Ministers could extend school day or change summer holidays to help kids catch up

MINISTERS are looking at extending the school day or changing the holidays to help kids catch up.

MPs have personally lobbied Boris Johnson to consider after-school classes run by volunteers.

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Tory MP and Education Committee chair Robert Halfon told The Sun ministers were listening to their ideas.

He said: “We should extend the school day but not necessarily ask teachers to do it.

“It could be funded by the catch-up programme and use civil society groups to provide sports or other support.

“It would hugely improve the mental health of children — they’ve been locked up so long.”

He also wants an army of education professionals drafted in to help kids catch up.

Some catch-up school programmes ran last summer to help kids who fell behind.

Ministers are also mulling changes to the school holidays – but this is seen as less likely.

The £1billion Covid catch-up fund was recently extended with another £300million and a national tutoring programme.

Sir Kevan Collins has been made Education Recovery Commissioner to oversee a programme for youngsters.


It came as Welsh ministers announced primary schools in Wales will return from February 22.

Some kids in Scotland will return after half-term.

Matt Hancock said it was still too early to say what when all British schools will reopen.

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