Headteachers up in arms over council plans to shorten summer holiday

The Guardian is reporting that a council in South Yorkshire will become the first in the country to shorten the long school summer break with an extra week off later in the year. 

Barnsley council has approved plans to bring in the changes in the next academic year after concerns that the current length of summer holidays leads to poor educational achievement and issues with high holiday prices for families on low incomes.

Council bosses have given the go-ahead to overhaul the school holiday system in favour of four weeks and four days in the summer and an extra week in October starting from September 2017. They argued the long summer break could lead to “learning loss”.

Nick Bowen, headteacher at Horizon community college, said the changes had been “fleetingly” mentioned at the end of a meeting when most school headteachers were not there.

He said: “We have been left perplexed that a change of this magnitude is being brought in without any real consultation with all headteachers in the area.”

Councillor Tim Cheetham said the decision had received a positive response from parents. 

He added: “The decision to alter the borough’s term times and holiday dates is based on sound research evidence that shows the maximum length of the summer break should be no more than five weeks for the best educational outcomes.”

More at: Headteachers up in arms over council plans to shorten summer holiday

Do you this this will help families in the area or will it cause further problems? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on twitter. 

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“Research? Huh? What is it good for?” (with apologies to Edwin Starr 1969)
'Boring' English teacher struck off over lack of enthusiasm
Categories: 1st POST and Local authorities.


  1. The_Data_Adonis

    SchoolsImprove can local business deal with concentrated holiday period with 30% cut in summer holiday window dan_fell

  2. gcooksey

    SchoolsImprove I’ve always been in favour of redistributing school holidays – but lesson here is to consult and work with, not impose.

  3. Funny how countries with longer summer hols still seem to be ahead of UK in those PISA tests the Government keep banging on about.  In Finland, for example, pupils break up on 6 June 2016 and don’t return until 19 August.  In Poland, pupils break up on 24 June and go back on 31 August.  So much for ‘sound research’.

  4. The_Data_Adonis SchoolsImprove Exactly.  And a smaller window (just four weeks) in which to cram in summer holidays.  Watch unauthorised term time hols increase.

  5. The_Data_Adonis

    datateacher SchoolsImprove a school with a sixth form adopting this approach would have a 2 week holiday window for SLT

  6. Mardy Moo

    Parents at our school have found this really tricky end up taking their children out during term time!

Let us know what you think...