Call for school hours to be extended to meet needs of modern working families

Juggling school pick-up and drop-off around work hours is a struggle for many families. Now there is a call to replace the traditional 9am to 3pm school hours model set in the 1950s with one more in line with the needs of modern families.

The call comes right when Australia is experiencing an 80,000 place shortage of after-school-care for students aged five to 12, The Australian reports.

It also follows a decision from the British government to extend school hours to 4.30pm at a quarter of its schools, with funding provided for sport and art activities.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham tells The Australian he’s “open to the idea’’ of taking a similar approach in Australian schools.

“Our school days are already longer than overseas but I’d be open to working with the states and territories to extend those hours, especially for secondary students, if it will improve outcomes for students,” Senator Birmingham says.

One Melbourne school is already tossing up a plan to extend the school day with extra art and language classes for children until 4.30pm, the Herald Sun reports.

The latest ABS data shows more than 380,000 primary school-aged children make use of after hours care, which is subsidised by taxpayer funds, but there are still 80,000 students waiting for a spot.

The Labor Party has already announced more cash to ease pressure on after-school care spots if it wins the July 2 election.

Given many city schools are already facing overcrowding, do you think the longer school hours would work?

(via The Australian)

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