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Michael Gove Wants Schools To Stay Open Until 6pm For 51 Weeks A Year

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education

Schools could open until 6pm for up to 51 weeks a year, Education Secretary Michael Gove has revealed.

He said he wants to give schools more powers over the working hours available to teachers as well as holidays and pay.

Schools already have the freedom to set their own term dates and vary the length of days, which could signal the end of the long summer holidays for thousands of children.

However, the Daily Mail reports that Mr Gove is pushing for an overhaul of teachers' working conditions.

In a submission to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB), an independent panel that vets teachers' pay, Mr Gove said that current provisions are 'overly prescriptive'.

He pointed to evidence from the United States, that 'extended school hours that provide opportunities for additional high-quality activities can have real benefits for children's education'.

He said: "Children in the Far East are also often learning for many more hours than their peers in England, giving them a critical edge when they leave school.

"We want schools in this country to learn from these examples, and some of them already do.

"The David Young Community Academy in Leeds operates a seven-term year starting in June, with a maximum of six weeks at school followed by a maximum of four weeks' holiday.

"All ARK schools operate a longer school day: at secondary level, ARK schools are open from 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am-3pm on Fridays, providing 31 hours teaching per week."

Mr Gove also praised the Free School Norwich which is open 51 weeks a year and is 'proving very popular with parents struggling with childcare costs'. It provides an extended school service from 8.15am to 5.45pm during term time and throughout holidays, with one week off at Christmas.

A DfE spokesman said: "We are giving all schools the freedom to set the length of the school day and term to meet the needs of their parents and pupils.

"Many free schools and academies are already using these freedoms, for example the David Young Community Academy which runs a seven term year and Ark Schools which have lengthened the day in all their primary and secondary schools.

"We have also cut red tape to make it easier for schools to open longer and offer on-site childcare and in April we asked the STRB to look at whether heads should have more flexibility over staff conditions, so it is easier to extend the school day, without it being centrally prescribed from Whitehall."

Let's hope teachers will be paid a lot more!!!

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