The Birmingham Mail is reporting that a local chain of academies has sparked anger by setting its Christmas holidays at a different time to other schools.
But headteachers claim the move could actually HELP parents clinch cheaper festive breaks.Last September the Government introduced controversial new rules allowing all state-funded schools to set their own term dates.
Birmingham City Council is recommending a festive break between December 16 and January 3 next year, which most schools and academies will follow.
But Lumen Christi Catholic Multi-Academy (LCMAC), which runs six academies, has used the new powers to close from December 21 until January 9.
Some parents claim the move will spark chaos and potential fines for unauthorised absences.
One anonymous parent of a child who attends St Brigid’s Catholic Primary in Northfield said: “This is an utter nightmare for parents who have children at other schools not in the chain.
“It effectively stretches the Christmas holiday out from December 16 to January 9, which is a nightmare for working parents…”
A spokeswoman for LCMAC said principals at all six schools led the decision-making and the dates were agreed by its board of directors after considering “a range of factors”…
“Whilst we acknowledge that this change may be disappointing to some parents, we also hope that the later return might allow some families to take advantage of reduced-cost holidays or simply recover from Christmas ready to return refreshed and eager to learn at the start of term.”
The chain seems to have made the decision for what they see as the right reasons, but does that become insignificant if other local schools – where siblings may be studying – are following a different timetable?
What’s the right approach when a school or group of schools considers going it alone on holiday dates?
Please give us your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter…
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