Academies drop plan for longer school day after protests

Future Academies, the educational charity that sponsors four Pimlico schools has dropped its plans to extend school days by 45 minutes after protests from parents and teachers.


Academy officials wrote to parents in March to propose the new times, which would see the school day start at 8.45pm, instead of 9pm, and close at 3.45pm instead of 3.15pm.

However, since then a spokeswoman for Future, the social enterprise that sponsors Future Academies, said that the plans have been dropped.

The new proposal from Future came after George Osborne drafted legislation for a radical shake up of school systems, saying “we’ll fund longer school days” to increase Britain’s standings in the global league tables for education.

Future Academies was set up by John and Caroline Nash in order to “help young people achieve.” However, more than 100 Millbank academy parents have signed a protest letter, which states that the proposal would result in tired children that would struggle to learn, rather than helping them.

And teachers weren’t happy either. According to The National Union of Teachers (NUT), more than 20 teachers at Churchill Gardens primary academy and Millbank academy threatened to resign following the proposal. The NUT claimed that the 45 minute extension would force parents and teachers to travel at busier times and exhaust younger pupils, some of whom already fall asleep in assembly.

“Westminster NUT is relieved to hear that the proposals have been suspended, and we trust that there will be a genuine consultation with the staff about the curriculum and the school day,” said Michael Parker, secretary of Westminster NUT.

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