Notts school pupils to get shorter summer holidays

The move follows a consultation with parents, teaching staff, governors and unions.
The move follows a consultation with parents, teaching staff, governors and unions.

Nottinghamshire school pupils will be enjoying shorter summer holidays and a longer October half-term after changes were approved by the county council.

The changes, which come into force from the 2019/20 academic year, follow a six-week consultation by Nottinghamshire County Council, which saw more than 6,300 responses received from parents, teaching staff, governors and trade unions.

More than 57 per cent of those who responded said they preferred the new holiday pattern which will see a shorter five week summer holiday, a two week October half term and a fixed spring break, which will be the first full two weeks of April.

Almost two-thirds, (2,951 of 4,937 parents), responding were in favour of a shorter summer holiday, whereas 55 per cent, (787 of 1,419) of teachers/head teachers preferred the current pattern of a six week summer break, one week half term October break and a fixed spring break.

Following approval at today’s Children and Young People’s Committee (Dec 18) the new holiday pattern will be effective from the 2019-20 academic year to 2022 -2023.

Committee chairman Councillor Philip Owen said he was delighted with the high level of engagement and response to the consultation.

He added: “Following the consultation we are responding to the wishes of a sizeable majority of parents across the county who have expressed a preference for the new pattern of school holidays.

“The two week break in October will hopefully benefit younger children feel less tired during the autumn term, so that they can approach the Christmas period still able to function effectively in their studies.”

Coun Owen also highlighted the fact that the current pattern meant that the second half of the summer term in some years was more than eight weeks and that was considered to be too long.

Every district in Nottinghamshire, apart from Rushcliffe, preferred the new holiday pattern and more than two-thirds (67%) of out of county respondents preferred the shorter summer holiday and two week October half-term break.

The county council is responsible for setting school holiday and term time dates for all community and voluntary controlled schools within Nottinghamshire. Foundation, Trust, Voluntary Aided schools and Academies are responsible for setting their own holiday patterns.

School holiday patterns must comprise 190 pupil days and 195 teacher days and it is advised that councils take account of what patterns are being adopted by neighbouring local authorities. Nottingham City Council already operates a five week summer break, a two week October half-term break and a fixed spring break. School holiday patterns in Leicestershire, Leicester City, Derbyshire and Derby City were also considered.