School days in England could be set to get longer under new plans from the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

Mr Zahawi has confirmed that he is “looking at” examples of longer school days as the education system works to help children recover from lost time in classrooms following the coronavirus pandemic.

The Education Secretary praised the “excellent examples” of teachers who are keeping pupils in class beyond the traditional 6.5 hours and pledged to look at expanding it.

Extending the school day is one of the proposals to help kids catch up with their schoolwork.

Speaking at education questions, Mr Zahawi said: "I think the priority has to be for those children and students, who have the least time available to them to recover, which is why the £800 million for the 16 to 19-year-olds additional 40 hours of education is so important.

“Plus the £1 billion going into secondary and primary, making the total £5 billion of recovery money.”

He added: "There are some excellent examples... of a longer school day which I'm going to look at.

“The average school day now is 6.5 hours and I would like to see everybody move towards that average."

Warning over extending the school day

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT warned the pros and cons of such action must be considered before making a decision.

He said in a statement: "The gains that might be possible through extending the school day must be weighed against the costs of such a strategy, including the impact on pupils' mental health, reduced family time and less time for extra-curricular activities.

"Children's happiness and wellbeing should be prioritised as well as their education."