Schools could open from 9am to 6pm for 45 weeks


David Cameron’s former Number Ten policy chief, Paul Kirby, has drawn up plans for schools to open until 6pm for up to 45 weeks a year, while school holidays would be slashed to seven weeks.

Ministers are already keen for more schools to experiment with different hours, according to a Government source, but said Mr Kirby’s call for a compulsory 45-hour week went well beyond anything being considered.

Schools already have the freedom to set their own term dates and vary the length of days, which could signal the end of the long summer holidays for thousands of children.

Mr Kirby told The Sun his proposals would ‘transform the lives of most households in the UK within two years’.

Nine-hour school days would slash childcare costs for parents and boost education standards, it was claimed.

Pupils would also be better prepared for work as they would become used to the long hours and it would keep them off the streets.  

Mr Kirby added: "This is a once in a generation reset that wouldn’t detract from the current school freedom agenda. It also involves dramatically expanding what schools actually do — into sport and other activities.

"All the lessons from abroad where this has happened previously, such as the United States, show that elongating the school day takes much of the stress away from teachers and pupils."

A Department for Education spokesperson said: ‘We are already giving all schools the freedom to set the length of the school day and term.

"Many Academies and Free Schools offer extended opening hours, and we want more schools to take up these freedoms. We will obviously consider recommendations for further reforms."

School Leadership Today