Society, The Benefit System, Welfare to Work

– Frank Field MP announces plans to reduce summer holidays and support mothers

The Government’s poverty adviser Frank Field MP has said that the school summer holiday should be shortened in order to improve the prospects of poorer pupils,.

Frank Field has explained that disadvantaged children fall further behind during the extended break because they are not being read to and tutored.

In an interview with The Times, Mr Field called for the school year to be broken into four or five terms with shorter holidays to help poorer pupils who do not receive support at home.

He said: “Long holidays damage those who are already disadvantaged. They drop behind, they are not being read to, or tutored or talked to in the same way. They have often fallen behind by the beginning of the school year.”

The Labour MP for Birkenhead said the six-week break was “out of kilter” with working parents, many of whom struggle to pay for childcare and activities.

Mr Field is expected to present his interim report on “child poverty and life chances” to David Cameron in the next few days.

Mr Field will also recommend that mothers are given up to £25,000 in advance child benefit payments to enable them to stay at home to look after young children.

Associated Press

The Telegraph

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