The Government has cancelled a £285 million fund for longer school days at secondary schools in favour of increased access to more sports and arts activities.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said the money will be redirected to help fund a £415 million sports facilities project – the Healthy Pupils Capital programme.

Last year the former Chancellor George Osborne announced that at least a quarter of secondary schools would open for an extra hour a day, with the additional minutes dedicated to sports and arts classes.

In disagreement with the Government’s latest move, Rachel Gooch, a governor in Suffolk, said schools already have space and equipment, but can’t afford the extra hours to provide such classes.

“Extended schools was a significant initiative announced in the last budget and has now been dropped without a whisper,” she added.

The new £415 million fund will be distributed between local authorities and multi-academy trusts (MATs).

The report says that smaller trusts, standalone trusts, and sixth from centres will have to bid for funding.

The Department for Education said it will confirm the allocation formula, spending guidance and bidding criteria this summer.

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