Parents to Gove: Hands off school timetables

William JordanUS Elections Editor
April 22, 2013, 4:13 PM GMT+0

Michael Gove has proposed making school days longer and school holidays shorter to help working parents. But most Brits—particularly those with children at home—say kids spend enough time in school already

Last week, education secretary Michael Gove announced proposals to keep schools open until 4.30pm and shorten summer holidays to four weeks. He said the reforms would update a school calendar designed for a 19th century agrarian economy and make school timetables more "family friendly" while also boosting student performance.

New YouGov research suggests parents aren't buying it, however. In what appears to be a public vote of no confidence for Gove's plans, fully 70% of British adults with children in their household thought school days are either about the right length (62%) or should even be shorter (8%). Only 22% of those with children at home—and 28% of the general population—say school days should be longer.

Gove's proposal for school holidays gets more support: 40% of the general population think school holidays should be shorter. But again, that support deterioriates (to 32%) when it comes to families with children; six in ten Britons with kids and 54% of the general population think holidays are either the right length now or should be longer.