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Longer school days and shorter holidays being considered by the government, Gavin Williamson

Tammy Hughes
·2-min read
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking at a podium (PA Wire)
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking at a podium (PA Wire)

A change to summer holidays and longer schools days are being considered by the government, the Education Secretary said on Sunday.

Gavin Williamson said the measures were part of proposals that were being examined for helping pupils to catch up on lost learning during the pandemic.

He told Sky News that a five-term year was under consideration which would mean students would miss out on a six-week summer break.

“There is a whole range of different proposals that we are looking at, whether it is a five-term year, whether it is lengthening the school day,” he said.

“But also measures such as enhancing the support we give to teachers, supporting them in their professional development, making sure they can be the very best of themselves.”

Mr Williamson said Sir Kevan Collins, the Government’s education recovery commissioner, would be looking at what measures to introduce over the next 18 months.

Schools in England are reopening to all pupils on Monday in the first step in a phased return to normality after months of lockdown.

Children have been learning from home since the beginning of January after schools were forced to shut amid a surging second wave of Covid-19.

Mr Williamson said schools reopening marked the first stage of the government’s road map out of lockdown.

“This is our first step, our real first step in terms of moving out of national lockdown and it is our schools that are leading the way,” the Education Secretary told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“We are very much factoring in as part of the road map that actually schools will be staying open.

“That is why we are taking a cautious approach because we intend for it to be an irreversible approach and that schools will continue to remain open.”

He gave a guarantee that schools would return again after the Easter holidays.

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