Budget 2016: Longer day for quarter of secondary schools, says George Osborne

At least a quarter of secondary schools will be given funds to run a longer day, Chancellor George Osborne will announce today.

The Chancellor will also use his eighth budget to pledge that every school will become an academy by 2020, as revealed yesterday.

A funding package of £1.5 billion has been put aside to support academy conversion and to help schools stay open longer. This is the equivalent of around £300 million per year until 2020 and is additional to the protected schools budget.

In a statement, Mr Osborne said funding for extended hours would be available to “at least 25 per cent” of schools and he would support secondaries who “want to offer their pupils longer school days with more extra-curricular activities like sport and art”.

Schools will be required to bid for the funding which will provide “at least an additional five hours a week” and can be spent on lessons or after-school activities.

In last November’s spending review, Mr Osborne wrote that there was a government “goal” of “ending local authorities’ role in running schools” and replacing them with academies.

Today, Mr Osborne will pledge that all schools must either convert to being an academy by 2020, or have an academy order in place so they are committed to converting by 2022.

Schools failing to do so face sanctions from the government which will be given “radical new powers to intervene” should the situation arise.

The pledge gives context to recent comments by national schools commissioner David Carter who said last week that 1,000 new multi-academy trusts will be needed by 2020.

Extra funds were available in the past to encourage the creation of new multi-academy trusts, but a recent Schools Week investigation revealed how more than £850,000 was given to groups who never opened a single school.

Mr Osborne is expected to say that his plans “put the next generation first” and “make sure that every child gets the best start in life”.


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  1. Julia Price

    Is this legal? Such a wholesale revamp of the education system surely requires an Act of Parliament and debate in both Chambers? Are there enough businesses prepared to take schools / “Trusts” / academies on board? Who will pick up the pieces when they finally walk away having bled the education budget dry? Another taxpayer bail-out like we had with the banks? Some academies are already offloading ” difficult” pupils apparently.

  2. Parent

    Parents should be able to choose what extra curricular activities their children do and not be forced to stay at school later for low quality activities they might not be interested in.

  3. My children already attend after school activities and I think it’s awesome
    children are doing activities which we would be paying thousands out of our own pockets
    I feel we working parents as a whole pay enough taxes for extra curriculum activities my children come home happy healthy content and don’t have enough energy to roam streets so that means more family time

  4. The additional £1.5billion funding for the education industry, announced last week George Osborne offers a great opportunity for students to receive additional tuition in subjects both inside and outside of the core curriculum. However, extending the school day could put additional pressure on already thinly-spread teaching staff meaning that schools must start thinking about ways in which they can provide these extra teaching hours for pupils in the best way possible.

  5. My childrens academy school has extended the school day by twenty five minutes which has not added any extra lesson as they have just added a form time at the end of the day. The extra curricular activites are not new, nothing extra at all but they have added the name “club” to all the after school stuff that already goes on.
    What are they spending their money on? My kids still never have any text books & I just seem to have to pay for more and more resources for my children when they are at school. On top of the school day there is two hours of homework to get done. The current pressure in schools is why many children are jumping at the chance to attend colleges who now offer places to fourteen year olds in an environment that offers far better outcomes than schools.