Commenting on suggested plans to rearrange the school year to aid with education recovery, Laura Doel, director of NAHT Cymru, said: “We need to be honest and recognise that recovery is not going to be a quick or easy job. Ideas like cutting the summer holidays or extending school hours are superficially attractive ‘quick fixes’ but they could do more harm than good in the long run.
“Additional teaching hours won’t actually increase a child’s capacity to learn. They are still children and we need to think first about what is best for them. We must be wary of compounding the wellbeing issues undoubtedly facing children by keeping them in school for longer. They need to experience their childhood norms again. Children have missed out on interaction with other children, they need to be allowed to play, see friends, enjoy all those experience that are so important to their social development.
“Summer schools and additional learning could be of value for some pupils but we have to allow educators the time and flexibility to assess the needs of individual pupils and to do what is best for them. Recovery cannot happen in a single summer.
“It’s important that we have a long-term, evidence-based plan for education recovery, and avoid short-term, ultimately shallow catch-up ideas. High-quality of teaching is the most important driver of educational equity, and the best contribution the government could make is to value and invest in the teaching profession.
“This is potentially the most important moment of the pandemic for children and young people – the recovery. We need the government’s support to make sure teachers and school leaders are able to be the very best they can be for all those relying on them.”
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