Ask GG: 7 reasons why I will move to another country if Gove gets his way

By Helen and GG.


What children think about longer school hours.

Last week Michael Gove announced plans to lengthen the school day in a bid to bring state education closer to that delivered in private schools. We wrote about the proposals on BritMums, and people have asked what the children think, because after all, it is they who would be most directly affected. We asked GG to tell you what she thinks.

Ask GG - your tween-sized agony aunt

Dear GG: Michael Gove wants children to spend 10 hours a day in school, and have fewer holidays. What do you think about longer school hours?

From GG: Not a good idea full stop. More hours? I don’t think he got teachers to vote on this. Also, if you spent more time in school you should have more holidays. Well anyway you know what’s going happen if this becomes real? I am going to pay a bunch of mad year threes to go to him and scream at him until he comes round. Here is some points about why it should not happen:

  • All the clubs would either have to shut down or change times.
  • Children would get exhausted and they would not be able to do their best work
  • Schools would have to pay the teachers more to work longer hours and the schools that couldn’t afford it would only have about 5 teachers for the whole school.
  • We couldn’t play with anybody out of school because we wouldn’t have time.
  • I would get angry, children would get angry, parents would get angry, teachers would get angry etc.
  • Michel Gove would never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever see his kids. But then perhaps he doesn’t like his kids.
  • Parent Evenings would have to have more days and go on until midnight because there wouldn’t be enough time after school.

So, under the threat of mad year threes screaming at him he will change his mind. Hopefully.


We contributed to a post with Stressymummy last week over on BritMums about Michael Gove’s plans to lengthen the school day. We want to know what you think so leave a comment. 

66 thoughts on “Ask GG: 7 reasons why I will move to another country if Gove gets his way”

    • I can understand some of where Gove comes from, but he really is a “one size fits all” and don’t think about the individual kind of person. This is educational suicide and doesn’t bode well for the future of mental health, or the benefits system I’m afraid!

  1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there GG – Gove doesn’t like his kids. He doesn’t seem to like any kids.

    It’s despicable that he’s experimenting with a whole generation. We’ll lose a whole generation of talent in things like sport and music because state schools wouldn’t be able to afford to offer the support and facilities that out of school clubs do. All the top achievers will be drawn from public schools – like they are now only even more so.

    I hope he takes note of your threat – some parents actually DO want to spend some time with their kids and not turn them into institutionalised, depressed workaholics

  2. Great to hear GG’s point of view. I honestly can’t see this being a good idea, I’m just hoping it’s so ridiculous that it never happens, I had children because I want to spend time with them!

  3. Some great points made by GG. Gove needs to listen to more children. I know for certain my six year old couldn’t cope with the proposed longer hours. Like most Government proposals at the moment, it’s a badly thought out idea.

    • I suspect he has his children in a school where money is no object and they get the best of everything. But even with the best intentions there is no way many state schools will be able to provide that.
      And I wonder if his children feel loved and close to their Dad?

  4. I told my boy about this and he cried and said that he was a bad bad man and should get told off. 10 hour school days, that is longer than most working weeks, the man is an idiot. I think all the year threes across the country should go and shout at him!

  5. I might have got the wrong end of the stick but isn’t he trying to appeal to mothers wishing to go back to work outside of the home? There has been much discussion in the UK about the difficulties of finding a job that works around current school hours and the extortionate cost of childcare and this might help some mothers looking to go back to work.

    Here in France children are at school from 8.30 until 16.00 from the age of 3 and while I was fairly worried about the long hours before my eldest started I can honestly say that (thus far at least) it has done her no harm. Sports, music and play dates are done on Wednesdays when there is no school and employers accept that women working till 4pm 4 days a week can work out fine and is so much more palatable than leaving the office at 2.30.

    • He is Oonagh, and I don’t think the hours you mention would be a problem at all. But he is talking about 8-6 every day, which would leave no time at all for any family engagement during the week.

      I love the French model, it seems like the value of more flexible working is much more tolerated there than it is here, which can only be a good thing for parents.

  6. GG you wont remember but a long time ago there was a headline on a trashy newspaper called the Sun that said that if a certain government got in at the next election would the last person leaving the country please turn off the light.

    I think the same thing might happen again and like you, lots will be leaving this country.

  7. This is pretty similar to what the boys said. There best friends who live round the corner go to a different school and they play with them, each day, what would happen if this took place. Both were upset that Cubs/Beavers would be no longer or Junior football or even Music.

    Oh what a wise girl you are

  8. What a great post – I heard this suggestion and as a childless person even to me it seemed ludicrous – I don’t think as an adult I would cope with 10 hour days let alone as a child. x

  9. Such an emotive subject – I do think that something needs to be done with our secondary school as they do less hours than our Primary. I would like to see school finish at 4 and not 3 for the teens!

    • I think an extra hour would be a good thing, especially if children are supported through their homework during this time, but a 10 hour day is tough. I think it needs to be offered, to benefit those who need to or want to work those hours and need childcare. But to make it obligatory is just the worst kind of communism in my opinion.

    • 6 hours, 5 days a week Catherine. He is proposing that the clubs would take place in school instead of parents forking out for them after school. Which is a laudable aim, but my experience of school clubs is that the instruction is average, so if I choose to spend more money on a better extra-curricular teacher, then I would resent that choice being taken away from me.

    • Actually, the money needed to make this happen would be better spent on giving the kids more focus and attention from teachers within the current hours, your’re completely right!

  10. I REALLY disagree with his proposals. The longer days AND the reduced holidays. When I first heard about it I was so cross I tweeted “shall we just give our kids straight to THEM at the maternity ward”. I am already sad that Aaron will start school September 2014 – I don’t want it to be that I only see him for breakfast dinner and bed. At least with a normal length day there is time to do things after school, whether they be at school, at home, or out. At least then, there is the option to go straight home if child, Mum or Dad is sick or tired or off form. Children are not cooped up chickens or battery hens. They are inspirational creative bundles of joy and school stamps that out of them enough as it is. His proposals make me very sad indeed, as do the people who agree with him.

    Great post GG.

    Liska x

    • It’s controversial Liska, but I agree that to some extent their personalities are quashed at school. I can understand why, as kids need to learn to behave well as part of a group, but I have a child who so badly wants to follow the rules that he is totally overlooked in class, and often comes home saying he didn’t do something he wanted to do because he was worried about getting into trouble. Something as simple as kick a football when other boys were doing it. It’s fine, but if it was for 10 hours a day, I would be so worried about a child like that.

  11. Crikey, GG, you tell him! The only exception I have that may, MAY, justify a slightly longer day is if any individual work that would normally be done at home (homework) was done at school for an extra 20 minutes a day. And then no homework. What do you reckon?

  12. Ha! A great original take on a serious subject. Go GG. And I shout if you want me to chip in with paying those mad year threes to scream at him until he comes round. That’s what I call a good cause.

  13. Oh GG, can I get a bunch of grown ups to join the year 3s? I have in fact been planning the very same thing should he go ahead with this. I’ve been too busy to write a post on this this week for the link up, but I posted on FB that if he goes ahead with this, I’ll have to storm parliament and physically remove him OR leave the country. I can’t stand the way this man just doesn’t seem to be listening to all the experts or teachers or even children. So, lets start planning that day of Screaming Action Against Gove. I’ve got plenty of people who’ll be joining us that day….


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