September 21 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, March 6, 2014
A headteacher’s bid to extend the school day of a Suffolk academy have been given a boost after gaining the support of Suffolk County Council.
Dr Simon Letman, headteacher of Holbrook Academy, said his hopes of adding more than three hours of teaching a week would improve educational attainment and develop pupils’ life skills.
He has sent consultation letters to parents and teaching staff to gauge support for his bid to extend the school day to 4.15pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The school, taken out of special measures following an Ofsted inspection in December, currently opens at 8am and finishes at 3pm.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has said he wants state schools to have longer school days in the same way that many private schools do.
And while Dr Letman said the response to his proposals has been “overwhelmingly positive”, claiming on Monday that only three objections had been lodged from parents of the 451 pupils currently enrolled at the academy, his bid to extend the school day has received backing from the county council.
Academies are managed by their own Academy Trust and are not the responsibility of the council.
However, a spokesman for the authority said: “We are pleased to hear that Holbrook are looking at ways of better using the time during the day more flexibly, and in turn raise and uphold standards at the school.
“We expect school governors will consult the views of parents to enable them to arrive at the best decision, which ultimately benefits the child’s future education at the school.”
Speaking on Monday, Dr Letman said it is “almost certain” the proposals will be given the green light, describing them as a “no-brainer”.
In a letter sent to parents and teaching staff, he said: “The extra time would allow us to launch a new curriculum model which we believe will have a significant effect on the learning and progress of all students.”