06/01/2012 06:32 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Longer School Day Will Prepare Kids For Working Life Claims Labour

Longer school day will prepare kids for working life claims Labour PA

Labour has called for longer school days to make Britain's youngsters better prepared for work.

The Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg likened most schools to 'Victorian factories' where 'workers down tools when they hear the bell ring'.

He claims longer school days will particularly benefit kids from disadvantaged homes, giving them a chance to do their homework away from the pressures of their family, TV, and the lure of gangs.

In his keynote speech to the North of England Education Conference in Leeds, Twigg said:
"A recent study by the CBI reports that employers believe the school to work transition is not working.

"The research found that of employers surveyed, the proportion of their work force that left school at 16 that was 'poorly or very poorly prepared for the work place' was just under a third.

"To address this divide, I am announcing that we will establish a review into education and the world of work."

Barry Sheerman MP, a former Education Select Committee chairman, will launch the party's 'School to Work' review into education and the world of work.

Twigg said that increasing the length of the school day will give pupils 'a better perspective of the expectations upon them following the transition from school to the work place.'

He added that he wants state schools to introduce the same 'soft skills' teaching which privately educated children have, such as presentation techniques, interview skills, effective writing and how to dress appropriately for work.

"It is precisely these skills which have helped private school students to access the top universities," he said.
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What do you think? Should the school day be longer? And should 'soft skills' like what to wear in the workplace be part of the school curriculum?