MP welcomes news of longer school days

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West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has welcomed the news that schools could be opening for longer.

On Monday, the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove announced that the government will work with school leaders to enable schools to open from 8am till 6pm.

Speaking at the London Academy of Excellence, the Secretary of State said that the traditional timetable will be complemented by after school activities which could include school sports, orchestra practice, cadets, debating competitions, coding clubs and Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes.

Many schools already operate this way, but the Secretary of State is keen to put in place measures that will allow schools to offer an enhanced school day if they wish. Removing red tape will enable schools to utilise their buildings much more efficiently.

Liz Truss said: “This is a really positive move and will be of fantastic benefit not only to pupils but parents as well. To have the option of an enhanced school day, with additional activities likes sports, music and home work clubs will really transform the opportunities for Norfolk’s young people.

“There are already shining examples of this in place across the county. The Norwich Free School works with a neighbouring nursery to provide before and after school child care, a home work club, activities and snack. Shouldham Primary provides breakfast clubs with the school remaining open till 5.30pm.

“Not only will extra curricular activities be on offer but also help with homework. Parents often speak of the challenges trying to assist children with the homework tasks so this could be a welcome development for many families.

“Working parents also struggle to find appropriate child care for those couple of hours when the school day finishes; utilising the school site for additional activities, parents can be reassured that their children are in a safe environment. And by working with teachers and the governing bodies, the schools will have the flexibility to offer what is most appropriate for their area, whether it be a rural or urban setting.”