Longer day at school will benefit all, says MP

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TEACHERS should not complain about working longer days or terms because it would give them more of a chance to do the job they love, a minister has claimed.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said the Government was “all in favour” of extending the school day and also looking at cutting short the summer holidays.

Asked about how this would impact on teachers he said: “If you love your job then there is, I think, absolutely nothing to complain about in making sure you have more of a chance to do it well.”

Such a move would benefit poorer children, he suggested, as “poorer children from poorer homes lose learning over the long summer holidays”.

His comments came after Labour’s shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg suggested last week that lengthening the school day may be a good way of preparing youngsters for the world of work and supporting pupils from poorer backgrounds.

Speaking at last week’s North of England Education conference at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, Mr Twigg said: “For secondary pupils it would mean getting used to a work-like timetable. A long hours culture has its drawbacks, but how many employers expect their workers to leave the office at 3.30pm? A longer day can be progressive in nature.

“Too many pupils who suffer from poor housing conditions struggle to find a quiet place to study or do their homework.

“Providing a longer school day will give these students a haven away from what in some cases can be chaotic and troublesome home lives.”

A planned free school which could open in Leeds in 2013 plans to stay open for 51 weeks of the year offering extended childcare to parents.