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Plans to change school term times on the Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight County Press Image

Megan Baynes

[email protected]

Monday, February 12, 2018 - 15:31

THE Isle of Wight Council could reduce the summer holidays by one week, following a consultation over term times.

More than 1,800 people responded to a survey asking whether they would support the shortening of the summer holidays by one or two weeks, in order to extend half term holidays.

Responses were supportive of the change from the current pattern, with majority support for the reduction in the summer holiday and a two-week autumn half term. However, there was a lack of support for a further reduction and a two week half term holiday in both the spring and the autumn term.

Over 280 responses were from teachers, and 94 from pupils.

Cabinet member for children's services, Cllr Paul Brading, said: "The option on the table reflects the majority of responses to our thorough and well participated in public consultation and shows that we are listening to stakeholders. Term times are considered annually and will continue to be reviewed in the future.

"Ultimately, our aim is to continue to drive up educational standards so that all of our schools are rated 'good' or better by Ofsted, and also continue to increase attendance in our schools."

The Isle of Wight Council sets the school year for voluntary controlled and community schools. Other categories of school — such as academies — can set their own school year, although it is suggested they use the council's school year as a base.

However, the Isle of Wight National Education Union has said proposals could lose approximately 6,500 Year 11 teaching days and impact teacher recruitment.

Secretary Dominic Coughlin said: "We recognise that the current long autumn term is tiring for children, families and school staff. It is our view that this could be addressed with a two-week break in the autumn, no half term-term break in the summer during the exam season and a six-week summer break.

"This would mean the school year would commence in the middle, or towards the end of August."

The proposal is due to go before the policy and scrutiny committee for children's services on March 8.

 


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