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to think Gove has probably forgotten the fun of summer holidays, playing out after school and relaxing?

(235 Posts)
kim147 Fri 19-Apr-13 07:43:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elliejjtiny Fri 19-Apr-13 09:40:26

If this happens I will be seriously considering homeschooling. My DS2 (year R) is physically disabled and only just manages the school day as it is. TBH I don't think DS1 (year 2) who has no SN would cope with longer hours and shorter holidays. I think decent wraparound care is a good idea for those parents who need it but I think school hours should stay as they are.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 19-Apr-13 09:42:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teta Fri 19-Apr-13 09:48:20

My dc's have also attended school in hk.I think its the parents attitude to education which is so different in the uk.Hk children are expected to work all hours from a very young age.Uk parents want their dc's to have fun and play.I do think there is a happy medium and Uk parents need to push their children more.Parental expectation makes a huge difference.We have started to transfer our children into the private sector as expectations are so much higher.
I do think the holidays should be shifted.The weather in August is often awful and breaking up for June/July would seem to me to make more sense. I also believe younger children can't manage a longer day.What they need to do is to be taught more efficiently.Finally another major difference in the Uk is that children are not brought up to be competitive in the state system-in fact this is actively discouraged.In hk children learn to compete all the way through education, including at university.There is no sitting back and enjoying campus life for them.

MoreBeta Fri 19-Apr-13 09:49:22

I want 4 equal length terms and no half term holidays. Autumn term is far too long and should be broken in half.

I would say that summer holiday should be 4 weeks maximum and other holidays no more than 2 weeks. All schools in the UK should have exactly teh same term dates and holiday dates so everybody knows where they stand.

More after school clubs and activities including sport are what is needed not just sat behind a desk. My children are at private school and are there 8 .15 am till 5.15 pm. They have shorter terms than state school though.

It will take more resources to achieve what Gove wants and I think many/most parents will support him all the way but teachers unions will knee jerk oppose him.

indyandlara Fri 19-Apr-13 09:50:03

If we want to raise education standards than all parents need to come on board to support their own child, rather than extend the day. Please read with your child, actually talk to them, listen to them, play with them and feed them. Oh, and toilet trained would be helpful too. If children actually came into school ready to learn then perhaps school w be more successful all round.

indyandlara Fri 19-Apr-13 09:50:24


indyandlara Fri 19-Apr-13 09:51:36

God and then. Sausage fingers.

hobnobsaremyfave Fri 19-Apr-13 09:52:38

Do people really think that longer days are the answer? Surely there comes a point when children are tired and no matter how ling they are there they will learn no more?
Will they lengthen the days for all pupils? So my dd (yr1) do the same length of day as ds2 (yr6) or ds 1 (yr10) ? If she did that would be madness and if they have different length of days how on earth would parents manage?

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 09:54:00

mostly what indy said although saying that some children are at a disadvantage of no support or late nights or a chaotic homelife so perhaps a later start or finish would benefit some children?

but by the time they get to high school and exam years teens have so much going on that they need some down time and most schools offer later tutorials anyway

Dahlen Fri 19-Apr-13 10:00:09

I feel slightly grubby and huge shock at the fact that I agree with Gove on this one.

Our school system was devised to fit around an agricultural economy, and is based on the assumption that there is nearly always a primary carer at home. That world no longer exists. There is an argument that this isn't the best way to adapt to that change, but the system does need changing.

I agree with wordfactory, niceguy, and MoreBeta that if we want to improve social mobility and global competitiveness, we need more intense education and shorter holidays (every teacher I know has commented on the drop in learning that occurs during the summer holidays), but I think the best way to achieve that is through an emphasis on extra-curricular activities and learning through fun rather than being sat behind a desk all the time. Sports, for example, could be pushed a lot, which might also help the growing obesity epidemic.

Bonsoir Fri 19-Apr-13 10:02:40

I think that proposals to increase the amount of time children spend in institutions completely overlook just how important it is for DC to have unstructured time to consolidate the skills they are introduced to at school.

How are you supposed to learn to eg manage money or time if you can never practice going to the shops or sorting out your own day?

Bonsoir Fri 19-Apr-13 10:05:33

"Aren't we saying we would like to help disadvantaged DC but only if it doesn't hurt our own?"

This is a very important point. It is vital to help disadvantaged DC, but it is also vital not to prevent clever and advantaged DC from learning as much as possible.

Sirzy Fri 19-Apr-13 10:08:03

I agree Indy, education is about so much more than what is done in schools the problem is some parents leave their children at an automatic disadvantage but perhaps that shows we need to provide more support to parents as most want to help but don't always know how

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 19-Apr-13 10:11:42

Lets just pack them off to school permanently and we can parent by pen pal!!
What about the children that aren't cut out for school life? Longer days aren't going to help them, unless they were going to offer more trade skills in that time? Children need play time to learn too

Whilst I think the summer holiday is too long for one block for working parents. Especially for little ones the days long enough.

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 10:12:13

some parents don't give two hoots though sizry even with support in place they let the school deal with their children there is the minority of parents who don't care enough about their childrens education to want or go to support , it starts in early years and you can throw support and techniques at people it is really up to them to take it ,

Dahlen Fri 19-Apr-13 10:16:04

But what's happening to the children at the moment?

Mine - and most others I know - are in a childcare setting until a parent finishes work anyway.

What's different about having that at school, where at least there is continuity and the opportunity to build on skills learned at school. As long as adequate provision is made for rest and fun, I really don't see the problem.

The "it's too long" argument only works if you are in the extraordinarily privileged position of being able to pick up your DC straight from school and take them home. That's not the reality for most anymore.

Sirzy Fri 19-Apr-13 10:16:58

But those parents are very much in the minority though, and if we can get it so that other children are getting the support they need then hopefully that will allow schools more time to focus on the children who don't get that support or who need additional support.

niceguy2 Fri 19-Apr-13 10:17:25

Capital investment goes to areas where there are skills or cheap labour.

I see your point but it's not as simple as that at all. My company (and my job) involves offshoring jobs from western countries elsewhere. When we select a place it's not JUST based on labour but as you say yourself, skills. There's no point in going to say Vietnam because the labour rates are low but they don't understand the first thing about our HR laws.

Ditto with engineering. China is cheap but can they design the latest microprocessors? Five years ago the answer was no. The gap is closing soon and in time they will. Why? Because they are churning engineering graduates out by the bucket load.

We are competing in a global market and I see no harm in looking into if the 6 week holidays is fit for purpose. As I said right now I'm not wholly convinced but there's no harm in considering it.

And to illustrate my earlier point that teachers seem only to like the status quo and reinforce SirChenjin's post that it seems more and more like teachers see the break as a perk rather than for the good of the children. Link

Basically teachers in Nottingham went on strike because the council changed the 6 week holidays to 5 week then 2 weeks in Oct. Personally I thought it was quite fair. I don't know about you all but I find 6 weeks far too long. Kids are bored stupid at the end of it.

Bonsoir Fri 19-Apr-13 10:17:25

The "it's too long" argument only works if you are in the extraordinarily privileged position of being able to pick up your DC straight from school and take them home. That's not the reality for most anymore.

There isn't childcare provision after school for the majority of children, so somebody is picking them up and taking them home.

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 10:17:55

yes you are right sirzy

Sirzy Fri 19-Apr-13 10:18:55

The difference is Dahlen that having longer school days and shorter holidays won't give provision for rest and fun - it can't otherwise what is the point of it?

Children in after school clubs can sit and chill, or run around with friends or whatever and take part in things it isn't forcing them to sit and learn for longer periods of time.

Children need time to be children.

Bonsoir Fri 19-Apr-13 10:19:54

"I don't know about you all but I find 6 weeks far too long. Kids are bored stupid at the end of it."

Children are only going to be bored in the holidays if the parents make no provision to occupy them usefully. Schools have neither the premises nor the skills to teach DC most of what they need to learn about life. The idea of my DD spending most of her life at school makes me shudder in horror. Currently about 11% of her life is spent at school. That is plenty, given what school actually does with her.

wordfactory Fri 19-Apr-13 10:27:24

Bonsoir I was playing devil's advocate a little. Couldn't resist...

MN spends so much time beating it's breast about the poor and pointing its fingers at the evil rich, then the first time a Tory no less, suggests we do somehting that might help the DC of the poor...they don't wanna know.

Gotta love it grin.

Niklepic Fri 19-Apr-13 10:27:36

What about those children with special needs who are in mainstream school? My son has physical and learning disabilities and can only just cope with the school day as it is. Holidays give him chance to recharge his batteries. A longer school day would basically exacerbate his deteriorating condition. Moving him to a special school is not an option as all the local ones have been closed and the closest one (25 miles away) is completely oversubscribed. I'd end up home schooling and I'm not sure I'd be up to the job.

We need better and more affordable (or better still free!) childcare facilities to wrap around school times. Extending the school day is not the answer.

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 10:28:21

well children are unwinding at nursery or a childminder or after school club dahlen they are not in school mode iyswim even if they are not at home I can imagine getting to a CM from school is dump school bag have a snack and playing or homework it is different from school

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