COLCHESTER MP Sir Bob Russell has challenged Education Secretary Michael Gove over his plans to extend the length of the school day.

Sir Bob spoke during education questions in parliament on Monday *10FEB*.

He said: “On the basis that there is more to education than the classroom, will the Secretary of State tell the House what discussions he has had with various organisations - scouts, guides, cadets and so on - on how a longer school day would impact on the out-of-school activities that our young people undertake?”

Mr Gove responded: “I would hope that our voluntary organisations would play a part in making sure that more young people can enjoy the sort of character-building activities that those organisations believe in.

“Many scout troops already work closely with schools, and it is certainly the case that cadets are an integral part of the success of schools in the independent and state sectors.

“I want to do everything possible to ensure that children can enjoy those activities, and, in particular, that children from disadvantaged backgrounds, who have not had the chance in the past, now have that opportunity.”