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Reducing the school summer holidays

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Muffyxx Report 11 Apr 2012 09:42

From 6 wks down to 4 ...

good idea or not?

Some teachers are saying that the 6wk break is essential.

From what i can remember as a child I was always totally fed up after 4 wks of my summer holiday and would've willingly gone back to school then.

Would be interested to hear your views, especially from teachers or those involved in education, because as a parent .....just going on my experience I'm in favour but willing to be persuaded otherwise x


badger Report 11 Apr 2012 09:51

The teachers will be up in arms with you Muffy ,there goes two weeks of their paid holiday ,more ammunition for strike
But ,i see no reason why the powers that be could not move two of the weeks to a later date in the year to give students a welcome break in a very hectic, fraught school year.Fred. :-)


Muffyxx Report 11 Apr 2012 09:53

From what I can gather Fred the 2 weeks holiday won't be lost....just moved to make the school year into five terms rather than four...but I stand to be corrected on that one x


JackyJ1593 Report 11 Apr 2012 10:00

I spend most of the 6 weeks doing paper work to finish one year and preparing for the next . But I run a Pre-school and do not work in a school so my paper work load is different to schools. If there were to be changes I would like another week at Christmas. I find with travelling all over the country to relatives as no one near lives nearer than 2 and half hours, Christmas and New Year, I go back to work kn*****ed!

To have a week longer at Christmas would be very ecologically and economically friendly too for local authorities. No heating or lighting in thousands of schools.

Badger, it wouldn't be taking 2 weeks away from teachers but reorganising the present holidays. :-D


StrayKitten Report 11 Apr 2012 10:02

aw i love the sumer holidays, but then i love any holidays, as we spend most days otu the house doing fun things,

i do think the kids get sick round week 4, as they have done n seen it all and are ready to have a routine again,

as long as we get the other 2 weeks somewere else, then i wouldnt mind, i love littleman being off school,


JackyJ1593 Report 11 Apr 2012 10:07

Stray kitten, that is lovely to hear. It is surprising how many parents begrudge holidays and are forever asking for extra days for their child so they can have time to themselves. What a lot they miss out on that can never be recaptured.


badger Report 11 Apr 2012 10:07

.The first part of my post was said tongue in cheek ladies with regard to the already threatened strike action.
If you look closer ,was what i mentioned not far removed from what you have both said Mmmmmm.? :-) i e moving two weeks to another date,or dates.Fred. :-)


Julia Report 11 Apr 2012 10:13

Morning All, hope you are all well.

As a child, on a Scottish Isle, we had two whole months off, in the summer. All of July and August. WoopieDoo

Julia in Derbyshire


JackyJ1593 Report 11 Apr 2012 10:28

2 months would be too long! I would forget what my job is!


Eeyore13 Report 11 Apr 2012 10:30

I used to love the summer holidays when I was at school, we lived in the middle of nowhere & were "free range" finding our own entertainment-building dens, falling out of trees, going off on our bikes for the day... that freedom doesnt seem to exist anymore.

When my son was School age we did much the same except it all felt different-if he'd gone off on his bike for the day I'd have had a coronary...there is a need to know what they're doing,where they are & who they're with now. So I had a second chance at building dens etc & I would'nt have missed it for the world.

I don't suppose it would make any difference if they had five terms instead of four...maybe it's remembering the endless summers of our youth that make it seem unfair? I just hope if a decision is made it is done in the best interests of the children & teachers, however I really hope they take into consideration working Parents who have to get childcare.
(waffled on a bit there sorrrry lol )


Guinevere Report 11 Apr 2012 10:30

I'm retired from teaching in schools now but this idea was first mooted in Warwickshire just after I qualified in 1973. It still hasn't happened around here.

The objections then would probably be the same as the objections now. In no particular order -

1. The six week break is used for deep cleaning, building projects and decoration of school buildings. Difficult to do with children in situ.

2.Parents didn't want their choice of summer holiday dates further restricted from 6 to 4 weeks. They didn't want to have extra weeks in May or December. (The proposition at that time)

3. Holiday resorts were apoplectic at the loss of income if their season was shortened.

4. Different areas were contemplating different patterns. Difficult for parents with children at schools in different LEAs or for teachers changing jobs.

5. Universities were not at all keen on the idea and refused to contemplate chagning their academic year.

6. Examining boards were not interested in changing the dates of GCSEs or A levels which would make the change problematic for secondary schools.

7. Contrary to popular belief teachers don't spend the six weeks sunning themselves. The first two weeks I used to catch up with individual record keeping and the last week I was in school preparing for the next school year. We use the time to catch up with the latest research and for forward planning.

8. Having said all that my view now is the same as it was then. If it was national and the universities and examining boards fell into line I wouldn't have minded at all.

The main objections are going to come from the tourist industry, I'd say.



Kay???? Report 11 Apr 2012 10:47

My primary school teacher daughter spends at least the first 2 weeks in paperwork,,,then there is option teacher training days,,,then next term planning,catching up with ever changing policies.

she is happy as things are,,,,,,in the main she has about 4 weeks for any home inhouse work that needs to be done,then family time,,,,,she says the time just flies by.. :-D.but would like a week moved to the Christmas break.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 11 Apr 2012 11:04

Can't see why the exam boards are creating a fuss - Public exams this year (and most ) finish by the end of June.

Many secondary schools 'roll' the school year forward shortly after Year 11 go on study leave, so about the beginning of June or when ever that half term is. For those that don't know, the current (say) Year 7 start on the Year 8 cirruiculum before the end of the normal school year of July.

From a parents perspective, 6 weeks as a summer holiday is too long. The children are bored by the end of the 4th week. There is also some evidence that children forget what has been learned and have to be reminded when they 'go back'.

I'm in favour of a five term year. 4 weeks of school, a one week half term, 4 weeks of school and 2 weeks holiday. Some terms under the current 3 term system are extremely long; tiring for teachers and students alike.

Yes, there are problems when different LEA have different holidays, but it has always been like that. You only have to look at Yorkshire for an example.

Scotland has a different system; we are only looking at the rest of the UK.


Florence61 Report 11 Apr 2012 11:20

good morning everyone. i work as a pupil support worker in a rural school. in summertime the days are long and light til 11pm.i enjoy having 6 weeks holiday with my children because we use that time to recharge and enjoy being outside.

if we were to shorten the summer break, children would be in school when the weather is to warm. this makes the children tired and their concentration levels drop. mine never got tired or got bored. we explored our islands and beaches etc. travelled to visit relies we dont see very often and also have visitors coming home here.

when i worked in a bank before my children were born, i envied those on long holidays as i never got to see anyone. as a support worker, my job is sometimes very demanding and challenging and i look forward to every break as i need that time to switch off. off course there is paperwork to do and during the summer break, our school is merging with another,so lots of rearranging of classrooms etc which means going in at some stage to help.

so no please dont change the summer break. its a good time for parents to spend time with their children and do things together.

enjoying a lovely sunny day up here for a change!
in the hebrides :-)


Guinevere Report 11 Apr 2012 11:41

Detective - some exams are taken in May, which is when some LEAs would like the children to be on holiday if a switch to the 5 term year is made.

As a parent I would *never* say the six weeks holiday was too long. I loved it and so did my son. We were off exploring places on day trips and doing lots of activities locally. He was never bored - even when he was older he and his friends found plenty to do. Just as I did when I was a child. I loved the long summer break.

Children only get bored if they are not stimulated by their parents or taken out to interesting places. Most of my son's knowledge of history came from day trips during the long summer holidays to castles,country houses and museums.



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 11 Apr 2012 11:53

Yes, they do start in May. The earliest I have on my list is the 14th, and the last 24 June. There is a break for half term w/c 4 June. And this is at a school which runs a 5 term year. They can work round it, even if the holidays don't include public holidays. The staff and students have a long weekend like eveyone else.

The exam boards don't have to change!

Unfortunately, not all parents are able to afford stimulating days out, nor do they live in an area where the child can safely entertain themselves in the fresh air.


JoyBoroAngel Report 11 Apr 2012 11:58

i think if they cut the school holidays
they should uses the other two weeks as floating weeks

where parents can take the kids out of school
at a time that suits them

that would screw the holiday companies
that put the costs up for holidays during none term time


Muffyxx Report 11 Apr 2012 11:59

lol I think that's a fantastic idea Joy !!!! x

**mind you it would never happen because of the disruption...this way they're not missing school and so get the full benefit of the curriculum...that way they'd be missing out..but it's a fab idea in theory lol x

ஐ+*¨^¨*+e+*¨^¨*+ஐ Mildred Honkinbottom

ஐ+*¨^¨*+e+*¨^¨*+ஐ Mildred Honkinbottom Report 11 Apr 2012 12:13

Our teachers do marking, paperwork & planning for a couple of weeks during the summer holiday (and for a % of the other school holidays) They also go in a few days before the start of the new term in Sept to sort out the classroom, finalise lesson plans with their year group teachers etc.

People knock teachers for having all those paid holidays, but like us other school staff who also share the same holidays, we are all paid pro rata. Our standard working week wages & holiday entitlement pay which does vary due to service is split over 12 months. Giving us a fixed basic wage the same payday each month.

Regarding the length of holidays, it would only work if all places of education took the same dates.

I wouldnt want extra winter holidays, stuck indoors, weather too cold to enjoy going out.

I would propose a 4 week summer holiday starting the first week of August, using the other two weeks added onto Whitsun week making it 3 weeks at the beginning of June.

That way its like two summer holidays, and would give parents the opportunity to go abroad at less hot times of the year without feeling the need to take their kids out of school.


Guinevere Report 11 Apr 2012 12:20


Here it was proposed that children would be on holiday for 2 weeks in the middle of May so Exam boards *would* have to change if that's what was to happen. No two LEAs agree about when the holidays should be in a five term year. That should be sorted before some just do it, in my opinion.

There was talk about moving the academic year to begin in January and have exams in the autumn so hay fever isn't an issue at one time but Oxbridge threw a collective wobbly.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to keep children entertained just some imagination. If parents don't think it's safe outside then children can be entertained at home. Paints/crayons/glue and paper are cheap enough and books are free from libraries.

Children get very bored in just 2 days if they aren't given some stimulation.