Should the summer holidays be shorter?

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THE NUT passed a resolution opposed to shortening the school summer holiday at its annual conference this week following proposals by one local council to introduce a five-term school year, which led to teachers in that area staging a one-day walkout.

While the council in question believes the move from a six week break to a four week break in the summer will boost attainment and attendance, the NUT members believe that the suggestions would have a major effect on their workload and ultimately, their health.

They also believe that as well as being detrimental to the teachers, the suggestions are also detrimental to the children’s right to play outside of school time.

But what do our parents think? Are they happy with the six-week holidays as they stand? Or do they think a four week break would be better?

Emma Lewis, from Irthlingborough, said: “Nowadays there are far more working parents than there was when I was a child, and childcare is extortionate.

“I have said, and did as a child, that I wish the Christmas break was longer, as that is the time when most families have the most time available to spend together, plus the bad weather usually comes then and might help eliminate the “snow days” we seem to be getting over the last couple of years.”

Paddy Rielly, from Corby, said: “Why can’t the holidays be the same as Brooke Weston school in Corby, eight weeks on, two off and four weeks at summer, leaving folks a better chance of getting a cheaper holiday during the year without penalties from the schools. Until the holiday firms do catch on it would give us parents a chance to have a cheap holiday instead of being ripped off.

“Plus it would give the hard working teachers a break too.”

Kerry Jones, from Kettering, said: “As a childminder and a mum, six weeks in the summer is far too long, you can only go to Wickies oh so many times and various other outings before children become bored. The holidays should be spread out equally throughout the year.

“It may also help more parents have time off work and may cost them less instead of forking out one huge lump sum during the holidays.”

Terry Ekins, from Rushden, said: “To put another perspective on things, as a non-teaching school employee, I find the six weeks with no students and fewer teachers around is the only time when major changes can happen to school buildings, plumbing, electrics, computer systems etc, without causing major disruptions to education.”

Donna Ahearn, from Corby, said: “My daughter’s secondary school does eight weeks in school, two weeks off all year round, then four weeks in summer holidays and three weeks at Christmas. All schools should do the same so the school terms are spread out equally.”