The BBC reports that a week could be taken off school summer holidays in Cardiff and moved later in the year after the plan was backed by 72% of head teachers and governors.
The move could save parents hundreds of pounds on holidays as they would be able to go outside peak times. At least six schools in Wales grouped their inset days into one week this year in a similar move. But campaigners warned it was a “quick fix” and could fail to help parents struggling the most.
Cardiff council carried out an inquiry into whether it was feasible to move a week of holiday from the summer. As part of this it asked head teachers and governors at schools in the area if they would back the move – 72 responded, with 72% of those backing the proposal. But as councils are urged to work together so holidays are at a similar time, any proposal from Cardiff could prompt other local authorities to look at taking similar action.
At least six schools in Wales have tried to reduce absences by grouping together the five mandatory staff training days – or inset days – to give parents an extra week holiday during term time.
Aberbargoed Primary School in Caerphilly is one of these, and pupils will start their half-term holiday a week early on Friday. Head teacher David Lewis said: “I did it to try and improve attendance and reduce term-time holidays by creating an additional week holiday.
“It gives parents the opportunity to start their holiday at a cheaper time. It has also helped us to organise our training into a full week, so it is beneficial to the teaching staff too.”
Rob Watkins, director of policy at teaching union NAHT Cymru, said he was not surprised head teachers were looking for ways to help parents get cheaper holidays, adding “There is never going to be a neat answer, it needs pragmatic decisions from the local authority and Welsh Government that mitigate these challenges to parents and the school.”
Do you think its a good idea? Is your school experiencing problems with children missing school for holidays? Would you prefer 5 consecutive inset days? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin