ASCL comment on speculation about extended school days and summer term

09/02/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to ongoing speculation about extending the school day and summer term.
 
Responding to ongoing speculation about extending the school day and summer term, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“The speculation about extending the school day and summer term to help children catch-up with lost learning is misconceived and unhelpful.
 
“Many schools already run after-school activities and holiday clubs but this is totally different from a blanket requirement to grind out more hours of learning from tired children with the likelihood of diminishing returns.
 
“Mandatory attendance in the summer holidays would have to be enforced with fines for non-attendance and we doubt this would be supported by families after a year of coronavirus restrictions.
 
“The essential element of catch-up support is quality rather than quantity, and schools are very good at identifying learning needs and putting in place the appropriate support.
 
“What they need from the government is sufficient funding to enable them to do this as effectively as possible rather than policy gimmicks.”