Most teachers are against extending the school day and shortening holidays to help pupils recover “lost learning” after Covid, a union survey has found, The Guardian reports.
The poll of 10,000 members of the NEU union also revealed a lack of enthusiasm for the National Tutoring Programme, launched to help disadvantaged pupils “catch up”.
Instead, high proportions of NEU members said the best ways to achieve education recovery were for the Government to allow flexibility in the curriculum, more opportunities for sport and exercise and an increase in creative and practical learning. A total of 98 per cent said they opposed extending the school day and shortening holidays.
Just 21 per cent of NEU members agreed that tuition, under the government’s programme, was important and just one in 10 agreed that “a strong focus on delivering all of the existing curriculum” was the best way forward.
Almost seven in 10 (68 per cent) said the government should urgently tackle child poverty as the best way to support pupils after lockdown.
The survey comes as MP Andrew Lewer wrote on Independent School Management Plus that independent schools are “desperate to help with levelling up” but need support to make a bigger contribution to aid those who have been disadvantaged during the pandemic.
Mary Bousted, NEU joint general secretary, said: “If the government is serious about building back better, then they should take on board these views. Education professionals have been on the frontline, either virtual or physical, throughout the last 12 months and it is their insights on what has worked best that should be taken forward.”
A government spokesperson said: “We have already invested £1.7bn in ambitious catch-up plans, with the majority of this targeted towards those most in need, while giving schools the flexibility of funding to use as they believe best to support their pupils.”