YEAR 6 pupils have to toil an extra hour at a school to be “better prepared for secondary school”.
But concerned parents have asked whether such a move is allowed, with one blasting it as “a joke”.
Harris Primary Academy in Orpington, Kent, wrote to parents to say classes would not end until 4.30pm for Year 6 pupils so that they would be “better prepared for secondary school”.
A spokesman for The Harris Federation said the change was to make up for lost time after years of negative Ofsted reports.
The statement read: “Year 6 spent the first four years of their education in a school that was consistently judged by Ofsted to require improvement.
“By the time our academy replaced the school, the current Year 6 had missed out on good standards for the majority of their primary education.
“We have worked extremely hard to make up for lost time, but we want to send our pupils to secondary school in September with all of the essential skills expected of them. The extra time will give pupils the boost they need to thrive.”
Harris Academy took over the school in 2016, the year when Ofsted said it required improvement.
While some have praised the school for extending the school day, others have complained the school has made the move to improve its Ofsted rating and exam results.
It’s a joke; they should be teaching what they need to in the normal school hours.
One mum said: “My children’s school have decided to extend the school day, is this even allowed?
“I think they are only stressing because they are due a Ofsted inspection very soon. Can we opt out or do we have to comply?”
Fay Percy commented: “It’s for SATS which are purely for the schools’ benefit.
“Weeks and months of unnecessary stress for ten and 11-year-olds and their parents.”
One parent told News Shopper: “It’s a joke; they should be teaching what they need to in the normal school hours.”
However others have supported the stance, and suggested parents should not be so quick to reject the opportunity for their kids to have more schooling.
Shelly Kelly, for example, said: “You want less education for your children? Only in Orpington. Cretins.”
Paul Boycie Freeman added: “Am I missing something [your] school wants to extend the day to teach stuff to the kids.”
Most read in UK news
Lynne Dando, the school’s principal, explained in a letter to parents that the additional time would give kids the “best possible opportunity” to reach their potential.
She added: “I am sure you will agree that you are very lucky that we are able to provide Year 6 with an extended day.
“We look forward to all Year 6 children attending and making the most of this opportunity.”
The Sun Online has contacted the school for further comment.