Published On: Thu, Feb 29th, 2024

School summer holidays in England ‘should be cut to four weeks’ in new report | UK | News


A report has said school summer holidays in England should be reduced to four weeks, with half-terms and the Christmas break extended. This proposal is part of a suggested overhaul of the academic calendar, which has been in place since Victorian times, according to the Nuffield Foundation.

Lee Elliot Major, a professor at the University of Exeter and one of the authors of the report, believes that this change could help address educational divides that have widened during the pandemic. He said: “Spreading school holidays more evenly across the year makes complete educational sense: improving the wellbeing of pupils and the working lives of teachers at no extra cost, balancing out childcare costs for parents, and potentially boosting academic results for many children.”

He also added: “Reducing the summer holidays from six weeks to four weeks would still provide adequate time for teachers to recuperate, while two-week breaks during the February and October half-terms would give much-needed time off during the most gruelling parts of the academic year.”

However, Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, noted that there are differing opinions on this matter. He stated: “Changing the length of the summer holiday is an idea that has been posited for many years and inevitably there are a range of different views.”

“There is some evidence that suggests changes could be beneficial to pupils and parents, but other research has been far less conclusive. It’s important that the impact of any changes are properly considered and must not be rushed into.”

“The Nuffield Foundation’s report identifies some very real issues, including the growing mental health crisis and the disparity between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. It’s possible that changes to the school calendar could ameliorate these problems to some extent. But it could also prove a huge energy-sapping distraction from the most pressing issues of recruitment and retention, special-needs provision and funding for education.”



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