have time to help with work/younger siblings etc

MammaTJ Fri 18-Oct-13 06:59:39

I pay for after school care and still would not want my DC to have a longer school day. They have enough on their plates with what they already learn. The after school club is FUN!! They need that in their lives too. By the time their dad has picked them up from that, got them home and cooked their tea, read with them, had quiet time and got them ready for bed, it really is time for bed for a 7 and 8 year old.

clam Fri 18-Oct-13 07:12:02

worra I don't know how some schools can 'get away with' having a day that short, to be honest. Ours is 8.50 to 3.20 with one 15 minute break (two of those for ks1)) and an hour for lunch (plus 10 mins for ks1).

If secondaries finish earlier in some areas, then I'd guess that maybe they've taken that time off breaks throughout the day, maybe?

ICameOnTheJitney Fri 18-Oct-13 07:33:54

Mine would not be staying. I support a SHORTER school day.

Jinsei Fri 18-Oct-13 07:38:26

I work FT but wouldn't support a longer school day, I think it would be too much for the children. A better range of after school clubs would be good though - especially sports activities, as it's clear that lots of kids need more exercise. Our school is actually very good on this, and dd could probably stay at school until 4.20pm every day if she chose to, without extra charge! However, I appreciate that her school isn't the norm.

Eastpoint Fri 18-Oct-13 07:42:30

I think one of the reasons a longer school day is proposed is to reduce the gap between the children whose parents do take their children to swimming, ballet etc and the children whose parents just leave them in front of a tv and don't engage with them.

A friend of mine is a TA at a primary school in a very disadvantaged area and they had to have extended hours for a period of time as the school's renovations were delayed & they needed to make up hours. She said attendance improved and the school decided to keep the extended hours.

ICameOnTheJitney Fri 18-Oct-13 07:43:39

East well that's very kind of the government but what about the parents who spend time with their children? I don't want mine stuffed in school for longer than they already are.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 18-Oct-13 07:45:58

Absolutely not. Between travel and homework it's a nine hour day as it is. That's more than full time job hours. They have their whole lives as adults to stress and work and be stuck in an office barely seeing daylight in the winter. No way do I want my kids to deal with that. They need time to play it's already a struggle to fit it all in

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 07:46:52

Yes, I support it. We do it already. My 10 year old finishes at 4.45 or 5.30 but by time we leave school she has already done her prep and, on 5.30 days, already eaten dinner. So the rest of the evening is free for activities. My 6 year old still finishes at 3.30 but she'll be 4.45 from next year too and that will make everything easier because at the moment she's stuck in after school club waiting for me to finish teaching and go and get her.

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 07:47:57

posted too soon.

I don't think it's too much for children because it isn't all academic. In that time frame they get sport every day. They also don't have to do homework.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 07:51:52

>done her prep and, on 5.30 days, already eaten dinner

that's effectively more like 'after school club' than a longer 'school day' per se though. And yes, having more sport in the day would be good for most schools, but again that could be part of the extension rather than the core.

OwlinaTree Fri 18-Oct-13 07:52:38

Schools as a childcare provision hub yes. We need affordable childcare to enable more people to work. Schools are already set up with the right facilities for children and are safe. They are the obvious place for large scale affordable/free childcare. I could see vast potential in school facilities being used to provide a whole range of activities for children and being open till 6. I'd charge a nominal fee for this (couple of quid) and the government could fund child carers, sports coaches, Brownie leaders, scouts etc to run sessions.

What I would not agree to is making this compulsory or making it lesson based. They've had enough by 330 if you are teaching then properly, especially little ones. Also they need a variety of experiences not just school learning, although this is very important!

I'm all for longer days but I would like to see, no homework and for secondary school children to be learning a skill, like basic plumbing, mechanics, electrics or something similar. Alongside regular lessons.

I think anything before KS2 is too young for longer days.

Decent breakfast and after school clubs need to be mandatory, the primary my kids go to is excellent except the after school clubs which are dire, they're not consistent, fair or plentiful.

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 07:56:39

I suppose it's similar yes. But actual teaching time finishes at 4.45 (that's games in the summer and academic lessons in the winter) so, even though prep etc is built in, they are actually learning in the classroom much later than 3.30. We have built in short prep slots from 2-2.20 and from 4.50-5.20 (changes depending on age but that's my daughter's current times) and do sport from 2.20-3.30 in the Winter so they can easily be doing maths or english in the dark at 4.30. Seems to work.

Sport can only be part of the core in Summer. It's too dark to see the ball after 4.00 in Winter

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 07:57:26

sorry, that was to Errol

Trifle Fri 18-Oct-13 08:00:06

I definitely support it. I'm my ds' last school they went 08.30 - 5pm which included an hour of sport a day and competitive matches against other schools every Wednesday afternoon.

A longer day which includes sport would get them ready for the real world where very few jobs are 9-3, an increase in sport would help reduce the vast number of overweight kids, would promote team work and sportsmanship, would alleviate the vast number of children who spend endless hours after school on games consoles and would help working parents.

For me it's a no brainer.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 18-Oct-13 08:01:12

I don't support a longer school day. It's already enough for our children to achieve academically, and they need to have time away from school as well. I'd support schools offering more extra curricular clubs and homework support clubs, but these have to be optional, and teachers should not be forced into running them.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 18-Oct-13 08:04:00

Yes few jobs are 9-3 but as an adult you cope. Asking reception kids who just turned four and collapse upon pick up to stay longer is a terrible idea. At least at a CM or ASC they can rest a bit or maybe even sleep at the CM. And what use is it for a parent to have one they need to pick up And another one staying? Defeats object surely

ivykaty44 Fri 18-Oct-13 08:08:09

my dd2 is in year 10 and is suffering this term from teen tiredness, if the school days were longer then she would suffer and certainly wouldn't be learning in school for the extra time she was there, she went to bed at 8pm on monday.

Added to which spends considerable time doing homework and extra sport out of school (not the type of school offered sport), she has now signed up for DofE, if the school day is longer then she would have to forgo outside activities which are just as important to her all round learning as school work.

If she is tierd she can miss sports one night or so and go the following week, much as she hated doing so last week but school wouldn't allow that.

I think GOVE has to realise there is life outside school

Xoanon Fri 18-Oct-13 08:10:11

I would absolutely not support it. My kids do music dance and drama after school every day of the week. If the school day was extended that would all have to go (and two of them would die. The other one would probably be fine with it). Gove is trying to destroy arts Ed n this country - he's already all but stripped it from schools, now he's trying to stop kids accessing it outside of school. sad

racmun Fri 18-Oct-13 08:10:38

Awful idea. If Gove believes that schools aren't achieving enough in 6 hours then perhaps that is because there are too many children in the class and the teacher can't work miracles.

I can see at GCSE level and above an extra 1/2 hour a day could help. Most private schools finish at at least 4 whereas the state senior schools finish at 3:20, which is pretty early for older teenagers.

impty Fri 18-Oct-13 08:11:23


Currently my teens are at school until 5 or 6 because they got into the school play. They are exhausted! On top of that I always know when half term is coming because again, they are exhausted. They are children, not mini adults.

Tiredemma Fri 18-Oct-13 08:15:03

Id support a 'longer day' if the day was utilised for things like sport, music, drama, etc etc. Not just 'more of the same'

valiumredhead Fri 18-Oct-13 08:15:21

Trifle-why do they have to get ready for the work place when they are children?confused what about childhood?

2rebecca Fri 18-Oct-13 08:15:28

No, especially not primary school children. If people choose to have children they have to think about how they will look after those children.
The school day should be arranged around what the child needs for learning. Anything extra is childcare and should be sorted out by the parents in a manner that suits the parents. Children shouldn't be imprisoned in schools for longer just to suit businesses.
I agree that putting more teachers in to provide more help for those struggling would be more productive than keeping them in for longer.

Retroformica Fri 18-Oct-13 08:21:49

Looking at it from he kids angle, I agree 6 hours is enough. Kids need to play and spend time with family after 3.15pm. Work/home life balance. To produce well rounded happy children we need to ensure needs are met.

Also Goves proposal is simply a way of trying to get parents working longer hours and therefore giving more money to the state through taxes. It's a money spinner.

Ragwort Fri 18-Oct-13 08:22:19

The child care aspect does not worry me personally as I am a SAHM but what does concern me is that so many children leave school without the basic literacy and numeracy skills; numerous studies tell us that British children lag behind on the education league tables. Employers say that they are having to teach school leavers really basic skills.

I don't know what the answer is, would a longer day help? I would support a longer day if we could raise our education standards.

ArgyMargy Fri 18-Oct-13 08:24:35

My hours at primary school were 9 til 4.15. But we didn't have homework. And we spent a lot of time in the playground. DCs secondary hours were 8.40 to 3.30 but they had a decent lunch hour break. Some schools here keep lunch very short so that they don't have to deal with trouble in the playground. That sucks, IMO.

5madthings Fri 18-Oct-13 08:25:37

god no.

my younger ones would be knackered and as for it being a way to stop obesity! are skinny as rakes. but they walk to school and back and we often stop at the park. they do extra sports and after school clubs if they want to.

my kids also play out tho...which would see me labelled as a bad parent on another thread.

i dont want them at activities everyday after school and i want to spend time with them, prepping dinner together and even doing homework etc together. we can at our own pace and chat etc and then i cam still get little ones in bed by 7:00pm but its relaxed and not rushed.

quite happy to have there be good wrap around childcare there for those that need it, but not to make it compulsory.

PrimalLass Fri 18-Oct-13 08:37:39

Longer school day but with more sports to fill the extra time.

Yes this would be fine IMO. Sports, or drama, or Brownies, or crafty stuff after 3pm. What we do anyway really.

Xoanon Fri 18-Oct-13 08:46:01

None if the three schools my kids attend offer adequate music drama and dance across the spectrum my kids wish to access (the primary is rubbish full stop, both secondaries have some strengths but some weaknesses and not one of the school offers any dance). I have no reason to believe that if the school day was extended any of the schools would magically stop being to a greater or lesser extent sub optimal with its arts provision.

Xoanon Fri 18-Oct-13 08:47:27

primal I don't think my DD2 would consider losing her dance and drama lessons and having them relaxed with compulsory guides or brownies or sport as anything other than a breach of her human rights. sad

cory Fri 18-Oct-13 08:47:50

One problem with "longer school days but more sport" is that it leaves no opportunity for children to develop their own interests: they will be stuck with whatever their local school can offer, even if they are Olympic sports material or promising violinists.

It leaves no space for those children who simply need to crash out for an hour or so after school before they can engage with after-school activities.

And no space for those children who want to use their initiative and provide their own after school activities: the children who write stories or read stories or simply play outside.

And absolutely agree with 5madthings about wanting time together.

Providing longer school hours and extra sport will cost money. If we put that money into improving optional childcare we can still help working parents but allow them to be flexible.

Xoanon Fri 18-Oct-13 08:48:22

For clarity - I'd be annoyed (but possibly better off financially). She'd think it was the End Of The World.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 18-Oct-13 08:51:41

And the worst thing is that parents are criticised enough for the amount of time we don't spend with
them, or for not feeding them or for not having family time and dinners together , for kids not having suitable age appropriate bed times etc. Every aspect has apparently been reported by teachers and damning reports filed about lack of parenting. Yet now he is on about keeping them for even longer? Increasing tiredness, burn out, and then we have to send them in the next day for teachers to try and teach. Yeah conducive to learning these worn out frazzled kids.

wordfactory Fri 18-Oct-13 08:53:33

Private schools do longer days often.

And it doesn't seem to affect acadmeic standards. And the DC all seem able to do a whole raft of extra activities. And there's no evidience they're all from utterly miserable families who only recognise one another by name badge!!!!

At 4, mine did 8.30 - 3.45.
At 7, mine did 8.30 - 4.15.
At 11, mine did 8.30 - 4.45.

But these were basic hours. Many kids got in earlier for choir, orchestra, sports. Many kids stayed later for all manner of clubs.

That said, we get much longer holidays!!!!!

tiggytape Fri 18-Oct-13 08:57:46

word factory but the longer holidays make up a big part of that picture: 8 or 9 weeks in the summer, a month for Christmas and Easter, and 4 weeks of half terms in total (the prep schools near us anyway).

Private schools have short bursts of intense schooling and long periods of rest. State schools have a more even pace.

I think it is a terrible idea for pretty much all the reasons discussed already. Yes to better after school provision but a definite no to enforced longer days of formal schooling unless they will get the weeks of extra holidays to recuperate.

SirChenjin Fri 18-Oct-13 08:59:29

I would welcome longer hours for the older 2 DCs at High School - up here they finish at 3.40, with a 12.30 finish on Friday (8.30 starts), and I firmly believe that they could be using the additional hours in the day more productively, perhaps with homework clubs or study sessions. I wouldn't want the 6 year old to have a longer school day - he finishes at 3.15 and then goes onto an after school club until DH or I pick him up around 5.30. That's a long enough day imo.

Most parents I know work anyway, so a longer school day wouldn't affect them much.

mycatoscar Fri 18-Oct-13 09:00:20

From a parent point of view, my child already goes to a wonderful childminder before and after school. She gets to play with her friends and chill out. I would not want her in school for this time. She is 8 and still gets very tired towards the end of the week and is nearly on her knees now because this half term is 8 weeks.

I do agree that there should be more before and after school child are available. This should be child are, not education.

As a teacher I think we need to reduce class sizes. One morning a week my class is split and I have 17 instead of 34. The amount they learn on that morning is tremendous compared to the rest of the week.

Secondly as a teacher I currently work 3 days a week and get paid for 20 hours. I work in an average week 35-40 hours. When I worked full time I put in about 60 hours a week.

This does not include the hours I work in my so called holidays.
Yes Mr Gove I love my job. No Mr Gove I don't love it so much I want to work even more hours for no extra pay. I am not superwoman and I do have a life outside of work.

Vagndidit Fri 18-Oct-13 09:00:25

I think school hours and terms are long enough as it is in this country.I grew up in the States and had an 8:15-2:15 school day in primary years, with half-days once a month and a luxurious two and a half summer break.

Quantity does not necessarily equal quality, Mr Gove, etc...

cory Fri 18-Oct-13 09:00:52

None of our local primaries have anything that could reasonably be described as a playing field. Most urban schools don't.

A longer school day would have meant our children taking all their daily exercise on a small patch of concrete instead of climbing trees in the park or exploring the woods with a parent or childminder. No space for more than one class to e.g. play football at any one time.

No drama teacher in primary and only the most basic dance lessons with an unqualified teacher.

Instruments taught in school but no space for individual children to practise their chosen instrument.

wordfactory Fri 18-Oct-13 09:01:27

tiggy that is absolutely true!

And frankly, it is no easier for working parents, because whilst one has a longer day to play with, the kids are off 21/22 weeks off a year!!!!

BoffinMum Fri 18-Oct-13 09:09:03

I think I'd like to see core time, say 9-3, and optional time between 7.30-9 and 3-6, which was more about things like free play, extra music, drama and art, friendship building, homework clubs, music practice, chillout zones, possibly a bit of sport and the occasional trip out swimming or whatever. I wouldn't expect classroom teachers to be responsible for all of that though. I see that as supplementary to education.

If they start wanting my kids in 9-5 every day from when they are barely out of nappies, sitting in rows like the French, I think we'll dump the whole school thing as a concept, tbh.

livinginwonderland Fri 18-Oct-13 09:09:07

In primary, I did 9-3.30, in secondary it was 8.30-4, and in sixth form it changed to 8.50-3.20pm. That was long enough. I stayed for after school clubs as my parents worked, but I wouldn't have wanted to be in structured lessons for any longer.

lljkk Fri 18-Oct-13 09:11:36

I think especially difficult proposal in rural areas when high travel times each way are common.

14yo DS is in favour of the idea. But only if it means no homework. 8 hour days plus homework would be ridiculous in his mind.

I looked at a private girl's secondary school that does 8 hour days. Plus > 1 hour travel time from here each way. Plus an hour of homework most nights. Room for a life? I don't think so.

BoffinMum Fri 18-Oct-13 09:12:53

BTW I think children should be in classes of 20 and certainly no more than 24. Our class sizes are huge and the teachers are spread too thin. Yes, there were bigger class sizes in years gone by, but if children misbehaved teachers were allowed to bash kids with rulers, and also everyone was forced to do the same work at the same time. Now that has changed we need to keep class sizes as small as possible. 20 is achievable and allows the class to have a bit of a social life of its own without as many noise and organisation problems as classes of 30 experience.

CatAmongThePigeons Fri 18-Oct-13 09:17:54

Why is there the need to push young children into work style hours? Do 4 year olds really need that.

I don't think you can compare private schools with state schools, as the former often has larger grounds, better facilities, a wider range of teaching staff and more often than not, half the class size of a state school.

I think there should be less forced into the curriculum and more time spent learning the basic foundations of subjects rather than walking before they can run. Longer learning days wouldn't improve test scores and magically increase all round levels if the children are too tired to learn.

Gove is so out of touch with state education it would be funny if it wouldn't damage so many children.

wordfactory Fri 18-Oct-13 09:22:44

cat that's true.

If my DC stayed after school to do, say, football, there were proper pitches and PE staff. Often specialists from outside would come in for clubs/activities.

And drinks/snacks were always provided too!

Fleta Fri 18-Oct-13 09:25:12

Wordfactory said what I was going to.

My daughter who is in Year 2 does 8.30pm to 3.30pm currently four days a week. The fifth she starts early to do a class.

I wouldn't support longer than that for Primary but would for secondary.

And yes to whoever said that concetrating on smaller class sizes is more important.

fluffyraggies Fri 18-Oct-13 09:25:45

Nope, would not want that for my kids.

In primary we already try to squeeze all the maths and literacy into the morning lessons because that's when the children are at their brightest, and that is when they learn. We try to keep the afternoons for sports, craft, IT, nature studies - less intense lessons.

In case anyone out there is thinking that perhaps it would be a great idea to stick an extra maths lesson for this age group in at, say 3.30 ... you are seriously deluded! NOTHING would get learned. By that time of day the average kid is lolling in their chair, has an attention span of about 5 mins. and needs to be allowed to stitch off, with a change of scenery and pace. ie: home or a relaxed after school club.

I'm also mulling over the ways in which the government would manage to wriggle out of paying support staff for these extra hours while the classroom are all still in use. TAs etc already tend to do at least 30/45 mins unpaid work per day. In the empty classroom at the beginning and end of the school day, doing displays, sorting equipment for the next day, helping lesson plan with the teacher, sorting lost property, printing off letters, printing off work sheets etc etc etc. These seem like small considerations - but if the school is still in full swing and full of pupils at 4.30/5pm, when is all this going to get done? Later and later. (and will these staff ever get paid for it?)

yomellamoHelly Fri 18-Oct-13 09:28:14

No. Would feel v sorry for my kids if they had to do this. They need their down-time too.

filee777 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:30:31

It is absolutely about childcare, in independent boarding schools the children are supported to study, play sports, socialise in a safe environment. It's good for them and makes much more sense than going from home to childminder to school to childminder to club to home (for example)

Yes in an ideal world we would all work 9.30 til 3 and have enough money to support everyone but it doesn't work like that.

People need to stop viewing it with the idea that it will be a longer school day and instead look at how well it works with boarding children.

I think it would take the pressure off parents a lot, which would be good for kids.

Fleta Fri 18-Oct-13 09:31:51

The major problem with the education system in this country is that it is too "one size fits all".

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoullessButSunny Fri 18-Oct-13 09:37:12

I think its a terrible idea.

Mine definitely would not cope with a longer school day.

CatAmongThePigeons Fri 18-Oct-13 09:37:54

Unfortunately state schools are nothing like boarding schools so you couldn't do anything unless lots of land was CPO and new schools built with fantastic grounds and facilities. Unfortunately for a lot of schools, they're in urban areas with minimal to no green spaces. We certainly couldn't get the breadth of after school clubs in our school, it wouldn't be possible.

Harryhairypig Fri 18-Oct-13 09:43:17

I think a slightly longer day for high school which incorporated homework time, or gave more teaching time so less homework to do at home would be good. Since having a child at high school our home life is dominated by homework which I hate. Younger than that, I think they are in school long enough already, but decent wraparound care would be more helpful.

moldingsunbeams Fri 18-Oct-13 09:44:09

I do not want a longer academic day, I do not want the pressure they have in places like Korea with dd working till late at night.

I would like after school care though, a few schools near us do compulsory after school clubs (kids get a choice).

chrome100 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:47:41

I'd be in favour of extending the school day but having perhaps the last 2 hours be sport/drama/extra curricular activities. These are the things that get squeezed and which add value to a child's education. The normal school day could be spent on academic activity, with the extra hours being wind down/exercise. Working parents can then pick their child up after work making life better for them.

Our local high school finishes at 3pm. I think that's far too early for senior pupils.

rac321 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:48:39

My dc are really tired by 3.30 and wouldn't learn much more if they stayed longer. I would support a choice of after school activities where they could pick what they wanted to do with the option of coming home instead. But more formal schooling - no!
I agree that we need to look at what is best for the children rather than what is convenient for the parents.

LoonvanBoon Fri 18-Oct-13 09:51:16

No, definitely don't support this. My children's primary school day is long enough - 8.40 to 3.30 - & they have some homework (not too much), a couple of musical instruments to practise & a couple of after-school sporting activities. I feel they're out of the house & / or have more than enough demands on their time already. They're children & have a right to relax / play at the end of a busy day. Totally agree that the question here should be what's in the interests of the children, not what is most convenient for parents. It's really important not to confuse issues about childcare / provision for working parents (which may well need improving in lots of places) & the kind of school day that's needed from an educational point of view - schools are there to educate, not to provide childcare.

filee777 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:51:28

I agree with chrome.

The time could be put to really good use, could create jobs and would help some of the issues connected to inflation.

trixymalixy Fri 18-Oct-13 09:51:32

As a working parent, no, I think the school day is long enough as it is. Kids are exhausted after a day at school as it is.

What would help working parents more is more flexible working and better after school care provision.

I wish people would stop saying things that imply this is for the good of working parents and that all working parents want this.
I don't mean on this thread, it's everywhere- "why should my DCs have to have a longer day to accommodate working parents"

I've worked full time since dd was 6 months old, she's now 15 and I have a 14 y/o and a 10 y/o
I don't support this at all. I would not want the school day to be any longer than it is.

elliejjtiny Fri 18-Oct-13 09:52:41

No I wouldn't support it. My 5 year old struggles with the hours as it is to be honest and I don't think my 7 year old would manage longer hours of school either. I think it's a good idea to provide wraparound care for those who need it but some people don't need the extra hours.

Xoanon Fri 18-Oct-13 09:53:26

Fieta My DD1 leaves home at 7:30 every morning to get to her GS. She gets home just after 5. The school day ends at 3:35pm. If it was extended by an hour she wouldn't get home an hour later, because of the traffic it would be more like an hour and a half. Maybe even 2. Her first study instrument isn't even taught at her school, she has outside lessons. If the school day was extended, she would have a longer day than many working adults and she would have to wave goodbye to what she wants to study at music college (she'd have to wave goodbye to music college). And for what? She doesn't need extra lesson time to achieve the academic standards Gove wants to see - she massively exceeds them already.

filee777 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:54:51

Has there been talk of it being compulsory?

I thought it was supposed to be a necessity for schools to provide, not for parents to use unless they needed to.

MrsDeVere Fri 18-Oct-13 09:55:18

No, no no!
And while we are at it, no homework for primary until year 6.
Kids starting formal education when they are 6-7, not 4.

cory Fri 18-Oct-13 09:57:50

filee777 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:30:31
"It is absolutely about childcare, in independent boarding schools the children are supported to study, play sports, socialise in a safe environment. It's good for them and makes much more sense than going from home to childminder to school to childminder to club to home (for example)

Yes in an ideal world we would all work 9.30 til 3 and have enough money to support everyone but it doesn't work like that.

People need to stop viewing it with the idea that it will be a longer school day and instead look at how well it works with boarding children."

Just remind me- how many boarding schools have their entire outdoor space consist of one small concrete patch and their entire inner sports area consist of the same hall in which pupils also have to have their assemblies and dinners?

This is what urban state primaries tend to look like. They were built in Victorian times for the urban poor, they are cramped and surrounded by housing which makes it impossible to expand even if money were available.

How on earth are they supposed to provide sports and play facilities that in any way match those of boarding schools?

My dc's infants school didn't even have enough space for all children to be seated at a desk at the same time; teachers had to plan accordingly. They were sixty children to one open plan classroom. Do you really not think a childminder would provide a quieter environment for homework?

No, the school day is quite long enough for my daughter and I like to see her at some point during the day. There's more to childhood than school and as for why my 5yo should be 'preparing for the workplace'... hmm.

I'm a SAHM currently so childcare isn't an issue but I can see (and remember) that better childcare options for school age children is desperately needed, but more school isn't it.

shewhowines Fri 18-Oct-13 09:58:19

No, kids go to bed earlier than adults. They need the same downtime (or more) than us. It wouldn't be possible if they are at school longer. They already have to do homework. It's not fair. they won't work to their full potential anyway as they are too tired. We all know how tired they are by the time half term arrives.

This has probably all been said before and I should have RTFT smile

filee777 Fri 18-Oct-13 10:07:14

I suppose I am quite spoilt by the schools round here, all are in reasonably sized grounds and have adequate equipment.

shewhowines Fri 18-Oct-13 10:19:20

As far as I can see, having RTFT, only those who already do it in private schools agree. Everybody else sees the stupidity of the idea.

I also agree - better wrap around care and/or smaller class sizes.

lljkk Fri 18-Oct-13 10:20:55

DS has behaviour problems. Poor staff would probably throw hands up in horror at having to occupy him for an extra 2-3 hours a day. He'd be kicked out of most private schools.

filee777 Fri 18-Oct-13 10:21:20

My children don't go to private school. What an odd assumption!

ShoeWhore Fri 18-Oct-13 10:23:41

There are two underlying issues that need addressing surely:

1 working parents need good quality affordable childcare
2 some disadvantaged children miss out on the range of extra curricular activities available to their peers

Both are really important and need tackling - but to suggest that the solution is to make the school day longer for all children is ridiculous!

Our local secondary offers optional homework sessions after school several evenings a week - why does it need to be compulsory?

As for my 6yo needing to get used to adult working hours... Words fail me!!

daftyburd Fri 18-Oct-13 10:48:14

As a lone parent who works full time I do not support these proposals at all. It would make life easier for me but not for my child. She is tired when she leaves school and needs time to relax.
Also my child's extra-curricular activities would never be provided for in school. I can't imagine them bringing in a piano or ponies! Then I feel Gove is more interested in creating a homogenized workforce than individuals with differing talents and skills. Certainly an appreciation of the arts is surplus to requirements!

Boaty Fri 18-Oct-13 10:53:59

DS1 went to a prep school that ran from 8.30-6pm. The boys had longer breaks. Mid morning they had a half hour break with milk, bread and jam/spreads. Lunch was an hour, followed by a rest period, younger boys had a lay down, both day and boarders, older boys used the time for extra music practise. They could go and just play as well. There was a minimum of one and half hour sport each day. A break again between lessons and sport. There was prep for older boys and younger ones did extra activities like cooking/art/martial arts/drama so when day boys left at 6 they had no other 'work' to do. Boarders had dinner and play time until bedtime. Academic standards were high there but they had the advantage of small classes and less 'wasted' time.
In the state sector I think there should be a core day, if the day was extended the extra time should be for activities/homework not just more academic subjects.
It could be also be adjusted for different ages. Small children don't need to be prepared for the working day but by the time kids are 17/18 it should be a full day to match a working day but no homework. Finishing at 3.30 at 17 then doing hours of homework is hardly family time!

HexU Fri 18-Oct-13 10:57:56

No. My KS2 DC wouldn't cope with longer hours and certainly not the younger DC. They already get too much homework that eats into the evenings.

Perhaps home work clubs at secondary schools would be a good idea - somewhere quiet for DC to work but this would need staff and I'm not sure teachers would be happy with that.

More affordable childcare and more wrap around clubs on school sites - yes especially if they have some flexibility and no waiting lists.

loopydoo Fri 18-Oct-13 11:05:58

I totally agree that it's better government provided wrap around care we need, especially for older children who aren't able to be home alone.

Our middle school is piloting a survey to provide wrap around care but it won't be's with a private company who would provide it. As long as it's a reasonable cost, ie not as much as day nurseries charge, then I'm thinking its a great idea. For working parents there is very little in the way of good after school care.

I don't believe children should have formal education later than it already is......but after school chilling out/sports/play is fine. My son has epilepsy and his seizures are triggered by tiredness so I'd worry about him having to do formal lessons after 3:30/4pm

numberfloutyfour Fri 18-Oct-13 11:06:42

No no no. They're not machines that you can just push a bit harder/longer to get better results.

Everything Michael Gove seems to do or suggest makes me take another step towards homeschooling my kids.

willyoulistentome Fri 18-Oct-13 11:13:22

Very very bad idea. Poor kids. The length of the school day should not be all about getting parents to work more and therefore pay more taxes.

Yes, it WOULD allow me to work more, but the school day is QUITE long enough already. My 10 and 8 year olds are shattered after school.... and they are not even that little any more.

I work 35 hours a week, starting very early, but managing to finish in time for school pick up three times a week.

In my case, getting longer working hours was more about flexibilty around the school day, rather than just making the kids stay at school longer. But then I have a DH who does the morning 'kid' shifts. Of course not everyone has this luxury.

pointyfangs Fri 18-Oct-13 12:00:35

No. Voluntary after school clubs - definitely. Optional sports, drama, arts etc. - great idea. Homework sessions at school in secondary so that it doesn't need to be done at home - would be a good idea. But what Gove wants is the Korean model, with children slogging away for ever longer hours and then burning the midnight oil at home as well. No, and no, and no. I will home educate if this comes in, and I am as far from being a believer in home ed (for my own DDs obviously) as it is possible to be because they love school and are thriving there.

Rufus44 Fri 18-Oct-13 12:44:05

Don't like the idea of a longer school day, although an extra hour and no homework would be good!

More after school options for working parents would be better

Cookethenook Fri 18-Oct-13 12:52:57

My DS has an 8.30-3.30 school day. They're linked with an infant school, so they do a longer day for the juniors in order to acomodate parents with kids at both schools.

I think this is long enough, even too long, especially with the amount of homework they set them too. What really gets my goat is the fact that 1 hour on friday is dedicated to golden time, which they vote on. Since term began, it's been watching TV. ARGH, just no!

quoteunquote Fri 18-Oct-13 13:31:04

No, It would not work for my children.

ivykaty44 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:24:09

I can't understand how when the Finland comes out best for education and they have a short day at 5 hours - why does then GOVE want to break are children by forcing them to be in the classroom for longer when it will not do anything but turn them off education.

Why when they don't get homework or tests do the British government look at what they are doing and then do the flipping opposite

junkfoodaddict Fri 18-Oct-13 21:36:30

I don't support it.
I am a teacher AND a parent and there is no way I want my child staying in any sort of educational or childcare setting until an hour and a half before he goes to bed!
Where is the quality family time?
Is it me or is the government of this country trying to produce workaholic, robotic drones for mass capitalisation? It's beginning to resemble Brave New World!
If 'we' are supposed to keep children in school, extra-curricular activites etc until late into the evening, until parents generally finish work, does that mean MY child will have to endure an institution for longer on school days because I wouldn't be able to leave to pick him up until my work had finished which in effect, would be later than everyone else!
Not so long ago I worked out that in order to work a 7:30am - 5:30pm day (which was being proposed or stated by the British media) I would have to get my nearly-2-year-old to the childminders at 5:45am and not pick him up until 7:30pm which would, at the moment, be after his bedtime!
This government is NOT family friendly and are more committed to producing a mass workforce that work endless hours for the sake of world-wide, glory, profit and mass globalisation! It sounds extreme but that's how I'm seeing it.

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 21:41:26

It's fair enough to not want your children doing longer days but I think all those who are saying their KS2+ children wouldn't cope would be surprised.

I teach in a fairly large non selective prep that specialises in taking children who haven't coped in the state system or who selective privates won't take. We have about 40% AN or some kind (physical, educational, emotional, behavioural, mental). It's rare that any of of our children don't thrive, even rarer that they don't cope.

I take the point about inner city schools with no space to play though.

I find even the extended day leaves plenty of time for activities afterwards xanonon Mine do drama, dance or gymnastics most nights - I just had to find sessions that didn't start till 5.30 and weren't more than a 30 minute drive from school.

comewinewithmoi Fri 18-Oct-13 21:44:39

Nope it's not childcAre

MamaBear17 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:45:48

I am a teacher and a mum of a pre-schooler. I am heartened by this thread. A longer school day would be detrimental to children in so many ways. I am glad to see that the majority are against it.

ipadquietly Fri 18-Oct-13 21:47:08

NO! The children work hard (much harder than in the past). They get tired.

They are CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!! They need to play!

Herisson Fri 18-Oct-13 21:48:47

This is a terrible idea. I would not support it (I work and have a child).

acsec Fri 18-Oct-13 21:56:38

As a teacher and a stepmum to a 9yr old boy, I would NOT want a longer school day. As it is I get to school at 7.45am to set up my classroom, the children arrive at 8.30am and leave at 3.20pm (or when the parents arrive which can be 4pm). I then either attend meetings, mark and file work, sort out resources for the next day all before I have to rush off to take DSS to his clubs. I usually leave school between 5.30 and 6.

As it is I bring work home to do. When would I ever have a chance to just be me, if I had to have an even longer teaching day?

I don't support this at all. Yes I'd be able to work longer ( because I'm a TA) but I actually want to see my child, I want to be involved in his education by helping him with his homework and reading etc and I enjoy taking him to after school activities.

I can already see what would happen; teachers would set out to deliver lots of enriching activities, but as the pressure mounts to achieve results (and don't forget they'll be getting performance related pay) the fun activities would quickly give way to yet more maths and literacy. Of course these extra lessons require extra planning and marking ( the teachers at my school already work till 11pm+) the result being burnt out children and burnt out teachers, with the ultimate result being more sickness of both children and teachers and loss of teachers to other professions.

muddymarvellousdarling Fri 18-Oct-13 22:10:38

For secondary school age DC, an extra hour or two in a Homework club with support would be okay.

But for primary. No way. As a PP says Children need to play/be Children. It's already a long day for them.

Lots of schools have before/after school childcare, also sports clubs. So I suppose, if the Dc are already in some sort of childcare setting/club then it would be easier on a working parent/ less childcare costs.

It's a hard one as i'm a SAHM, and don't use/need childcare.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 18-Oct-13 22:10:44

I would be absolutely dead set against it

In her last school
Dd left school at 3.30pm (would have been 4pm if she'd gone to the linked seniors) & by 4.15 was in ballet class. She detests sport.

Any school provided extra curricular drama/dance clubs would not have been an appropriate standard.

She would have been dreadfully unhappy if forced to give up her dancing & drama

She does now go to a school whose hours are 9am-6pm. It's a vocational dance/performing arts school & she copes because she is dedicated but gets very tired towards the end of a half term ;& terms are shorter)

Ds would never cope with those hours.

neverputasockinatoaster Fri 18-Oct-13 22:26:29

Hell no!

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 22:45:02

acsec it really isn't that bad. I almost never take work home from school. Twice a week I work nights (9.30pm and 11pm finishes) as it's a boarding school but when I am not at work I am free. So it's a very different life from being a state school teacher with much longer 'office' hours but I find that the differentiation between work and home is much clearer than it was when I taught in state. When I am at home I 'get time to be me' instead of trying to mark in front of the tv while making the children's tea or whatever.

maddening Fri 18-Oct-13 22:47:55

no, but there should be more, less expensive wrap around care available.

ZZZenagain Fri 18-Oct-13 22:49:05

no, I would be completely against it

Spikeytree Fri 18-Oct-13 22:49:52

I'm a teacher. I'm in school between 7.30pm and 5pm most days and bring work home. If I was teaching for longer I'd have more prep and marking with less time to do it in, so the quality of my teaching would decline.

Our school day is 8.40 - 3.15 with a 15 minute break in the morning and 45 minutes for lunch. We have 6 periods a day and by period 6 the standard of behaviour declines markedly. I have the same class P6 one day and P1 the next and the difference in what I can get done and how they respond is remarkable. If we had another lesson after that there wouldn't be much learning going on.

ZZZenagain Fri 18-Oct-13 22:53:11

As a teacher then spikey, do you think the current school day is too long?

Crowler Fri 18-Oct-13 22:56:19

No, no, no.

I think the wrap-around care should aim to create a homey environment - snacks, toys, couches, and possibly some screens? It kills me to think of a 5 year old in school for more than 7 hours. No way.

Spikeytree Fri 18-Oct-13 22:56:38

I think it is as short as it can be to fit in what we have to do.

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 22:58:09

They would learn just fine spikeytree. How old are these kids? We have 7-8 year olds learning sciencefrom 3.30-4.40. After half term I will have double English at that time for Y5, Y6 and Y7. Our top sets are achieving 2-3 years ahead of national curriculum standards. Our bottom sets are working successfully towards the targets on their IEPs.

Maybe it's becuase they don't know any different but we do have children coming into the school at all ages and they settle quickly and easily into the longer routines.

I think we are too quick to underestimate children's capacity for learning. It's fine not to want it and prefer to do other things but it isn't right to say the children couldn't handle it. Thousands of children from age 7 up do this every day of the term.

Spikeytree Fri 18-Oct-13 23:04:13

If you can, in a meaningful way, teach imperialism and militarism to bottom set year 9s (some of whom cannot read) at 4.30 in the dark in a mobile classroom in the woods then you are a better teacher than I can claim to be. 10 years teaching tells me that 6 different lessons in a day is enough. The children can walk up to a 1/4 of a mile between rooms 6 times a day. Your day is broken up with sport and prep, very different to the average secondary school in a deprived area.

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 23:19:25

I agree that all the differing variables that we have as teachers probably account for the difference in opinion.

I can do poetry analysis with bottom set year 8s (all of whom can read but some 5-6 years below chronological age) at that time in a normal classroom next to the woods (closest I can get to your situation!! grin) - and sadly, I have to admit I'm a pretty average teacher. But yes, these children are not deprived and they have come straight from the sports field.

I wonder if the key difference is that my biggest class is 18 this year and we never go beyond 20. Maybe it is possible to teach even young or low ability children late in the afternoon but only when they have a small, nurturing environment and know they're going home (or to the boarding floor in many of our cases) to TLC and security.

I admit I have no idea what it's like to teach in a deprived secondary and you couldn't pay me enough to try it out - every respect!

Spikeytree Fri 18-Oct-13 23:24:40

33 year 9s with the highest reading age being 8.6. They are tried, grumpy and hate each other by 3.15 when the bell goes. I need to lie down in a darkened stock room for 10 minutes when they leave.

Thinking about this, when would I do my detentions, catch-up lessons for kids who had been absent, one-to-one mentoring of sixth-formers etc? I can't see any kids being able to stay after 5.30 for all of this.

Nonie241419 Fri 18-Oct-13 23:28:34

I'm a teacher and a parent. Neither of my school aged DC could cope with formal lessons for longer than they already do.
As a teacher, having to plan for, resource, teach and then mark/assess another 2-3 hours of lessons a day would tip me over the edge physically. I'm only contractually employed for 2 days a week, but the only day of the week I do no work is Saturday. An average term time week sees me work around 30 hours. I'm paid for 13. I can't give anymore of myself to this job, despite the fact I love teaching.

ringaringarosy Fri 18-Oct-13 23:33:08

i think the school day is too long already for primary children.I can see the point of longer days maybe for the last couple of years for secondary though.

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Oct-13 23:41:41

spikey - another private/state and middle/secondary difference I suspect - we have no detentions, children are expected to catch up in their free time and we have all evening to mentor boarders (I had an impromptu study one to one at 8.30 tonight and a pastoral session at 9.15) so it's much easier to fit in day children as and when. I apologise for not really thinking about how much harder tricky urban secondaries must have it.

SingingSands Fri 18-Oct-13 23:48:01

Not read the whole thread, so not sure if already mentioned, but a longer school day in winter would mean kids coming out of school when it was dark...

cory Sat 19-Oct-13 00:05:20

Coming out of school when it is dark doesn't have to be a massive problem: they do that all the time in Scandinavia.

Coming out too late to spend time with your family, play with your friends, go to the park, do activities that are not on offer at school (such as ballet), visit the local library (state school libraries tend to be very small) and learn whatever your parents might be able to teach you seems more of a loss.

Coupon Sat 19-Oct-13 00:15:06

I think it's a bad idea. The day is long enough as it is.

Iaintdunnuffink Sat 19-Oct-13 00:17:22

If we're talking extending the school day to 6pm, and restructuring the school day completely , I would be interested. Which would include different outdoor, or practical activities with completely different groups.

Extending the day to 4, or, 5 wouldn't help that many parents? They'd still need out of school care. It wouldn't make it cheaper, after school clubs would need to bump up the prices or cover their costs.

The one benefit of my youngest son going to after school club is that, despite finding it tiring, it's down time with a completely different set of kids. If he's had problems with class mates, they're not going to follow him past 3.15. At his after school club there is a different style of care.

SingingSands Sat 19-Oct-13 00:19:38

This is not Scandinavia. Coming home in the dark in the UK means more road accidents, more opportunities for trouble, no time for half an hour playing in the park, kicking a ball about on the rec, walking the dog by themselves etc.

ScarerStratton Sat 19-Oct-13 00:20:33

We have the complete opposite.

DD2's school has just restructured their day. They now start at 8.40am, have shortened breaks and lunch, and finish the day at 3pm.

It is bliss. She's home just as the other schools are finishing, we have more time together in the evening, and she finds it much better for homework and revision.

farewellfarewell Sat 19-Oct-13 00:26:01

A later school starting age,less (or no) homework, shorter hrs and longer hols, would uk standards collapse? I don't think I'm on the same page as Mr. Gove. It isn't about the children at all as far as I can see.

Visualises the road near the Primary/Junior School at 8.30 - 9.00 then again at 2.50 - 3.30.

Visualises the same road at 5.00-5.30 when the people who live there come home.

Combine the two sets of traffic.


cory Sat 19-Oct-13 00:50:14

Yes, you're probably right, SingingSands.

unlucky83 Sat 19-Oct-13 01:07:24

I think I support it - if it is more or less the same amount of learning spread out throughout the day ...
Can't see the difference between a child in childcare 8 -6 (with school in the middle) and one learning the same amount of stuff but spread out more with extra PE, Music, Drama and playtime and rest...
Mixing with other children - IME most CMs/after school clubs have children from the same school anyway...
In Scotland - I know DD1's High school are struggling to fit all the compulsory stuff in the Curriculum for Excellence (Home Ec, PE, Social history, Social studies, Business studies etc) along with require no of hours of Maths, English etc - At the end of first year my DD1 has had to give up geography, history, music - so she can do 2 Sciences and Art and Drama...
They have shortened lessons, lunch and breaks -and finish 10 mins later... (so 8.50 - 3.20) - the whole day is more frenetic..
Guess the biggest problem for them is 60% of the children are bussed in - leaving at 8am, return just after it would be late back...
But there are after school activities - the late bus doesn't get them home until 6 ... my DD won't do any - mainly because of not wanting to be on her own on the bus - but if school was longer with less homework and some of these activities compulsory.....
Actually the primary school too was puzzling over how to fit all the compulsory PE time (which I think is important) so maybe they would be better with a longer more relaxed day...
As for people saying their child is 4 and would struggle - my DD1 was in nursery from 3 months - 9am-6pm every day -when she started school at 4 she was absolutely fine ...guess she was just used to to it? hmm
But then DD2 (I'm now a SAHM) was also fine at 4 - wasn't exhausted at all after school...

Ragwort Sat 19-Oct-13 08:05:04

unlucky - I too have never known my child to be 'tired' after a day at school hmm - I wish !! He has always had bags of energy - and was more than ready for after school activities even from his play-group days grin. Who are these children who get 'tired'?

Xoanon Sat 19-Oct-13 08:20:27

unlucky Maybe in your experience most kids mix with the same kids at after school clubs - but then, you say your child doesn't do after school clubs. So how could you possibly have any experience? My kids all do drama outside school and one of them does a load of dance. All 3 of them are in different classes at the drama group and they have all been going since they were 4 (they are now 15, 13 and 10). They mix with kids from every school in the 'city' where we leave and from the outside villages. Not just the state schools either, the posh schools too. My two younger children's best friends are both kids they know from drama (and ballet) - one of them goes to the poshest school in the area, the other one went to a different primary school to my DS but they are now at the same secondary school (he's a year older though). When DS moved up to his secondary school, he knew kids in every year as a result of the drama group. The dance school is the same - kids from every school, no distinction between posh and state. It would be outrageous to lose that sort of activity - and there is no way it could all be fitted in on the weekend, their weekends are already full - existing classes, ballet exam classes, rehearsals for shows...

As far as music goes, in our area not all county or city or regional groups meet on a weekend, for starters. Sme meet during the week. Music provision in state schools is patchy in our area so many parents have to source some or all tuition outside school - typically that doesn't happen on a weekend but on a school night. Extending the school day would kill all of that.

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 08:29:36

Who are all these parents who can take their children to after school clubs?? Most of the parents I know are WOHM and don't ie can't take their DCs to afterschool activities, so is it a case of most of the parents who don't support this are the ones who don't WOHM? And as for the "they'll be too tired" - really? Children across the world go to nursery from 8am-6pm from an early age and mange just fine.

Xoanon Sat 19-Oct-13 08:33:01

SirChenjen I work outside the home. In fact, I sometimes work very far outside the home. This week I was working about 200 miles outside my home for two of the days. I'm not a single parent though and my DH's hours enable him to do the after school stuff.

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 08:34:04

In which case, you're very lucky - not many people have hours which fit around school hours.

Ragwort Sat 19-Oct-13 08:34:32

I guess it depends on your circle of friends/acquaintances SirChenjin - where I live there are a lot of SAHPs & parents who work part time so the after school clubs and activities are well supported - I should know as I run one (as a volunteer grin).

Just to clarify, I am a SAHM but I support a longer school day grin.

unlucky you say you support it as there is no difference between school 8 - 6 and being in childcare. What about all the ones who aren't in childcare and don't eant or need it? More than half the children at ds's school are taken and collected by a parent so why should it be universal?

outtolunchagain Sat 19-Oct-13 08:37:06

I think one reason they are "tired" and also the reason why we read so often on these boards about children struggling in class at primary is because the day is so squashed.Children need regular breaks to run around , I am amazed how little playtime primary children in the state sector have .Small children have short attention spans and an hours lesson is enough in my opinion,.

All my children have longer days , I had a longer day, they are not tired because the day is well spaced , they do not have 20 minutes to eat their lunch, they have at least an hour so there is plenty of time to digest lunch , chat to friends etc and then arrive from the afternoon rested and ready for activity .

I am not surprised if they are cranky by 3.30 pm if they have had too few breaks .

Iaintdunnuffink Sat 19-Oct-13 08:39:05

For us wohp's after school club isn't always the same as after school activities. My son's club pick him up from school and look after him until 6.

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 08:41:17

Ragwort - I suppose it does. All of my friends have careers, as do their DH/DPs, and the majority of parents at the DC's schools WOHM. After school clubs are well supported, but they are evening clubs rather than immediately after school.

I am amazed how little playtime primary children in the state sector have hmm

Indith Sat 19-Oct-13 08:41:52

me and dh both out of the house long hours. yes, school based wraparound care would save us money but imo it would not be good for my children. days they go to breakfast or afterschool club they are shattered. at the childminder they can chill out much as they do at home. if they want to they go play with a friend, she takes them to the park, she does all manner of worthy activities but if they ate shattered she lets them slob and read or watch tv. school based care cannot need individual needs in that way. plus with the cm the kids spend time as a family with preschool age sibling which is very important.

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 08:43:40

Same here Iaint - I should have said after school activities, rather than clubs. Our after school club is amazing, with a range of activities to suit all the children attending.

mrsscoob Sat 19-Oct-13 08:49:09

It depends if it is compulsory or not. My son does several activities during the week with other children that are not from his school meaning he has a wider circle of friends. Plus some of the activities he does do would not be possible at school. I would hate for him to have to give these up to just stay in school longer. I am not against it in principle as could see how it would suit people that work or people who don't drive for instance but would not want to be forced into it.

Xoanon Sat 19-Oct-13 08:52:41

Sir Chenjin - I don't have hours which fit round school hours. Quite the reverse. I often don't see my kids for days on end. Because of that my husband has to have hours which are more helpful. Also because there are no grandparents. I don't think we are lucky at all.

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 08:56:46

Your DH does - my DH's hours enable him to do the after school stuff - so you (as a couple) are able to take your children to after school activities. Having working hours which fit around the limited school day is very lucky, which is why you'll see so many threads on MN from people asking how they find jobs which fit around school and so many responses say that it's incredibly difficult.

Xoanon Sat 19-Oct-13 09:00:35

But I work insanely long hours and have to travel to all sorts of shit holes to compensate. smile So we aren't lucky. Lucky would be two 9-5 jobs paying enough. And live grandparents

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 09:04:34

It's all comparitive, isn't it? To DH and I (also with no family to help with the 3 DCs and long hours/travel), the thought of one of us being home for 3.15 when DC3's school day finishes is something we can only dream of, so to us you are lucky! smile

I think it would be better to roll out access to breakfast and after-school clubs at all schools, with a different role/emphasis than the main school day.

Xoanon Sat 19-Oct-13 09:20:30

SirChenjin Im going to be in Kiev soon. sad As far as I'm concerned anyone who doesn't have to go to Kev for work is lucky. But on the other hand I was in NY a couple of weeks ago and even though I missed my 3 DC (and in fact missed Dc3's 11+ exam) and I can't pretend that many people wouldn't want to do a job that took them there. But this is kind of irrelevant to the argument isn't it. You thought that every WOHM would support the longer school day, but there are WOHMs here who don't. And SAHMs who do. I think the split is more between people who are happy with what their kids do after school and people who are neutral (I don't think there's anyone posting who is clearly unhappy with their current arrangements).

Like other posters I would completely support more after school opportunities being provided for those who need/want them. My thing is, if they make it compulsory, it will deal a terrible blow to arts Ed for state educated kids. And since that's important to me and my kids, and since DC1 wants to go into that area for her career, I'm not wild about the idea.

pudding25 Sat 19-Oct-13 09:48:56

As a parent and a primary teacher, I think Gove is a disgrace. The first thing we can do to raise standards is to get rid of this imbecile who knows zero about education.

I would love to see him trying to to teach a class of exhausted children at the end of the school day for another couple of hours. He wouldn't last two minutes in any classroom.

whatever5 Sat 19-Oct-13 09:59:49

Between the ages of 7 to 11, my children would have been happy with a longer school day as they much preferred school to after school club. If the school day was longer they could have more breaks so wouldn't necessarily be more tired at the end of it.

I think that the day would be too long for infants. It would also be a problem for secondary school age children age children as they would have to make their way home from school in the dark during the winter. Also when would they do their homework? Would they have less of it after school but more during the holidays?

laughingeyes2013 Sat 19-Oct-13 10:03:04

I think it would be awful.

In very much against it.

I suspect the rationale would more more for child care than for the good of the child.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Oct-13 10:11:53

I think some schools could do with a longer day because they seem to almost fear their pupils and get them in and out as quickly as they can - including a very short lunch time of about 35 minutes. But certainly not extend the day in the way that Gove means.

I do think it is a good idea to run activities after school, but most schools do that as much as their facilities will allow. Most evenings our school is open to students until about 5pm and we have a good proportion of students in each evening attending clubs. The problems with expecting all schools to offer a rich diet if clubs is that not all have the facilities - although it would be great if Gove funded an overhaul of school facilities.

I think it's a shame that not all children have a chance to do interesting after school activities, not every night of course, but a couple of things which interest them, to develop their own particular skills and interests, and their social skills (though admittedly part of the benefit of something like Beavers/Guides is being with a different group of children outside school) But I think a good and well resourced after school club could offer an enriching variety of additional activities which could be more accessible to all children (ideally !)

bababababoom Sat 19-Oct-13 10:34:57

No way in this world. When my son went to school (iwe are now Home Ed), he was exhausted by 3pm. And he is a september birthday, the oldest in his class. Children need time to just be children.

CremeEggThief Sat 19-Oct-13 10:41:35

I would be in favour of a slightly longer day for secondary students, provided they got an hour for lunch and a 20 minute break. Say, 8.30-4.00, with maybe another hour to do homework or a club.

For primary children, 9 to 3.30 is long enough, although more homely after-school care until 6, with the option/support available to do homework, is a good idea for working parents.

unlucky83 Sat 19-Oct-13 13:08:27

Xanon in my area primary aged children tend to go to the afterschool club (in the school) or to CM - so tend not to mix with children out of school...
After school activities are different -but still tend to be with the same children. I guess if they were at school longer DD2 would not be able to do Ballet and Jazz cos they are both before 6 - but Rainbows and Puppets are later anyway... Maybe her Ballet and Jazz classes would be later/at the weekend so that the children of working parents would be able to go too?
DD1 did lots of afterschool activities at Primary -she gradually dropped them - now at High school she only does Guides - but they were all later anyway with 6.30- 7 the earliest starts...
For her there are voluntary afterschool activities (organised by the school) but she doesn't do any -mainly because her friends who live locally don't want to do them and she doesn't want to get the bus home alone...but if it was compulsory...
fanofthe - I know not everyone needs to send their child to childcare - but this wouldn't be childcare - it would be school...

Another advantage of the longer day - not mentioned - would be for children of parents who are less advantaged - the ones who go home to watch TV till an irregular bedtime ...the ones who arrive at nursery not understanding the concept of a book...a more stimulating environment and you could have some homework/independent study time thrown in...and maybe you could get some ballet/drama/jazz/gymnastics/football lessons at the school - so that the children of parents who work full time or can't afford it would get the opportunity too...
Not all the time would need to be teacher supervised - involve sitting in a class room...

gobbledegook1 Sat 19-Oct-13 13:20:49

I work and have to pay for childcare but don't agree with a longer school day because even though it would benefit me I know how tiring my son finds it. I however would not have a problem with less / shorter school holidays, I do not think the ammount they have at present is beneficial to anyone other than the teachers, childcare costs double causing further financial strain on an alread very tight budget and my kids soon get bored with being off and not seeing their closest friends as much.

Better and more affordable childcare is most definately needed regardless that is for sure.

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