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Longer school day, shorter holidays, aibu?

(108 Posts)
Damselion Thu 18-Apr-13 18:30:29

To think Michael Gove should fuck off? I spend less time with my DC than their teacher's do as it is...

NiceTabard Thu 18-Apr-13 20:18:47

Just reading the thread and was a bit surprised at that Blissx. You know what nonce means? It means someone who rapes children. That's a bit strong isn't it? Not seen anyone call anyone else that on MN before.

Anyway back on topic. I think it is a good idea for schools to facilitate childcare on the premises to make life easier for people who work. So like our school has breakfast club which we use and is really good, I'm sure other parents would appreciate more after school etc.

I do not think that more hours teaching and more weeks teaching sounds like a very good idea. Children and teachers would be exhausted.

Yes, I noticed that about the strong language too Tabard - weirdly uncalled for smile

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 18-Apr-13 20:25:07

"Finland consistently ranks very high on PISA tables."

The PISA tables where never ment to be put in to a league table (even their own website says so)

The tests are only every couple of years and they do not measure the same thing each time.

They are not a measure of educational excellence.

echt Thu 18-Apr-13 20:26:53

How would these extended hours be funded? It costs money to keep schools open, and as has been noted up thread, a council has been looking to shorten the school day to save money?

Possibly they could charge a fee for extension activities. Oh, hang on...

Salmotrutta Thu 18-Apr-13 20:27:59

OK, point taken Boney but the fact remains that they are a measure of capabilities/skills for matched cohorts of students in core areas.

Blissx Thu 18-Apr-13 20:28:48

Nobody has mentioned Private Schools have longer holidays, yet...

echt Thu 18-Apr-13 20:30:56

Exams were never intended as a way to rank schools in the UK, but they are. If the UK were to progress in the PISA ranking, I'm sure Gove would take the credit.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Thu 18-Apr-13 20:32:50

Breakfast club and after school clubs are not school. i totally agree with all schools providing these but my dd's after school club is run by an outside agency not school staff.
I notice on the bbc article, it quotes schools with different term times, but these don't have a longer day or work more days. I worked at a school that did the 6 week term model with 5 weeks in the summer and 2 weeks in October and most staff and parents liked it. We also started early but also finished early on a Friday.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 18-Apr-13 20:33:33

the optimum class size for infants is 14. that would make a massive difference to progess. 14 children in the class means the teacher can work with them all twice everyday.

send in off-fuck

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 18-Apr-13 20:36:44


there is no such thing as a matched cohort of students, all students are different. Just because they are set 1 for maths doesn't mean that they are the same as everyone else's set 1 for maths.

Salmotrutta Thu 18-Apr-13 20:38:49

Blissx - Private schools also, generally, have smaller classes, longer days, sometimes school on a Saturday, set prep times for boarders, and the staff are expected to provide high levels of support to pupils outwith lessons.

MrsHuxtable Thu 18-Apr-13 20:41:25

Sorry, I lumped all the British school systems into one but they are not that different from each other compared to other European ones.

Shorter school holidays, time spend in classroom:

Later school starting age:

And then you can compare that to Pisa results or similar. Am not going to look for more links as I'm actually busy with an assignment but it wasn't too many years ago that I had to compare pupils achievements across Europe for my degree so am pretty confident in what I'm saying.

It just bugs me to see another attack on family life in Britain and prolonging school days and shortening the holidays is exactly what it is.

ConferencePear Thu 18-Apr-13 20:41:33

If summer holidays are shorter they will be even more expensive than they are already.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Thu 18-Apr-13 20:44:25

Fuck my workload, holidays etc as a teacher - I am most annoyed about this witless idea as a parent. I barely see my kids as it is. If I can finish early, then take them out for tea or play outside now it is light for a few hours before bed, it is bliss. That is what they need, not more bloody school.

Salmotrutta Thu 18-Apr-13 20:46:00

Boney: from PISAs website -

"Who takes the PISA tests?
Schools in each country are randomly selected by the international contractor for participation in PISA. At these schools, the test is given to students who are between age 15 years 3 months and age 16 years 2 months at the time of the test, rather than to students in a specific year of school. This average age of 15 was chosen because at this age young people in most OECD countries are nearing the end of compulsory education. The selection of schools and students is kept as inclusive as possible, so that the sample of students comes from a broad range of backgrounds and abilities."

So they do select a broad range,in each country, from the same age cohort. That's what I mean by matched. Probably didnt express that very well did I?? grin

MonstersInception Thu 18-Apr-13 20:46:47

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

teacherandguideleader Thu 18-Apr-13 20:47:21

I think it is a ridiculous idea. I think the academic part of the school day should be shorter and children should only study until lunch time. My afternoon lessons are nowhere near as productive as morning lessons as I think they get tired of concentrating. I know I have some of my classes in the morning and on other days in the afternoon - productivity is so much lower in the afternoon.

Rather than go home at lunch, the afternoon could be given over to other skills - sports, creative stuff etc. the school day would still finish at 3, but after an afternoon of 'fun' activities, the children might feel more refreshed and in a better state if mind to study at home.

I'm not one of those people who says 'if I lose my holidays I'll leave' because I love my job. But, things would slip. I wouldn't have time to plan so thoroughly or mark work in as detailed way as I do now. I would want more money to reflect the increased hours.

If something like this were to go through, I would also have to give up my Guide group - I don't mind giving up my time at present but if I had less, I wouldn't be quite so willing so that's an extra curricular activity for children that may cease to exist.

Hulababy Thu 18-Apr-13 20:47:41

It is not true that all independent schools have significantly longer schools days.

DD goes to an independent primary and is going to an independent high school. They are typical of all the independent schools locally, infact her primary has slightly longer days than the norm even for the local independents :

Infants: 8:30am to 3:30pm
Juniors: 8:30am to 3:45pm
Secondary: 8:30am to 3:30pm

They have a longer lunch time and have two breaks each day (morning and afternoon) where most of our local state juniors and secondaries only have a morning break.

They have 3 extra week's holidays - a week extra at Christmas, Easter and the summer.

The finish at noon before each of these holidays. They usually break up on a Thursday, and they always return back on the Tuesday. They have half to a full day off a year for scholarship day - to celebrate the Y6s getting scholarships into the high schools.

DD's primary school never closes for snow as small enough to cope on skeleton staff. The other independents DO close on snow days, regularly.

There is NO weekend school.

The after school clubs and homework clubs are all optional.

The breakfast is optional.

They do have smaller classes. Rather than paying for teaching and support staff to open longer and longer - why not plough the money into more staff to enable this is state schools instead?

stella1w Thu 18-Apr-13 20:49:23

There should be free wraparound care and holiday clubs to help working parents but no way should kids do more school.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 18-Apr-13 20:49:51


The PISA tables have been covered, see upthread

thermalsinapril Thu 18-Apr-13 20:52:11

YANBU. It's a bad idea for many reasons.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 18-Apr-13 20:57:48

My dc are already really tired at the end of a long term. I don't want them to have shorter holidays and I definitely don't want them to have to do longer days. I feel that I sometimes don't see enough of them as it is. I get the feeling this is a plan to turn schools into glorified child minders so that we can all work longer hours hmm

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 18-Apr-13 20:58:44



They are not standard tests though as (for example) one year is maths, one is year English, and the next one is science, nor do they test the same children again so they cannot measure any form of progression within that group.

The PISA tests take a snap shot of the ability of a group at a single point in time. To say that they are taught better is a fallacy as there is no meaningful way to track data. or create a datum from which to mark.

Blissx Thu 18-Apr-13 21:03:41

Salmotrutta So read my other post stating that very fact-smaller class sizes would be more beneficial than changing the holidays, hence my point. Geeez!

Blissx Thu 18-Apr-13 21:07:29

NiceTabard-hold my hand up and say, no, I did not know that. I take it back and thank you for educating me. I feel humbled. Still didn't like what Mrs Huxtable said though.

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