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During his maiden speech to Parliament, Member for Ryde Jordan Lane said that “local schools should become hubs for after-school activity”, where the government guarantees that a child can remain on school campuses well after 3pm.
“It affords parents flexibility, while at the same time making school a place for extracurricular excellence,” he said.
“By engaging providers and community organisations, we avoid overworking our tirelessly hardworking teachers but expose more children to rounded experiences, such as coding classes, culture and language, art, dance, music and sport.
Should school hours be extended until 6pm to accommodate working parents?
“I care deeply about the academic results that our students are able to achieve, and about ensuring they can compete on a global stage, but I care even more that our education system helps us to create a new generation of Australians with the content of character we need to be successful as a country.”
The move could result in an extra year of education as a result the extended hours of teaching, Lane explained.
“Greater flexibility for parents, a productivity and employment boost to the state, financial relief from the high cost of child care and an injection of hope for potential but reluctant parents who, like me, struggle to rationalise how to afford, in terms of both time and money, children, a home and equal employability between partners,” he said.
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“Imagine what we could achieve as a society if, while paving the paths of our children’s success, we were not simultaneously complicating the paths of their parents”.
Lane isn’t the first to flag the idea, with former NSW premier Dominic Perrottet also conceding the “9 to 3” schedule “doesn’t work” last year.