School day to be extended by 30 mins under proposal as part of £15billion Covid rescue plan to help kids catch up
THE school day is set to be extended for half-an-hour under a proposed plan to help kids catch up with classes missed as a result of the Covid lockdowns.
Under the proposal, teachers will be told they must keep pupils for an extra two-and-a-half hours a week as part of a £15billion Covid rescue plan, it's reported.
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A leaked presentation written by education tsar Sir Kevan Collins, who has been tasked with sorting out kids' missed learning, reveals plans for youngsters to face a 35-hour week as a minimum.
The proposal, revealed by The Times, says each child needs 100 hours of extra schooling a year from 2022 to help plug the gaps caused by closed schools.
In addition, in England five million of the worst-hit students will get extra tutoring on top of that, while 500,000 teachers will get more training.
It comes as:
- Just one Covid death was recorded in the past 24 hours – although 3,383 more tested positive
- A third wave could already be under way in the UK, scientists warn
- The UK must give poorer countries jabs to stop millions of deaths and fight ‘dangerous gap’, WHO warns
- Covid passports ‘won’t have to be used for large events’ as plans to make them a legal requirement ‘will be dropped’
And officials are even considering an extra year of college for sixth-form students if teens are unable to complete A-levels in time.
If the Government doesn't act quickly, it's feared it'll cost the UK £1.5trillion – 100 times the cost of the three-year programme.
BORIS'S 'BIG, BOLD OFFER'
The leaked 56-page publication was marked as 90 per cent complete on April 15 – although one Whitehall source said nothing has changed drastically since then.
If the document remains as it is, Sir Kevan will be pushing for extra time, teaching and tutoring on the understanding all three are "essential" for students.
Teachers will be given raises to cover the extra hours, it's reported.
Boris Johnson has already been briefed on the report.
He is prepared to give it the green light as part of a "big, bold offer" to Brits on their children's education, the source claims.
It's not yet known whether earlier plans to slash summer holidays will go ahead.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said schools are facing the biggest reform since the Second World War in an interview in February.
Kids across the UK – as well as their embattled parents – have faced a challenging time during the pandemic.
GCSE and A-levels were cancelled in 2020, as well as this year, after the PM said it wouldn't be "possible or fair" to foist exams on youngsters so badly affected by school closures.
Meanwhile, it was last month suggested that more than 200,000 pupils may be leaving primary school without basic reading and writing.
An extra 30,000 kids are also struggling with literacy in just the past year.
Tory MP Robert Halfon, chair of the education committee, called on ministers to take more urgent measures to deal with the “education apocalypse”.
It's not known whether the reopening of schools had a particular impact on cases – although the number of newly-infected people diagnosed in the UK each day remains comparatively low.
However, eight unions have urged ministers to immediately publish data on the number of variants found in schools and colleges across England.
The joint letter says: “There are growing concerns around the variant B.1.617.2 and reports from areas such as Bolton that cases are growing fastest amongst school-age children, with cases in Bolton higher now than at any point during the pandemic.”
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