Change of summer holiday scheme in UK
In a bid to deflect the high costs of family holidays and reduce the number of unnecessary school absences by teachers and pupils, Britain’s educators are thinking about changing the current term structure of six-week summer holidays.
National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) proposed the change in their ‘education manifesto’ to be taken up in their next General Election.
NAHT leader Russell Hobby said that the current structure is not healthy for staff and that changing the format would reduce stress and help families cope with holiday costs. The group suggested that shorter, more frequent holidays might be better.
Hobby said that ‘distributing [holidays] more evenly across the year might be one solution to that.’ He added that ‘if different parts of the country within local authority boundaries or regional boundaries had slightly different holiday times I think that would ease the pressure on the prices of holidays as well.’
NAHT’s leader, however, stressed that ‘local or regional co-ordination’ among schools is necessary if these proposed changes are adopted so that schools don’t ‘go their own ways.’
The group also took up another issue in their manifesto: allowing children from poorer families to be prioritised in school admissions. Hobby said that, at present, ‘Looked-after children currently get priority in admissions.’
But if children from poorer families were given equal treatment, then more kids will have access to ‘good schools and secure more firmly the comprehensive principle of education.’
NAHT plans to conduct impact assessments on the two policies to prove their benefits and effects on children’s learning.
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