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School day ‘should be extended to at least 6.5 hours’

The school day should be extended to at least six-and-a-half hours, the Education Secretary has said.

Nadhim Zahawi said there were “excellent examples” of schools that already run extended timetables to give children more time in the classroom.

He went on to say that he would examine the case for a longer school day, before he urged all schools to ensure they taught children for at least 6.5 hours a day.

Mr Zahawi’s comments came in response to a question in the Commons from Robert Halfon, the Tory chairman of the education select committee.

Ministers have previously been urged to extend the school day to help children catch up on lost learning after the disruption they have faced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Halfon said: “We know from the Education Policy Institute that it increases educational attainment from two to three months, especially amongst disadvantaged pupils. We know that a longer school day, according to the department for culture, media, sports, increases numeracy by 29 per cent. So, this increases educational attainment.

“Will he at least consider some pilot schemes in disadvantaged areas around the country where we can have a longer school day?”

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