Commenting on the announcement by the Department for Education that schools will be asked to offer at least 32.5 hour school week by September 2023 under plans to be outlined in the Schools White Paper on Monday, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

"The education sector is crying out for a Schools White Paper and SEND Green Paper that address the huge challenges that battered and bruised schools face to support all their pupils during and beyond a pandemic.

'The expectation of a 32.5 hour week for pupils is a classic example of government trying to hit a target but missing the point. The vast majority of schools' days are of this length or a little more or less. We are looking for much more sophisticated change. Where is the multifaceted recovery plan? What should happen in the extra 10-15 mins some pupils will now spend in school? How will pupil wellbeing and education staff workloads be improved to ensure their time together is as impactful as both want and deserve?

'Children, parents and those that teach and support them need more from a government policy platform than easy headlines like this.



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