Holidays

Nottinghamshire County Council considers shortening school summer holidays – Notts TV News

Schools in Notts could switch to a five-week summer holiday with a longer October half-term.

Nottinghamshire County Council is considering changes to the school holiday system which include a shortened summer break.

The council is asking parents to give their views on the new dates, which would come into effect from the 2019/20 academic year.

A consultation on the changes gives people two options – to keep the current system or change from the six-week summer holiday to five weeks and double the October half term break to two weeks.

The change would also mean schools finish slightly later in the summer and start back a few days earlier in the autumn term.

Some parents initially welcomed the idea because it would bring the calendars of county schools in line with many in the city, but others say a long summer break is preferred for children to make the most of better weather.

Councillor Philip Owen, the authority’s children and young people’s committee chairman, said: “We want to hear the views of as many people as possible so that they have an opportunity to give their opinion and ensure the best possible educational outcome is achieved.

“We have a duty to look at school holiday and term time dates for local authority maintained schools every three years so it is vital that pupils, parents, teachers, school governors and other interested parties play a role in determining the outcome going forward.”

Dates for the 2018/19 academic year have already been set so will not be affected by the outcome of the consultation, which closes on October 8.

A final decision will be made by the council on November 20. Any changes will only affect county schools as Nottingham schools are run by the city council, which already has a five-week summer holiday system.

People can take part in the consultation online, fill out a questionnaire available at libraries across Nottinghamshire or email comments to schoolholidayconsultation@nottscc.gov.uk.

Foundation, trust, voluntary aided schools and academies are responsible for setting their own holiday dates and so individual schools, which are not run by the council may choose to follow different academic dates.

Parents have given a mixed early reception to the idea.

Nottingham mum Laurie Michelle wrote on Facebook: “As a parent in Nottingham City, I can tell you that this does not work as well as it seems.

“My youngest currently has a 5 week summer (back at school on Thurs) and 2 weeks in October. October is usually cold, wet & miserable (the last 2/3 years they have had 2 weeks in Oct so I am speaking from experience) & therefore makes it’s more difficult & more expensive to entertain your children.”

Helena Scrimshaw wrote: “City council have already changed the school holidays it’s about time the county council did the same …. so that working parents in education (in the city) and their children (in the county) can match their holidays together, surely that makes sense.”

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