Guest column: Have your say on school term and holiday dates

Coun Philip Owen, chairman of children and young people's committee at Nottinghamshire County Council
Coun Philip Owen, chairman of children and young people's committee at Nottinghamshire County Council

Over the last few weeks hundreds of parents, schools, teachers, governors and other interested parties have given their views on proposed school term and holiday dates for the academic years from 2019 to 2023.

We want to reach as many people as possible through the consultation that is currently underway and which closes on October 8.

There are two options we want people to consider.

Option one follows the current model which includes six weeks for the summer holidays and a fixed spring break (generally the first two weeks in April).

Option two proposes for a slightly shorter five-week summer holiday and a two-week October half-term break, with a fixed spring break (generally the first two weeks in April – the Easter break would remain the same year on year regardless of when it fell).

I’m encouraging people to give their opinion which in turn will help us ensure that the best possible educational outcome is achieved going forward.

We’ll look at the consultation results following October 8 and will then make recommendations of the preferred option to the children and young people’s committee in November.

Can I remind people that there may still be variations across the county as foundation, trust and voluntary-aided schools and academies determine their own

pattern of school term time and holidays.

There may also be the case that individual schools, which are not maintained by the local authority, may choose to follow a pattern and specific dates that do not match those set by the County Council.

People can give their views via http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/holiday-consultation

People can also give their views by filling in a questionnaire which will be available at libraries across Nottinghamshire or by emailing comments to schoolholidayconsultation@nottscc.gov.uk