Is this school right to extend day by an hour for 'compulsory revision'?
PUBLISHED: 13:34 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:34 29 November 2019
Telling young people they have to spend an extra hour at school might not sound popular - but this school in Ipswich is confident, in the long-term, their pupils will thank them.
Copleston High School is telling its year-11s that they must stay an extra hour every day - on top of the existing school day, and their homework - to help prepare for their all-important GCSEs.
On top of that, the secondary also encourages to spend further time at school during weekends and school holidays to revise further.
Some could argue it puts greater pressure on students and reduces time available for them to unwind at a time when they need it most.
But Copleston has strongly defended the move, which it likens to youngsters getting a private school education for free and says is vindicated by the school's exam results.
It also says it levels the playing field for families who cannot afford private tuition to boost their child's chances of success - and says it is "incredibly lucky" to have the backing of "supportive parents".
"They are in very much favour of this policy because they appreciate it is done because we care very deeply about the best interest of the young people in our care," said headteacher Andrew Green.
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"This is a policy that has been running for three years and combined with our compassionate, talented and hard-working teachers has led to an extraordinary improvement in exam results."
The school's Progress 8 score, which assesses the difference between children from when they start to when they finish, has been the best in Ipswich for the past two years.
At +0.36, it is consistently rated "well above or above" average for schools by the Department for Education.
"If you look at independent schools, they expect their children to study an extended curriculum in the evenings, holidays and at weekends.
"In more affluent areas of the country parents will be paying a lot of money for their child to have extra tuition.
"We are offering a private school education and we are offering it for free to parents who might not be able to afford to pay for it themselves.
"Like paying for the revision guides, it is about making sure every child, no matter their background, gets the same opportunities to achieve and reach their potential."
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