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.

Millennial 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 move forward with a controversial bid to alter the state’s education system in an attempt to bring it up to speed with modern families and workplaces.

“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 said in his maiden speech.

The 28-year-old said it would a “great travesty” if the education system did not move with the times and still resembled the way it functioned in the 1950s.

“It was a different style of home life,” Mr Lane told Today on Friday morning.

“Only one parent worked, there was not a lot of women in the workforce.

“Now we’ve got a whole host of kids going to school and both parents working at the same time, we’ve got to do something to make the pick-up easier.”

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 in his speech.

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

The member for Ryde said his electorate are reporting that before and after school care has become prohibitively expensive and lengthy wait lists have left many families in the lurch.

NSW families are having to weigh up whether they will leave work early to pick up their kids or stay at work and leave their kids unsupervised.

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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