Schools should stay open until 5pm so kids can catch up, says education czar

EVERY school in England should stay open until 5pm in a post-pandemic overhaul to help kids catch up, an education czar says.

Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza is urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to find an extra £1.9billion a year to pay for longer days.


Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza says schools should stay open until 5pm to help kids catch up post-pandemic

Dame Rachel wants after-class activities such as catch-up lessons, sports and drama to be the new norm.

She said it was wrong some schools send kids home after lunch — and demanded pupils be put “at the centre of recovery from the pandemic”.

She told Times Radio: “We shouldn’t have schools closing at 2.30pm.

“I want those schools to open, the children to actually do the activities they need.”

The Association of School and College Leaders wants £5.8billion to help kids catch up.

Dame Rachel called it a “sensible figure” and said it was “worth a battle to secure it” despite Treasury reluctance.

Her remarks come after The Education Policy Institute calculated lost class time due to the pandemic had wiped out £78billion in lifetime earnings.

It said at least £13billion recovery funding would be needed to prevent lasting damage to life chances.

Rish ‘no’ to meals

RISHI Sunak yesterday appeared to reject ­Marcus Rashford’s call to extend free school meals into the holidays.

The Man United star’s plea was supported by supermarkets, retailers and food brands.

He said ending it will “deepen and extend the scarring caused by the pandemic on our youngest citizens”.

The Chancellor cited the new, “holiday activities program, which provides not just meals but activities for children during holidays for families that need help”.

Letting Covid ‘run rampant in children is a real gamble’ – as 1 in 20 schoolkids now infected

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