Education Secretary Michael Gove has been told to keep his hands off the school day – by pupils at a top Preston school.
Members of the media club at Broughton Business and Enterprise College wrote to the Secretary of State after hearing about his plan to extend the school day.
The youngsters told him they already spent enough time at the Woodplumpton Lane school, and called for a re-think.
Although surprised, and pleased, to get a personal reply, the pupils weren’t too impressed with the minister’s response to their plea.
Harry Bradshaw, 12, said: “We did it because of a press conference which Gove was involved in, where he stated his ideas of an extended school day, but we argued that due to the fact that we already have over 50 extracurricular clubs run by over 30 members of staff with so many other opportunities for students to get involved, we think it is long enough already and there isn’t really any reason to make the school day longer.”
The youngsters said his reply didn’t really take on board the issues they raised.
Harry added: “We decided to use the letter as a basis for part of our entry in the BBC School Report.
“We were very impressed to get a letter back, from Mr Gove himself and not just a secretary.”
In his reply the minister said: “It is always a pleasure to receive emails from bright young students who take a strong interest in education, and I was delighted to read about all the different clubs that Broughton College runs for its pupils.
“I am very grateful for the efforts of the teachers at your school to make sure that all these additional activities are available.”
He went onto say that he wanted all schools “to be given the opportunity to benefit from the excellent extended school day education that you and your fellow students enjoy.”
As part of the school report a team of 16 pupils collated a range of local stories which they compiled for their website.
Dear Mr. Gove,
We are pupils from Broughton Business and Enterprise College and we are writing to inform you that we have heard about your ideas for state schools, that you want them to be more like independent schools and you want to break down the wall between them. But the thing that caught our attention the most was that you want schools to stay open longer so there is time for more extra-curricular activities and to complete homework. Broughton is not an independent school, however we have so many opportunities for these sort-of activities that we feel we are equal to many independent schools in that particular area. We have over 50 clubs run by more than 30 members of staff. The pupils are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and to “Get Involved”.
Harry, Year 8
Joe, Year 7