Should the school day be extended? Pros and Cons of Keeping Pupils for Longer

There are many reasons for and against keeping schools open longer – it’s a burning issue and the debate is guaranteed to rumble on and on. While it’s tempting to retreat into the old adage of ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’, that’s stale thinking and we shouldn’t turn away from progress if it can genuinely help.

Clearly, a longer school day has implications for parents, teachers and students. A more sensible decision might be to bring longer school days in for pupils in secondary education. Primary school kids will struggle to function properly for a fuller day, but teenage students could benefit from longer hours and especially in the run down to exams.

Not only that, if older students are in school until 5pm, it can only help them in preparation for the day they enter the world of employment, where such hours are standard.

This article was written by freelance writer Sophie Davidson, Sophie is passionate about providing engaging content and has featured in a number of online publications.

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About UKEdChat Editorial 3169 Articles
The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.


  1. “Primary school kids will struggle to function properly for a fuller day”

    When I think about this statement I am immediately drawn to your private day nurseries. Some of these open at 7am and run till at least 6 at night. Often children will arrive at this time and leave relatively close to 6. While I don’t agree with such long hours for our under 5s they adapt and I believe if the school day was extended older children would adapt too.

    Now you may comment that in these circumstances children are brought into a play based centre where they would have a nap; where there is little expected learning when compared to a school. Yet, many Pre-School children do not nap; nurseries still have a curriculum to follow; practitioners still need to record children’s development and in very simple ways children’s abilities are being tested. I don’t necessarily see a difference.

  2. Change 2 A year-round school calendar of four twelve-week terms with 4 plus 2 hour days for Secondary Education will improve learning and decrease cost. The U.S. has the best universities in the world and students only have 15-20 fifty-minute class periods per week. Our most successful students also have structured unstructured time for labs to apply knowledge or get involved with skill improving extracurricular activities. Germany schools produce the world’s most productive workers and more than half her students finishes at 1 PM. A 4 plus 2 day has four 50-minutes traditionally structured classes in a row and two hours of structured unstructured time when a student’s Individualize Curriculum is determined. Students can work, take more academic classes, volunteer, create a group to compete for academic prizes, attend career-focused academies, play sports or let American ingenuity provide relevant learning experiences.

    • ciara i disagree with you i think school should start at your time so students don’t have to wake up early to get ready for school.

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