Have your say: Should the school year be extended into the summer to help children 'catch up'?

Ross McGuinness
·1-min read
S5 and S6 pupils at St Columba's High School in Gourock, Inverclyde, wear protective face masks during their history lesson. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
School openings could be extended in the summer, it has been reported. (PA Images via Getty Images)

The government is considering an extension of the school year to allow pupils to catch up from the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been reported.

According to the Sunday Times, the summer term could be extended by two weeks, with the lost holiday time added in the autumn and winter.

Ministers are discussing the plan as it would permit teachers to open classroom windows – scientists say fresh air can limit the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Tory MP Robert Halfon, chairman of the education select committee, told the newspaper: “We have to reform the school year.

“There has to be change; things cannot carry on the way they did pre-COVID. From my discussions with No 10, everything is up for debate.”

Boris Johnson has said schools in England will be closed until at least 8 March, while Wales and Scotland have both announced that some primary school year groups will return by 22 February.

Last month, Johnson insisted schools are safe but also said they increase the spread of coronavirus.

He said closing primary schools was his biggest regret from the first lockdown.

At the weekend, the Daily Telegraph reported the government is also considering plans to lengthen the school day.

It said officials at the Department for Education are considering multiple proposals to help children try to recover lost learning due to school closures.

This could include charities and volunteers running out-of-hours classes and extracurricular activities, meaning teachers may not be required to stay late.

Read more: Boris Johnson denies being too optimistic over plan to reopen schools

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