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schools to determine their own term dates from 2015

20 August 2013

The 6-week school summer holiday may become a thing of the past as all schools in England will be free to determine their own terms and holidays from September 2015. The government’s Deregulation Bill will axe local authorities’ powers to tell schools when terms should start and end, which many say will cause chaos for parents trying to organise childcare for children at different schools.

Academies already have this power, yet very few have introduced longer terms and cut school holidays; why would maintained schools act any differently? Well one motivation behind this change is fear over the negative impact of long summer holidays on pupil performance, particularly for children from low socio-economic backgrounds. Furthermore, some parents say they would welcome a shorter summer break in exchange for longer Christmas and Easter breaks. However, what is clear is that changing term dates will only work effectively if all schools in local areas consult parents and co-ordinate dates to enable parents to organise childcare.

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