School summer holidays in Wales could be cut to four weeks
School children in Wales face shorter summer holidays in a bid to ensure that they don’t lose progress with their learning.
The Education Minister Jeremy Miles said that the school holidays could be cut from six weeks to four, although research showed that pupils favoured a longer break over the summer.
A report by Beaufort Research for the government came up with three different models for how the summer holidays in Wales could look in the future.
It included online focus groups with parents and carers, children and young people and the education workforce, online surveys, and engagement events.
“It is clear from this report that, when discussed in detail, there is openness to looking at alternative ways of structuring the school year,” Jeremy Miles said.
“Particularly in terms of how we better support learners over the summer holidays and achieve greater consistency in the length of terms – particularly the current long autumn term – to better align with modern working and family patterns, and to tackle disadvantage and the attainment gap.”
The three different models suggested by Beaufort Research were:
- A three-week summer break with terms lasting about six or seven weeks with fortnightly breaks between them.
- A five-week summer break with three school terms of about 13 weeks, with a one-week break halfway and three weeks at Christmas
- A four-week summer break with five school terms of about seven or eight weeks.
Jeremy Miles however said that he had ruled out the three-week summer option.
“As a government, we are committed to exploring the structure of the school year to see if we can better support learner and staff wellbeing, tackle disadvantage and educational inequalities, and bring it more into line with modern and future patterns of family life and employment,” Jeremy Miles said.
“Whilst I am clear there is no argument for changes to the overall number of holidays or for reducing the summer break to two or three weeks, I am pleased that the research published today demonstrates an openness to looking at the overall distribution of holidays throughout the year with a greater consistency in term lengths.”
He added that over the coming weeks and months he would continue to gather evidence and engage with stakeholders, particularly learners and the education workforce.
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Not a fan of these options. We all had long summers. Letting kids have some carefree time without homework is more important than some imagined loss of learning progress. Summer is where the best weather usually happens. We are raising people not automatons. In Sweden most of the country has the whole summer off. Parents and children.
The solution (if one is needed) is in more efficient learning mechanisms, not more time in school.
Work Smarter Not Harder
“In Wales, we are commited to messing about”…………………….
Bad enough trying to arrange a reasonably priced family holiday when you have 6 weeks to play with. The cost will become prohibitive for many parents if they only have four weeks to squeeze a holiday in. That, in turn, could lead many parents to book holidays in term time resulting in kids missing even more school.
The current school holidays are a bit like a QWERTY keyboard. It doesn’t make much sense but changing is more trouble than it’s worth. Or, to use an old Irish saying, ‘well I wouldn’t start from here but…’!
labour and plaid coalition have track record in hurting working class families in Wales and working class kids.