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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