'The last year has not been easy' - Families have their say on Government's summer schools programme

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The Government has opened a summer programme for secondary schools, aiming to offer short-term provision for children through both academic catch-ups and sports activities.

State-funded secondary and special schools, non-maintained special schools and pupil referral units can now register to offer a short period of summer schooling, with money being made available as part of a £200million Government fund.

We asked our readers if they would send their children to attend such a programme if invited, with responses falling on both sides of the debate.

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Some welcomed the option for youngsters to catch up on missed time in the classroom, while others called for a much-needed break for pupils and staff alike.

Here are some of your comments on the issue from our social media pages:

Michelle Marshall: “Only if they wanted to. Done all their work through lockdown anyway so it would be their choice.”

Katrina Bates: “My daughter is in Year 10 and doing her GCSEs and if she wanted to I would let her go.”

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Shelley Darby: “Depends upon circumstances. My child is autistic and does better at life when he is at school with routine helping to regulate him. He has missed out on so much.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking during a Downing Street briefing. Picture: John Sibley - WPA Pool/Getty Images.Education Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking during a Downing Street briefing. Picture: John Sibley - WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking during a Downing Street briefing. Picture: John Sibley - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

"For my elder daughter I would let her decide.”

Rebecca Oman: “In the grand scheme of things no I wouldn’t, but I think a lot of children would benefit from having a bit more one-on-one teacher interaction after the last year.”

Hayley Munoz-Saiz: “No! Why is it that people seem to think lockdown was like some extended holiday for them? I can assure you it was not.

"They have worked so hard and should get the recognition and the break they deserve!”

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Sammy Barnes: “I would, two weeks out of seven is nothing compared to what they have missed out on academically.”

Gary Butler: “Yup - especially if there were plenty of social/sports activities mixed with the learning.”

Sue Venus Curtis: “They've had enough disruption and confusion this last year. What they haven't been taught online, they'll catch up with throughout the next year. A little extra homework will help them.

"But please, let them be kids for a little while longer.”

Philip Alexander: “No, they have had their lives turned upside down enough.”

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Clare Chapman: “Only if they wanted to attend, the last year has not been easy for any age.”

Emma Spokes: “I think it should be the child's decision.”

Katie Lawton: “Yes with my eldest, he starts high school and it will give him the opportunity to meet/make friends, get to know teachers and school.

"The younger two would go, but only as they have missed so much school and to make sure they had caught up and had a relationship with their peers that would have been sustained had they been at school.”

Lisa Craig: “No, my daughter has done well with homeschooling, sometimes not finishing til after 5pm, they've suffered enough. Let them enjoy being kids outside, fresh air and family.”

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Kathryn Davidson Armstrong: “Not only do children need time outside, with friends, having trips to the seaside, BBQs, seeing grandparents, playing, socialising informally but teachers are knackered and need and deserve a break to have the energy and enthusiasm for the new year ahead.”

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