Education Minister Nadim Zahawi said he would like to see all schools move toward opening their doors for six and a half hours a day.
In his first teaching questions with a new confirmed team, he told MPs he wanted to see schools move toward the current rate of 6.5 hours and that he was looking at some “excellent examples” from multiple academies trusts lasting longer days.
His comments in Parliament today came in response to a question from House of Commons Education Committee Chairman Robert Halfon, who asked if he would continue to defend the case for a longer school day.
The length of the school day has been at the center of the Covid funding controversy.
The government’s former Commissioner for Education Restoration, Sir Kevan Collins, resigned when an extension of the day was not included in the Education Department’s plans earlier this year.
Professor Halfon said: “We know from the Education Policy Institute that it increases educational attainment by two to three months, especially among disadvantaged pupils.
“We know that a longer school day, according to the Department of Culture, Media and Sports, increases arithmetic by 29 percent, which increases educational attainment.
“Would he at least consider some pilot programs in disadvantaged areas across the country where we could spend a longer school day?”
Mr Zahawi said: “I think the priority should be for those children and students, who have the least time available to them to recover, which is why the £800m for children aged 16-19 with an extra 40 hours of education is so important. In addition to allocating £1 billion at secondary and primary levels, making a total of £5 billion in redemption funds.
“There are some excellent examples in some of the MATs for a longer school day that I am going to look at. The average school day is now 6.5 hours and I would like to see everyone move towards that rate.”
Schools must be protected from ‘anti-vaccinators’
Al-Zahawi said pupils need to protest against the anti-vaccination protests taking place outside school gates, but he did not say whether he would implement Labor’s proposed policy on exclusion zones outside schools.
Peter Kyle, the shadow schools minister, said schools are becoming testing and vaccination centers for Covid.
“Instead of having a protective wall for adults [the SoS] He told me that it would be, students face a wall of angry and striking anti-vaccators who are preventing them from entering the school by bullying, harassing, and obstructing the flow of their school,” Mr. Kyle said.
Mr. Kyle asked if Mr. Zahawi would accept Labor’s proposal to introduce exclusion zones for the duration of the vaccination launch.
He asked if the foreign minister would apologize to the 200,000 out-of-school students after he made the decision not to offer the vaccine to young people during the summer months.
Al-Zahawi said that it was the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization that initially made the call on vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 15.
He added that Home Secretary Priti Patel would provide any resources to schools to combat anti-vaccination protests.
“We moved quickly once this advice was made available to vaccinate children aged 12-15 and of course during the holiday period which was extended to include out-of-school vaccination and now they are back in school which is still going on,” Mr. Zahawi said.
“But he [Mr Kyle] It is right to highlight the dangerous behavior of some anti-vaccinators – there is no place for anti-vaccinators who harass or approach school leavers and I have assurance from the Home Secretary that she will provide any resource the sector needs Make sure that these people in our schools are protected and able to take on the task of educating children.” .
Evaluation of the National Teaching Program
Mr. Al-Zahawi said the government’s flagship national educational program will be independently evaluated when asked how well it has been able to reach the most disadvantaged students.
He said that the National Transformation Program has reached 308,000 students in 2020/21 and will expand to provide tuition fees for two million students.
In response to a question about the fact that only 240,000 students were enrolled in the National Transformation Program in its first year and whether “accurate information” would be provided on how the National Transformation Program reached the most disadvantaged groups, Mr. Al-Zahawi said there is an ongoing independent evaluation of the program’s programme. Effect.
“An independent evaluation of the academic year is underway and will assess the impact of the program on the educational attainment of pupils in all regions, including the North, and of course we will publish that,” he said.
“Provisional figures are emerging from our delivery partner this year so far, 3,822 schools have taken part in the program through education partners and academic mentors, and the latest reports show that 475 academic mentors have been assigned to schools in the most disadvantaged areas of England, and on top of that. All schools are involved in more than half a billion and 579 million pounds to hire local teachers.”
Zahawi asked if he was happy that Randstad had handed over the NTP program
Al-Zahawi was questioned by his labor counterpart Kate Green on how nearly two million young people had left school by the end of the NTP period without support, including more than half a million in the north.
The Shadow Education Secretary also noted that “the new discounted Randstad contract has left schools facing an overly complicated bureaucracy and teaching delays.”
“Is the Secretary of State satisfied with the Randstad administration’s performance of the contract?” She said.
“I’m grateful to Mrs. Sharifa – I’m never satisfied until we got it done because in the end we can have an arms race with how much we can spend – it’s all about the results,” said Zahawi.