Extended school hours: NSW MP Jordan Lane calls for schools to stay open to 6pm

A Liberal MP has used his maiden speech to propose a controversial move to extend school hours to 6pm.

Member for Ryde, Jordan Lane was elected to his seat in NSW parliament in March and issued his maiden speech on Thursday.

He used his opening address to parliament to introduce the controversial bid to alter the structure of the state’s education system aimed at meeting modern standards of society.

“The great travesty of public policy would be if the education system of the 2050s looks as it did when it was established in the 1950s,” he said in his speech.

“It is a relic of a sexist, bygone era where society assumed women stayed at home and were responsible for the school pick-up.”

He proposed a change to current classroom hours that would keep children within school gates until 6pm and ease some of the pressure off working parents.

“Local schools should become hubs for after-school activity where the government guarantees that a child should remain on school campuses until 6pm,” Mr Lane said.

“It affords parents flexibility while at the same time making school a place for extra curricular excellence.”

It is not the first time extended hours have been floated in NSW parliament with former Premier Dominic Perrottet introducing a pilot program in nine schools during Terms 3 and 4 of 2022.

“In my view, 9am until 3pm doesn’t work,” he told reporters in February last year.

“You’ve also got challenges with before and after school, you’ve got childcare issues and you’ve got early childhood education.”

Drama classes and tutoring were among the extracurricular activities offered by some schools during the trial, with coding, art, music, sport and language classes among the possibilities suggested by the Member for Ryde.

Mr Lane said the changes would bring greater flexibility for parents, an employment boost for the state and release families from the financial stress of child care.

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