Should schools have longer days? These Hartlepool headteachers think so

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HARTLEPOOL headteachers have welcomed calls for a longer school day – as long as funding is in place and it doesn’t affect extra-curricular activities.

A cross-party group of MPs say longer school days could help boost the results and unlock potential of poorer children by giving them somewhere to do homework.

A Commons Education Select Committee report says new guidance is needed on how extended school days can help youngsters from disadvantaged communities.

Michael Lee, headteacher of English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, where the school day is 8.55am-3.10pm, said: “We currently have a huge range of extra curricular activities on a evening after school.

“These include music, dance, drama and all sorts of sporting activities. Our library is also open for an hour after school to enable students to use our ICT facilities and to catch up on their homework.

“I am not opposed to extending the school day so long as it does not have a detrimental impact on our extra curricular activities and I would add that any extension would need to be properly funded.”

Mark Tilling, head of High Tunstall College of Science, where the school day is 8.40am-3pm, said: “We already work far beyond normal school hours with staff and students engaged in many extra-curricular activities.

“If you do more English, Maths and science, you can’t do the cultural things, but if the funding’s there I would welcome it.”

Andrew Jordon, head of Dyke House Sports and Technology College, which has a 8am-3pm day, said: “I’d welcome a longer day, to be given the opportunity to work more with students and get more progress from them. But we would be very conscious that we included within that an opportunity for students to do extra-curricular activities.”