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Raging parents blast ‘ridiculous’ plan for 5pm school end saying it’ll mess up dinner & is ‘recipe for burnout’

FURIOUS parents have branded proposed plans to keep schools open until 5pm as "ridiculous" and a recipe for "burnout" as it will mess up family dinners.

Mums and dads raged at the suggestion from Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza who urged the Chancellor to cough up an extra £1.9 billion a year to fund the extended school days.

Dame Rachel said it's vital 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.”

But irate parents fumed at the "ridiculous" plans which could see kids spending a whopping nine hours behind school gates.

Dad-of-two and former school governor Keith Grinstead added the plans could see teachers and pupils suffer from burnout.

Speaking about the proposals, the 69-year-old said: "I don't agree with it. When my daughters were at school, the normal school day was tiring anyway and the plans to extend don't take into account children's travel time.

"My kids were exhausted by half term, they needed the break from school. There is a danger of burnout. And with teachers - how can they cope with that? They need to mark homework and plan lessons.

Keith, who now runs the mental health support network Goodbye Lonely, added: "It messes up everything.

"My girls did gymnastics and dancing after school, but parents now won't have the time to give kids their tea and go to their after school clubs. It will be chaotic.

"I was a school governor when my kids were at school. I've seen the stresses on the other side, and the pressures put to bear on the whole system.

"I think this will put too much pressure on the youngsters and on the teachers."

Vicki, 39, said her kids, aged 12 and seven, would be starving by the time they got home. 

The businesswoman also voiced concerns over her childrens’ social development.

She said: “Obviously I think it's ridiculous, they've lost out on so much already.


"Their social development, and plans and wanting to go out - my son is 12 now and in year eight.

"At the start of lockdown he was in his very last year of primary school so he never really got the start of that independence, going out with his friends and all of that."

The mum, from Cheltenham, added: "I don't really want to be going out to fetch them at five o'clock either because it's dark and cold. And they need to eat!"

Mum-of-two Roxie Broun said: "I don't really feel like my son needs to catch up."

The 37-year-old web developer from Sussex said her five-year-old had been learning well from home.

She added: “Particularly when in other countries they don't start school until much later.

"He would just have time for bath, dinner and bed - he'd be missing out on family time."

The Department for Education declined to comment on the proposals.


This follows reports that schools could open up on Saturdays with pupils offered extra evening help during the week to catch up on teaching lost during Covid.

Between 95,000 and 135,000 kids did not return to school this term, new figures published earlier this month revealed.

The figures, taken from the Commission on Young Lives, are an estimate based on one day in September and do not include normal absences, or children who are staying at home because of Covid infection.

It is feared that some have developed anxiety or mental health problems during the pandemic - and schools have recognised a need to offer more support and safety.

Plans to offer kids more time in class are expected to be unveiled later this month and would see schools funded to stay open from 8am to 6pm.

Heads could also ask parents if they would like their kids to come in on Saturday mornings, with some schools already putting the plans into place.

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