Sheffield schools look set to get fixed Easter holidays in 2020.
The council wants to the Easter holidays to start on Monday, March 30 in 2020. The ever changing date of Easter can cause problems for schools because when it falls in late April, schools struggle to fit in the two week break with SATs.
A school calendar was agreed for 2019 that fixed the Easter break at the first two weeks in April. It is proposed to approve the same dates for 2020.
A citywide consultation took place with parents and schools. There were 1,200 responses and 71 percent preferred the fixed Easter model.
Academies, which set their own calendars, are being encouraged to take the same holiday to promote consistency across the city. Catholic schools sometimes arrange their holidays around Easter but in 2019, they too will have the first two weeks of April off.
A council report says: “Easter can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25. If the Easter break falls in late April this creates a long half term and impacts on SATs preparation, not least because there is also the May Day bank holiday.
“There was overwhelming support for fixing the Easter break at the beginning of April when the proposal was first consulted upon.
“All schools consulted supported the idea of fixing the Easter Break at the first two full weeks of April, regardless of where the actual Bank Holiday falls. This allows for more balanced spring terms and also provides a minimum of three weeks preparation time for SATS.”
Sheffield Council says it has always worked closely with schools in the city and those in neighbouring authorities to try and agree the same school calendar for the benefit of parents.
The report adds: “Consistent school calendars are particularly important where school staff work in one authority but their children attend school in another authority.”