The longer school day in Wales starts today – with children spending an extra FIVE hours a week in class.
The pilot plan will see 14 schools holding students past the final bell to make up for lost time during the pandemic.
Children across the UK – as well as their attached parents – have faced challenging times during the pandemic.
GCSEs and A-levels were canceled in 2020, as well as in 2021, after The Prime Minister said it would not be “feasible or fair” to support exams for youth hit hard by school closures.
Now, a total of 1,800 children will have a 10-week longer day and participate in lessons such as art, music and sports, as well as academic lessons.
The trial focuses on supporting disadvantaged students and schools impacted by the pandemic.
And if testing goes well, “next steps will be considered” – meaning thousands more could be forced to stay in school for longer days.
Millions of students across the UK have missed out on important lessons during the pandemic due to lockdowns, school closures and isolation rules.
In the UK, the idea of extending school hours has been floated, but has not yet been implemented.
Welsh Education Minister Jeremy Miles said: “The trial is a great opportunity to gather more evidence about how we use and structure our time at school and how that could evolve in the future. We’ll explore how these complementary sessions can improve health, progress academically, and increase sociocultural capital.
“As we move forward, we will continue to support schools with stronger community engagement as we carry out our mission to address the impact of poverty on educational attainment. and achieve high standards for all.”
However, not everyone was happy with the trial going on.
Laura Doel, director of education union NAHT Cymru, said they were not provided with any evidence to support the extension of the school day.
“There could be some educational benefits to reforming the school year and we are open to discussing what those benefits might be,” she said.
“All the focus from the Welsh Government has been on the school day matching family life and work patterns, not to mention the educational benefits for learners.
“All of the available evidence suggests that there is little or no data to support keeping learners in school longer because longer periods of time in school do not increase children’s ability to learn.”
Meanwhile, in the UK, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has stressed that GCSEs and A-Levels will take place in the summer but the results will take into account a score assessed by teachers.
Students will sit the papers after they are canceled in 2021 for the second year in a row.
But he ruled out an immediate return to the pre-Covid grading system, saying “we recognize that students who are taking their GCSEs or A-Levels have had their education disrupted”.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17506054/longer-school-days-start-in-wales/ Longer school days begin in Wales with children spending an extra FIVE hours a week in class