School hours Australia: Radical plan to change 9-to-3pm after NSW MP speech

Radical plan to change Australia’s school hours as they are condemned as a ‘relic of a sexist, bygone era when society assumed women stay at home’

  • New NSW MP says school hours relic of the past
  • Calls for them to be extended until 6pm  

Current school hours are a relic of a sexist, bygone era and should be extended to 6pm to empower mothers, a NSW Liberal MP says.

Jordan Lane used his inaugural speech to outline his vision to restructure school days, saying it would ease the load on parents and teachers and produce more-rounded children through after-class activities.

Parents should not be forced to choose between their own career progression and raising children, he said.

‘The great travesty of public policy will be if the education system of the 2050s looks as it did when it was established in the 1950s,’ the Ryde MP said on Thursday.

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

The 28-year-old praised the push to keep students enrolled in formal education for longer and the previous NSW coalition government’s introduction of universal pre-kindergarten, but pushed for more.

Schools operating until 6pm would become ‘a place for extracurricular excellence’, with coding classes, culture and language, art, dance, music and sport offered by providers and community organisations

That would expose more children to ’rounded experiences’ and avoid overworking hardworking teachers, Mr Lane said.

It would also relieve parents of the high cost of child care and inject 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’.

‘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,’ Mr Lane said.

Mr Lane scrapped into parliament on the tightest margin in recent NSW electoral history: 54 votes over Labor’s Lyndal Howison.

The Ryde MP previously served about a year as the area’s mayor, having been elected to council in late 2017, aged 23.