Education Minister Michael Gove wants children to have 10 hour school days and lessons on a Saturday, in a bid to improve standards of education and enable children to study a broader curriculum.
Terms would also increase by two weeks under the proposals, meaning the academic year would run to 40 weeks, giving children an extra year's worth of education over a five-year period.
Mr Gove faced criticism from the teachers' unions who said staff already have a huge workload, and that children needed time to rest. However, the Education Secretary insisted the plans would be encouraged rather than compulsory, adding: 'I personally believe that people should be learning for longer.
'Lots of schools have found having an extended school day – sometimes weekend education, or longer terms – helps.'
'The opportunity is now there for schools to offer students more,' he said.
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Extended powers of punishment for headteachers