Gove says lengthen school days and shorten long summer holiday

(721 Posts)
juneau Thu 18-Apr-13 17:42:23

Here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22202694

I think it's a great idea and I'm sure working parents will welcome it. I also think it's bollocks that teachers need the six week summer break to recharge their batteries. Do they work harder or longer hours than other workers who only get four or five weeks a year then?

Having just endured a bored DS1 over the Easter holidays I think any break of more than two weeks is actually pretty dull for kids and I'm sure poorer kids really suffer from lack of stimulation and/or money to do stuff.

checkmates Mon 03-Feb-14 12:53:34

Mr is a poor Education Secretary. But he is brilliant at publicity stunts. The media should wise up on him.

law7988 Sun 02-Feb-14 23:31:34

I have always thought that as a teacher that I was a child-minder. Working ina private school I start at 7.50 am and work almost continuously with about 20 minutes beak during the day until about 5.45 pm having marked books, prepared from 8-10 periods of lessons for the next day doing a practical subject with no technician to help me. Coupled to this teaching other mummies and daddies hyperactive children all day with no break is no easy task. Most good teachers are nackered by the time they get home. We also cannot take hols when we want so pay high prices for breaks if we can afford them. During the day I have to plan my toilet breaks very carefully as I teach many double lessons. In summary if you are not a teacher do please shut up about teaching as you simply do not have a clue what goes on in the class room. Mr. Gove bless his little heart has absolutely no idea at all either.

sisterbaby Sun 02-Feb-14 18:37:18

I worked for 14 years in marketing, rising to Account Director in a prestigious agency. Then I retrained as a primary school teacher, partly to have hours and holidays more compatible with my three children. So I feel absolutely qualified to say that nothing ... NOTHING ... compares to how utterly exhausted teachers feel at the end of the school year. "Burn-out" does not do it justice. When I look at photos of myself at the beginning of school holidays and again towards the end, the transformation is incredible. I return to school in September refreshed and ready for whatever challenges and curve balls the government decide to throw at us in the coming academic year. In this country the education system is an even greater political football than the NHS and teachers exist in a constant state of flux. This creates stress that non-teachers cannot comprehend. What people forget is that many teachers are parents too. We already sacrifice many hours during the evening and at weekends preparing, planning and marking. I rarely worked outside office hours when I worked in marketing. What Gove is proposing is intolerable, not just for teachers but most importantly for the children. Mumsnet - ask your children this question: "Would you want to be in school from 9-6:00pm every days and then have your holidays reduced by half?" When I asked this to my Year 6 class recently, one child actually started to cry. There is your answer. School is not a childminding service for working parents. Any person who thinks that teaching is easy or in any way comparable to office work really need to take a reality check!

jellybeans Thu 30-Jan-14 17:11:53

Very bad idea. The reasons stated were mainly about parents; both could work full time, those on welfare could be made to work more, and part timers could work more. Nothing about the child's welfare. It's quite horrible.

I wouldn't want my DC stuck in school till 6. There were some not so nice kids that bullied them and I wouldn't want them stuck with them any longer. What about swimming etc after school? What about parents who have one who works say 5pm-12, they wouldn't see their child all week. Much better as it is 9-3 and with childcare for those who need it, not more school!!!

mookymim Thu 30-Jan-14 13:53:47

I think it's a terrible idea, since when was our education system about producing children that could tolerate long working hours. What about education for enrichment and for the development of social skills and god forbid to have passion for a particular subject.
Children and parents will be exhausted and family life will certainly suffer. Rates of depression in children I'm sure, will soar.

Also what's wrong with children being bored once in a while? From the state of bordom rises many great and creative ideas. Give the children room to just be.

ringaringarosy Wed 11-Sep-13 13:56:52

i think school day is long enough,i would personally prefer three medium sized school holidays at summer,christmas and easter.

in MY ideal world school would start at 1o and finish at 2 aswell,i think they would get more out of them that way,espescially teens,its been tried and tested a few times.

lauragreen Thu 22-Aug-13 17:28:48

I don't think its right to start having a go at teachers. It must be hard trying to get children to actively learn and take part in lessons. Also what about the teachers that have young children themselves?

I think the length of the school day is adequate for both students, teachers and parents. I do think the summer holidays are quite long, perhaps they could be staggered in some way?

Redlocks30 Fri 07-Jun-13 17:57:46

I don't think children think school is a stressful place that they hate but it is tiring and intense and little children need time off to play, have fun and recharge their batteries.

You can't just do more of the same and expect better results. If you work 9-5, but were suddenly asked to work 7-7, would you be as productive? Where does it stop- why not work 6-9? Who decides the optimum working hours? Someone who's commissioned quality research? Or someone who comes up with a half- arsed idea on the back of fag packet...

CatherineofMumbles Fri 07-Jun-13 08:49:12

if you really believe hmm that school is a stressful place they hate, that is what needs to be addressed! Students should not spend any time in an environment like that, so if you can glibly make a statement like that, then quibbling over extra hours is nonsense.

edam Thu 06-Jun-13 22:36:46

Gove's a fecking hypocrite - as an MP he gets far longer holidays than any schoolchild or teacher. OK, so they are supposed to pop into their constituencies occasionally, but that doesn't require breaks that are much longer than any school allows (apart from some public schools, I guess).

VikingLady Thu 06-Jun-13 21:31:17

Home ed is appealing more and more.

alemci Mon 03-Jun-13 09:18:22

good post Milly. Who wants institutionalised children. longer days don't mean more learning as we can all only take in certain amounts of information.

don't tinker with the school holidays Mr Gove.

Redlocks30 Mon 03-Jun-13 09:15:45

I agree with you-this hasn't been thought through at all. It's simply been jumped on as a 'fits all' solution by those with childcare issues. Do we really want a nation of institutionalised children?! In other parts of the world, summer holidays are far longer!

MillyDLA Mon 03-Jun-13 09:09:03

We really must make children the priority. As an early years teacher I already have children with attachment disorders, caused by attending poor day care settings from being a baby.

These children then start school at the age of 3/4/5 but with working parents continue with very long days, attending a provider for breakfast at 7.30am, coming to school, going back to a provider until 6.00pm.
These children attend the day care centre full time for holidays.

These children don't form relationships with anyone as this has never been constant. These children react against anyone who tries to care for them, often agressively. People don't mean anything to them. I have been bitten, hit, punched. I have watched chairs thrown, doors kicked. These children don't care. They don't care because they think noone cares about them.

These children arrive home after 6.00pm, have a bath and go to bed (an early start demands this). These children don't share books at home, or do their homework. These children don't have time to relax and play at home. These children never get time to build relationships with even their own parents.

These children are the product of busy professional parents.

What will the quality of life be for children with even longer school days and less holidays? What will society be like when all children are living this life?

Michael Gove hasn't thought this through. I am proud of the people on here who voiced their concerns about his ideas.

MillyDLA Sat 01-Jun-13 19:01:39

We really must make children the priority. As an early years teacher I already have children with attachment disorders, caused by attending poor day care settings from being a baby.

These children then start school at the age of 3/4/5 but with working parents continue with very long days, attending a provider for breakfast at 7.30am, coming to school, going back to a provider until 6.00pm.
These children attend the day care centre full time for holidays.

These children don't form relationships with anyone as this has never been constant. These children react against anyone who tries to care for them, often agressively. People don't mean anything to them. I have been bitten, hit, punched. I have watched chairs thrown, doors kicked. These children don't care. They don't care because they think noone cares about them.

These children arrive home after 6.00pm, have a bath and go to bed (an early start demands this). These children don't share books at home, or do their homework. These children don't have time to relax and play at home. These children never get time to build relationships with even their own parents.

These children are the product of busy professional parents.

What will the quality of life be for children with even longer school days and less holidays? What will society be like when all children are living this life?

Michael Gove hasn't thought this through. I am proud of the people on here who voiced there concerns about his ideas.

vivefeles Fri 31-May-13 02:47:22

ridiculous. You would get rebellious little sh*ts like me walking out left right and center. You would get stressed students and a higher dropout rate as they resent being forced to stay in a stressful place they hate. students would be forced to work for a stupidly long amount of time and would have no time for the important stuff like being a kid. kids need time to be a kid when not almost exhausted from school.

Secondme Thu 16-May-13 17:12:44

Wow there's actually 29 pages. leaves quietly staring at out of place post

Secondme Thu 16-May-13 17:11:55

It might be better for some people/working parents but what about the kids? Stop and think about how they would feel about having shorter holidays and longer days. Mine would hate it, and I really enjoy the holidays too, even if we don't do anything.

Solopower1 Wed 08-May-13 20:05:03

No cover ups, flatpackhamster.

The NHS ethos is deeply political. It was set up as a direct result of a left-wing political ideology. The idea was to try to give everyone equal access to good health. You couldn't get more political than that - it's a central tenet of socialism or even communism.

Equally education was seen as the right of every child (= communism, socialism), and both were thought to be good for the nation.

It's funny isn't it, that no-one can openly say, even now, that equal access to good healthcare and education is a bad thing. So the people who want to privatise it have to fall back on excuses like bad service, bad education.

If they really wanted to improve it for everyone, they would and they could.

flatpackhamster Wed 08-May-13 19:44:44

Solopower1

And the reason I think Gove keeps trying to paint teachers in such a bad light is because he knows that they would go on strike if he did try to lengthen the school day and shorten holidays (wouldn't it be illegal for him to change their terms and conditions like this anyway?). So he has been trying to erode any public support for them beforehand.

I think they're doing a good job eroding their own public support - NUT demanding a 35-hour week with 20 hours of contact time is a pretty good way of doing it.

Like the Tories have been doing with the NHS: running it down, publicising everything that goes wrong as a result of understaffing etc and then saying it's terrible so we need a private health system.

I suppose the Labour government's body count should be covered up to ensure that people continue to love the NHS unreservedly, because heaven forfend we put ideological zeal above patient care.

Solopower1 Wed 08-May-13 19:22:50

And the reason I think Gove keeps trying to paint teachers in such a bad light is because he knows that they would go on strike if he did try to lengthen the school day and shorten holidays (wouldn't it be illegal for him to change their terms and conditions like this anyway?). So he has been trying to erode any public support for them beforehand.

Like the Tories have been doing with the NHS: running it down, publicising everything that goes wrong as a result of understaffing etc and then saying it's terrible so we need a private health system.

Solopower1 Wed 08-May-13 19:09:52

It isn't about the teachers, though, is it? Or it shouldn't be. What is best for the kids? And how do we decide?

How do we know what's best for children? We do the research: Three schools in the same area, same demographic etc etc - let's assume that's possible for a minute. So one school finishes at 3 one at 4 and one at 5 for a whole school year. Then how do you calculate 'success'? Exam results? Fewest number of kids and teachers having nervous breakdowns? Number of people who get good jobs in 10 years' time?People who measure themselves as happiest on a 1-10 scale?

My point is, a statement like 'Let's lengthen the school day and shorten the holidays' is not based on what is good for children or teachers or parents - because that is impossible to know for certain. What it is based on is a political agenda and/or a need to save money and/or win votes. I expect this is a bit of all of the above. And it's probably aimed at making it easier for parents to work longer hours; showing teachers (and therefore the public sector) in a bad light; getting more out of teachers for the same money; and trying to trick the public into thinking that the govt are trying to improve the education system (because if you spend longer at school you must be learning more, right??). Also, it's part of the agenda to frame everything as a race or a competition, because that is the only way in which these people (Gove and cronies) know how to function, and it's the only way they think society can function.

When in fact, as we all know, they are setting us all at each others' throats and ripping society apart.

Cynical, moi?

EvilTwins Wed 08-May-13 17:52:24

No, we're not private. These colleagues have been off for several months in some cases. Their stress is being dealt with- AFAIK, they're all under the care of their GPs and occupational health. I think the unions are involved and that's why the head has been told to leave them alone.

Erebus Wed 08-May-13 08:12:37

Are you 'private'? The public sector has procedures for handling stress that have to be followed! And 'not doing anything' isn't one of them. THAT sounds 'shit' !grin

Canteen cover is hardly ideal but we grit our teeth and trust that they're compensated for by better management etc etc, if that teacher's been away from class, 'managing'.

To the best of my knowledge, the school doesn't actually have any teachers off on stress right now. It is quite well managed and the DC are, by and large, MC and 'school-ready' so the stressors come from targets and an ever changing NC rather than 'the working day'.

EvilTwins Tue 07-May-13 21:56:41

She's told me she's not allowed to contact them- as have line managers. Highly frustrating.

I expect there are many jobs with "unique" stresses.

Your DS's "canteen cover" situation sounds shit, by the way.

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