schools news

Schools news: Parents outraged over PM’s plan to ‘extend summer term by two weeks’

The holidays will be given back in the autumn and winter

Hot on the heels of news that the government hopes to reopen schools on March 8 comes another education update.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be looking at a plan that will extend the summer term by two weeks.

He has vowed to go “flat-out” to get pupils’ education back on track following the latest coronavirus lockdown.

And it appears that means eating into the tradition six-week summer holiday.

boris at Downing Street
Boris Johnson is said to be hoping to extend the summer term by two weeks (Credit: Splash News)

What’s the latest news on schools reopening?

Boris Johnson has said that schools in England will reopen no sooner than March 8.

Many parents currently homeschooling will doubtless be counting down the days.

And now, in yet another education shake up, the Sunday Times reports that the PM is keen to extend the summer term by two weeks.

Read more: Bosses can legally demand staff to have COVID vaccination in new ‘jab for jobs’ row

This will, in effect, shorten the traditional six-week summer holiday, in a bid to help kids catch up.

They won’t miss out on the holidays altogether, though.

It will be redistributed to existing breaks in the autumn and winter.

Many schools in England are due to break up for the summer holidays on July 23.

The proposed two-week extension would see pupils continuing to attend classes in the first week of August.

Critics of the proposals have said teachers deserve a break (Credit: Pexels)

What’s the thinking behind the plans?

Studying in a classroom in the summer months would pose less of a transmission risk when it comes to coronavirus.

Doors and windows could be kept open to increase ventilation and classes could even be moved outside in some circumstances.

Read more: Scientists warn all over-50s must have COVID jab before restrictions ease

However, education unions have said they will oppose the plans, should they be put forward.

They said parents are “craving getting back to normal” and the end of term dates should remain as they currently are.

What has the government said about the plans?

Speaking on BBC Breakfast today (February 8), health minister Edward Argar remained tight-lipped about the prospect of extending the summer term.

So add two weeks at the end of the summer term and then subtract two from the winter term? To catch up?

He said: “It’s quite right that Gavin [Williamson, the Education Secretary] is looking at a whole range of things to see how we can make sure the impact on them is minimised to the extent that’s possible.

“But it would be premature for me to comment on what may or may not be what he does announce.'”

Boris himself declared: “We’ve got to work flat out now as a country, as a society, to remedy the loss of learning that kids have had.

What do parents think of the latest schools news?

Most seemed perplexed at the plans.

Some wondered what point the summer term extension had if an extra two weeks holiday were given at another point in the school year.

Writing on Twitter, one said: “So add two weeks at the end of the summer term and then subtract two from the winter term? To catch up?”

Another said: “Please can we get them back as normal and not with year bubbles, masks and extended term.”

Another declared: “No, the summer term should not be extended. Let the teachers rest, FFS.”

“My kids have been doing all the work set and if they miss anything we get emails, phone calls. So no the summer term should not be extended,” another agreed.

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