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School days to be made LONGER to help children catch up with lesson learning

Phil Schofield discusses coronavirus risk in young people

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A leaked presentation showed plans to extend the school week by an extra two-and-a-half hours in a bid to help students catch up with their studies. The proposal was put together by education czar Sir Kevan Collins, who will be leading the education recovery efforts.

The presentation, seen by the Times, estimates that each pupil will need to spend an extra 100 hours in the classroom a year from 2022 to make up for the time lost to the pandemic.

It also showed that five million of the most affected pupils in England will receive additional tutoring.

Some 500,000 teachers will receive more training in order to deliver the expected results.

It follows warnings from leading health expert suggesting the UK is in the early stages of a third Covid wave.

Professor Ravi Gupta from Cambridge University called on the Government to delay ending Covid restrictions in England on June 21.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Of course the numbers of cases are relatively low at the moment – all waves start with low numbers of cases that grumble in the background and then become explosive.

“So the key here is that what we are seeing here is the signs of an early wave.”

Christina Pagel, a professor at University College London, made similar remarks and warned the UK should extend the lockdown measures for a further two months instead of reopening on June 21.

She said the UK “should wait a few more months to unlock fully” to ensure enough people have been fully vaccinated.

The expert told Radio 4’s Today programme: “At least we get hard evidence it is not as risky as it seems so for we have sort of been crossing our fingers a little bit.

“SAGE and Public Health England both say it is a more transmissible variant we know it has some level of vaccine escape.

“So we are in a situation where compared to two months ago we now have a dominant variant that both transmit faster and vaccines are less effective against particularly after one dose and although we have really really could one dose coverage we don’t have really really good two-dose coverage.

“I think the fourth test of is there a new variant of concern that changes the risk profile is not met.”

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