The Education Minister says he will look at “transformative” ideas to tackle lost learning, including a five year year

Longer school days and shorter holidays are not ruled out, the Education Minister said, despite warnings that it could backfire

Gavin Williamson confirmed that changing summer vacation dates and extending the school day were being explored as possible ways to help students catch up on lost learning during the pandemic

He said the government would look into “transformative” ideas for schools like a five-year year instead of a three-year year

“We’re looking at vacations, we want to extend the school day, we’re looking at a whole bunch of measures,” Williamson told Sky News’ Sophie Ridge on Sunday

“There are a number of different proposals that we are considering whether it is a five-year year, whether it extends the school day,” he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday

“But also measures like improving the support we give teachers, supporting their professional development and ensuring that they can be the best of themselves”

The proposals were criticized by the boss of Ofsted, who said it was “pointless to add time here or move time there” if the families do not have a “wave of support” for such measures

Amanda Spielman said that if children don’t show up for extra semesters or summer schools, they could “put a lot of effort into something that doesn’t get there.”

She also said that the introduction of longer days or shorter holidays could even backfire and widen the gap between children

“If you make changes and people don’t accept them, and some send their children to school and others don’t, there is of course the risk that children who have done reasonably well, who I had the support of, their parents may be at risk most are enthusiastic about education, sent their children to extra school, and those who are least committed don’t, “she told Times Radio

“So in the end you are enlarging the gaps without shrinking them, but it’s very important that we as a nation try to make sure that the children get enough education to fill in the gaps and make sure they get where they are they have to be, if they have to, for us to do a way that children and parents will embrace and participate ”

The Telegraph believes the discussions about shortening the school summer vacation were led by senior number 10 officials interested in more important reforms to the education system

In discussions over the past few weeks, Downing Street is said to have raised the problem of shortening the six-week break and lengthening the school day

They should see fundamental reforms as necessary to raise significant additional funding from the Treasury Department for the coronavirus catch-up program, in which Mr Johnson has shown a keen personal interest

The ideas are fed into a review led by Sir Kevan Collins, the newly appointed Commissioner for Restoring the Education of the Government

His interim proposals are expected to be made in April, although the whole process will take 18 months. Sir Kevan declined to comment when approached by The Telegraph yesterday

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Gavin Williamson

World News – UK – Longer school days and shorter vacations could help students catch up, says Gavin Williamson