Council agrees not to shorten long school summer holidays

Barnsley Town Hall
Barnsley Town Hall
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School holidays in Barnsley are to remain the same - despite suggestions the summer break could be reduced.

Barnsley Council has been consulting on proposals to change school holidays and term dates for the academy year 2018/19.

Among the possible changes was to reduce the summer break and an extra week added to the October half term.

Today the council's cabinet has discussed the options and decided to keep the tradition terms, which includes a long summer break.

More than 2,300 people responded to the council's consultation.

Only 44 per cent of parents voted in favour of keeping the traditional holidays, with 46 per cent in favour of a shorter summer break. A total of nine per cent opted for a fixed Easter break.

But 67 per cent of headteachers, school staff and members of trade unions and governing bodies opted for keeping the traditional holidays. A total of 19 per cent wanted a shorter summer term and just under 10 per cent wanted fixed Easter holidays.

A report to the cabinet said: "It is proposed that the continuation of the current ‘traditional’ pattern of school term and holiday dates of a long summer be adopted for the academic year 2018-2019 due to the majority of all respondents supporting this option.

"The respondents most in favour of the continuation of the traditional long summer were headteachers, governing bodies, school teaching staff, non teaching staff and trade unions and therefore it is anticipated that this will facilitate the adoption of a more consistent school term and holiday pattern across the borough including those schools which set their own holiday patterns outside of the control of the council, e.g. voluntary aided and academy schools."

Similar proposals, put forward by the council, were withdrawn last summer following widespread opposition from parents and teachers.

The authority had argued that the current length of summer holidays leads to poor educational achievement and issues with high holiday prices for families on low incomes.