It always boggles my mind why school has to end at 3PM here in the UK. I can understand that for children less than 7 years of age, too much “work” is not good. Where I came from (the Philippines), pre-school kids only have half day at school and mostly the other half is spent on extra-curricular activities. Although, not everyone does this – only those with parents working. However, I like the fact that school and business hours compliment. Meaning for families with parents working , they drop the kids at 7.30 (or something) to be on time for work and pick them up at 5PM.
If school hours in the UK is changed from 9-3.30PM to 9AM-5PM, I think it will be easier for parents to organise themselves and employers will be more accepting to hiring them. Parenting shouldn’t be a reason not to work or not find work. And besides, many complain about how much education in this country has deteriorated. Why not make it longer? I know it does not nesessarily improve it specially if what was taught at school is no good anyway.
Also, our children will not be that self-sufficient if we always “babysit” them. I mean if we can drop them at school earlier so we are not late for work that will give them time to play. I do not like having to wait for the classroom to open.
I was educated in a state school from 7 to 12 years old, where we have flag ceremony and morning excercises at 7.30AM , class start at 8AM, 30 recess (break at 9.30AM), lunch break at 12.00 back at 1.30 with classes straight up to 5PM. If I arrive early, the school library, gym and playground is open. True not all kids can be relied on to find themselves in these places but at least I think it will encourage clubs to organise activities.
Yes, as a country Philippines is not a good example specially when it’s run by a handful of families (political dynasties). But the kids managed to work that long – the only reason why they don’t do well are the lack of facilities or poor quality teaching equipment including lack of books.
Life is never easy but we can show the kids how to make it acceptible or even a tad easier by helping them develop their self reliance and independence. Crowding them even when they are capable of doing little things themselves is just teaching them to be lazy and spood fed citizens always expecting for big manny (government) to literally pull us out of the hole we dug (or help dig) ourselves.