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Gove says lengthen school days and shorten long summer holiday

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


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.

CiderwithBuda Thu 18-Apr-13 17:57:13

And imagine what it will do to the travel industry? A 3 or 4 week window when everyone tries to go on holiday? How will that effect industry? Everyone wanting to take the same time off?

I hate the idea.

TwllBach Thu 18-Apr-13 17:57:50

I love how the OP immediately bashes the teachers - how dare they have the same holidays as the children hmm

Can you imagine trying to get a five year old to actively learn and take part in meaningful lessons from 9 - 5? Or a class of year 6 who are already tired thanks to the ridiculous array of examinations and revision?

And as for the comment about working parents being pleased, yes, I'm sure they would be. School, however, is not your own personal child care facility. It's there to teach your children.

As a teacher, I think the length of the school day is fine for primary school children. Maybe secondary and sixth form could be jiggled, but from what I remember of high school, I was pretty tired at the end of the day still.

The length of the holidays... I do think children need to have breaks but I also think that the summer holidays are a bit too long. Maybe they coul restructure the terms.

superfluouscurves Thu 18-Apr-13 17:58:15

Absolutely dreadful idea.

School hours are long enough. My dd (9yrs) is educated abroad (Europe) and she has Wed afternoons off and long holidays, but they work them so hard during term time that she is still exhausted by the end of the week.

She undergoes a complete personality change during school time (not for the better)

They are children for heaven's sake, not mini-adults.

And it's good for children to be bored occasionally ... it stimulates creativity.

tiggytape Thu 18-Apr-13 17:59:25

I noticed her says all the 'best schools' have longer days but conveniently doesn't mention that they also have 9 week summer holidays and 3 weeks at Easter and Christmas.

I think many children struggling with both.
Schools that currently do these hours have very long holidays to recharge
Schools that do shorter hours have shorter holidays and yet still contend with very grumpy and tired children in the last weeks of term.

TwllBach Thu 18-Apr-13 18:00:31

Oh X post with almost everyone grin

Timetoask Thu 18-Apr-13 18:01:23

I think it's a great idea, but I do realise that some children get tired very easily so might not suit everyone.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 18-Apr-13 18:02:23

Oooh, pay rise!

Turnipinatutu Thu 18-Apr-13 18:02:52

A crap idea.

Children need to play, amuse themselves in activities that interest them and need those breaks from formal learning.
How would it be possible to fit in swimming lessons, sports clubs, brownies and cubs etc. These things all go towards helping our children grow into well rounded individuals.

With the clampdown on term time holidays, making the school holidays shorter would cause the cost of a family holiday to rocket. This would put simple holidays out of the reach of many families.

And not to mention the added pressure to teachers. The quality of teaching would suffer as less people would be inclined to go into an increasingly high pressure, low paid profession.

The school terms shouldn't be based around convenience to parents, but the welfare and education of children.

tiggytape Thu 18-Apr-13 18:04:09

The school terms shouldn't be based around convenience to parents, but the welfare and education of children.

Totally agree

GoblinGranny Thu 18-Apr-13 18:04:16

'Kids definitely get bored after about 2 weeks'

I blame the parents. Either your children aren't self-sufficient enough, or you are tedious company for them. Mine have never been bored in their lives.

Smartiepants79 Thu 18-Apr-13 18:07:01

Mmm yes, more money?
Primary school children do NOT need a longer day they would all fall asleep at their tables.
It always amazes me though that the secondary schools near us seem to finish their school day before my own (primary) school, don't know how they fit everything in.
The holidays are NOT just for the staff, they are for children to be children.
Activities can cost nothing. They also don't really need activities just a friend or two and some imagination.

AvrilPoisson Thu 18-Apr-13 18:07:13

you find it hard to entertain your child for 2 weeks... yet don't see that teachers work hard when they have terms of 12 weeks? hmm

Shit idea. Schools arent childcare. And I would like my kids to actually have a childhood. Not sit in a classroom all the time.

juneau Thu 18-Apr-13 18:07:37

Thing is, we live in a global society now. When most of us grew up we were only competing for jobs with other Brits. The fact that other countries have more rigorous school systems will have an impact on our DC's futures.

And yes, I agree about he private schools having even longer holidays as I went to a private school myself. We did have long school days though - 8-6 every day and school on Sat morning as well. I coped with that from age 7, so a school day that finishes at 3.15 for everyone (even the older kids), seems very short to me. Fine for the little ones, of course, but I don't see why older kids could certainly manage longer days.

thecatfromjapan Thu 18-Apr-13 18:07:47

Horrible idea.

My son already starts school at 8.30 and doesn't get home until 5 or later many nights (he has after-school lessons in stuff, and out of hours clubs).

I'll never see him.

I'm guessing Gove has just forgotten that a lot of schools run extra subject classes outside of regular hours, along with all those useless things like sports, drama, music and special interest clubs.

And leave the holidays alone. I love doing things with my children. I love getting to know them again. I love watching them unwind.

I wonder why people like Mr Gove hate children so much that they want to steal their youth from them and have them work, work, working the whole time?

AuntieStella Thu 18-Apr-13 18:08:39

It's yet another recycled Labour policy based on the US KIPP programme: see this 2010 (pre-election) discussion in TES which shows it already under discussion. It's still under discussion. It's one of those ideas that keeps popping up. But as neither main part seemed/seems at close to being able to implement it, it's more of a too, to provoke discussion than anything likely to happen.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 18-Apr-13 18:09:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 18-Apr-13 18:11:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 18-Apr-13 18:13:00

I think the problem with the policy is that it's not child centred.

There isn't a nice way to ask this but I'll try - why was your kid bored, didn't you do anything with him? Your child needs stimulation and relaxation in holidays - that's your job to do this and teach him to do that for himself.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 18-Apr-13 18:14:01

It's a shit idea! Shorten the school week I say...4 days would be plenty...they'd have no frigging childhood!

thecatfromjapan Thu 18-Apr-13 18:16:24

Thanks for that, AuntiStella. I think that's a timely reminder of how annoying Labour could be. Though their funding of schools in London was great.

I think the thing that chills me about Gove is that he seems to be under the impression that everyone who uses a state school is actually feral and therefore the very best things that state schools can do is take and keep children in a secure, disciplined environment, for as long as possible.

I really do detect that note in almost every message that comes out of his office.

DomesticCEO Thu 18-Apr-13 18:16:33

Personally I would change the school holidays - I would move one week from summer to the October half term and I would fix the Easter holidays so we don't get messed around every year with the length of the spring and summer terms.

That's all smile.

CremeEggThief Thu 18-Apr-13 18:16:42

I would favour a slightly longer school day, such as 8.45- 4.30. My DS is currently there 8.55- 3.10, with no after-school privision. The last hour could be given over to homework or activity clubs, so children could just relax once they go home.

I think the holidays are fine as they are fine as they are.

HesterShaw Thu 18-Apr-13 18:18:16

It's an awful idea.

Children in Finland have ten weeks off in the summer. Finland is generally hailed as being a progressive and high achieving nation in terms of its education, as is Scandinavia in general.

Children would be exhausted, fractious and unwilling to learn. You can't MAKE exhausted, fractious children achieve by piling more on them.

I was a teacher. The first two weeks of the summer holidays I slept and got over my burnt-out tiredness. The second two weeks I enjoyed, like a normal person on their school holidays. The last two weeks I was preparing for the autumn term. That's how it generally is.

Stop talking about working parents and their lives all the time! This is about CHILDREN! Think back to your childhoods and remember those school holidays - imagine a childhood without them. Our children are going to be working until they are 70, and Gove wants them to be in school ten hours a day and not have the summer holidays we had!

If he wants to overhaul anything in the style of another country, then start formal schooling later like they do in Scandinavia and spend the first few years socialising them to enable them to become more effective learners. Stop messing with things he doesn't understand and making education more boring. And lastly, overhaul the childcare system in the UK to make it easier for parents to work so kids don't HAVE to be in school all that time. It's not a babysitting service.

If you don't want to provide for your children, don't have them.

HesterShaw Thu 18-Apr-13 18:19:09

And I second the concern about the domestic tourism market. A huge number of businesses in the UK make the vast majority of their profits in eight weeks.

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