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Council reopens school holiday debate

Tuesday November 1 2016

BARNSLEY Council has reopened the school holiday debate by announcing new proposals that would shake-up the current system. 

Schools, parents and other interested parties will be invited to give their views on proposals for changes to school term and holidays dates for the 2018/19 school year. 

The consultation will be open from Monday, November 7 to Friday, December 2.

The council says that three options are being presented for consideration and feedback.

The first - the council's preferred option - is the proposal that was abandoned earlier this year, which will take a week off of the summer holidays, with an additional week being given in October.

The second option is to fix the Easter break on an annual basis, while the third is to stick to the current holiday system.

It follows planned changes to school holidays that were axed by the council earlier this year.

Councillors agreed in March to cut the summer break from six weeks to four weeks and four days, with an extra week added in October. Those changes were planned to be implemented from next year.

But, following a backlash from some headteachers, who said they had not been properly consulted over the changes, the decision was reversed.

Coun.Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for People (Achieving Potential) said: “We want to hear the views of as many people as possible to ensure everyone affected by these proposed changes has an opportunity give their opinion and ensure the best possible educational outcome is achieved.

"Following the consultation period, an analysis of the results will take place and will be presented for consideration by Barnsley Council Cabinet members in February 2017.

"The adopted pattern will then be circulated to schools and other interested parties during March 2017, for implementation in the academic year 2018/19.

"There may still be variations across the borough as voluntary aided schools and academies determine their own pattern of school term time and holidays. These schools and academies will be included in the consultation process in order that dates are unified as far as possible across Barnsley."

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Reply Posted by Chris Loveland on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 16:06
I'm all for shortening the summer holiday period, but I would think an extra week of in Easter would be better than October .

Reply Posted by Beth on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 16:21
The Autum term has the longest duration with no national holidays to factor in. Therefore that's why October is the best time to allocate the holidays. GCSE's are held in May/June each year so not an ideal time to give kids more holiday on the run up to this. October is the only realistic time.

Reply Posted by Annie on Saturday November 5 2016 at 14:37
Students preparing for GCSEs can't afford to miss another week of teaching & learning in October. Most of their Year 11 work takes place in the autumn term.
It's true that a lot of teachers in schools run sessions in October half term and they would do the same if there was a 2 week break. But it would be voluntary and a lot of students who really need it would not opt in.

Reply Posted by Nannabeth on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 16:29
If it ain't broke....

Reply Posted by kelley on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 16:33
I think they should give an extra week at Christmas

Reply Posted by mr s on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 18:35
it does not matter what happens the holiday firms will click on to it and just increase there prices

Reply Posted by skeptic on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 18:46
It has to be consistent across all schools if possible otherwise parents with kids of different school ages will find it difficult to get childcare sorted.

Reply Posted by Anon on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 18:55
I agree with an extra week around Christmas or Feb half term is possible... Oct is too soon after pupils returning to school after summer and some children have just settled, especially first time full timers...

Reply Posted by Jo Dvelys on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 18:57
I agree with Chris (below) but It will not make any difference as Barnsley Council will only do what they want and will make sure that this happens by writing the consultation document in a way that means they get what they want.

Reply Posted by Why on Monday November 7 2016 at 16:31
Why is the change being proposed? Other countries where kids do well in education have summer holidays longer than ours. Why do we need to make the summer holiday shorter? They need a proper long break. How can anyone say it's boring, 6 weeks wasn't enough for me or for my kids when they were younger.

Reply Posted by Karon on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 19:02
I think a week should be taken off summer and added on to spring break. Not onto October as it's too cold for kids to play outside in October. 6 weeks is too boring for kids and too stressful for parents

Reply Posted by Susan cunningham on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 19:38
Leave the holidays as they are . Barnsley should be the same as other neighbouring authorities . The pupils in Year 11 will be affected having an extra week in October . They will have it hard enough as it is with the new exam grading system being put into place.

Reply Posted by Jane on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 19:49
It should be 4 weeks in summer, an extra week at Christmas so the kids can play with all their presents (plus schools would save on the heating bill!) Then an extra week at spring bank when the weather is better. This would be more practical for parents to implement child care

Reply Posted by ann on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 20:31
It makes no difference what people want or whats easy for the masses the council will do what it always does decides and say its what we asked for same as markets and the shops it will not leave this town alone till its destroyed, its more safer to have holidays in Easter as its lighter longer but it will already have been decided and its just paper shuffling until they say its what We asked for.. nothing changes

Reply Posted by Dweeb on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 20:43
I think the holiday should stay the same then give each child 1 week when the parents want to take it threw the year

Reply Posted by Emma on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 21:13
I love the six week break in the summer. Please don't change it. Once you factor in the annual family holiday, a camping weekend and August bank holiday, it's gone in a flash. We live in sunny England - leave our summer break alone, we need it!

Reply Posted by Louise Womersley on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 21:20
I'd like to see them stay as they are!

Reply Posted by Bri on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 22:04
Just interfering jobsworths who think they know better than the professionals who do the workand know their kids

Reply Posted by Noel Shaw on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 23:07
Keep the current system.

Reply Posted by Mrs J on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 23:27
Leave the holidays as they are, I agree October is too cold and kids have just got in to going back to school. Adding a week at Christmas is ok for junior school not secondary schools, you cannot add a week at spring bank because of exams so leave the holidays alone we have been having the 6 week hols has long has I can remember so get a grip people it's the holiday companies that need to be sorted out and lower their prices!!!!

Reply Posted by Fleetwood on Wednesday November 2 2016 at 01:27
Yeah, but who's going to harvest my potatoes? You? Didn't think so.

Reply Posted by Anon on Wednesday November 2 2016 at 07:12
As a Barnsley teacher with 4 children of my own who go to schools in Rotherham, any changes would be a nightmare for me.

Reply Posted by Steph on Thursday November 3 2016 at 21:44
Tough .. I as a shift worker have had to deal with this for a long time .

Reply Posted by Confused on Friday November 4 2016 at 15:04
If you are a shift worker, what has the changes in school holidays got to do with what you have to deal with, unless you want schools open all night?

Reply Posted by Leanne Allison on Wednesday November 2 2016 at 19:22
NSW have a good idea with staff doing a few days at end of year when pupils have finished

Reply Posted by Andrea on Wednesday November 2 2016 at 19:47
Leave the school holidays as they are, I love the holidays!! Especially the 6 week summer holidays, like someone said our summers are short enough ,let's enjoy our kids and let our kids enjoy being kids because nowadays everyone wants them to grow up way too quickly!!!!!

Reply Posted by carol on Wednesday November 2 2016 at 21:01
Leave the holidays as they are. Trying to fit holidays for all employees who have children, who work at my company, into 4 weeks would be a nightmare. More families would have to go on holiday during term time.

Reply Posted by Déjà Vu on Thursday November 3 2016 at 19:25
Oh no, it's only a few months ago we had this and the same old arguments will be repeated......
In a nutshell:' leave holidays alone.....too many holidays.....make teachers have same holidays as everybody......6 weeks in summer is boring....an extra week in October is crap.....I want cheap holidays....I will take my kids out of school to go on holiday and I don't give a toss.....let the kiddies have a month off at Christmas to play with all their toys.....keep kids in school for longer in autumn/winter as it's freezing at home and fuel bills rocket.....other countries have 2 months off in summer....we voted out of Europe so we don't want to be like other countries....I want my kids to be at school as much as possible cos I don't like looking after them.....yawn

Reply Posted by Victoria on Friday November 4 2016 at 16:41
I can't understand why the council has still got the bit in its teeth with regards to changing the school holiday's. The problem with this is that if a parent/care-giver has a child in two separate authorities then it is going to obviously impact heavily on child-care costs. I mean Barnsley has a different Feb half term to most places. No the only proposal that I can see gaining any traction is the fixing of Easter, even this is being discussed by the Church, just think for once Barnsley could actually be 'ahead of the game' shocking I know!

Reply Posted by John P on Friday November 4 2016 at 16:52
Just hope it is meaningful consultation .Listen to the heads,teachers and parents,they are the ones that know,not the consultants.
I expect the results of consultation to be available and transparent prior to any cabinet decision.

Reply Posted by Mark on Friday November 4 2016 at 19:02
Yes by all means cut the length of the summer holiday but give them 2 weeks at spring bank, October half term too late in the year (colder and dark nights)Easter holiday is already 2 weeks so in my opinion the last week in May and the first week in June would be ideal.

Reply Posted by Paul cadman on Sunday November 6 2016 at 14:45
Most teachers would welcome an additional week in October
It would be even better if this was added onto the feb half half term and fix easter like they do in scotland
This would then avoid five week half terms
I could understand it if secondary heads were against additional time at February due to exam revision or course completion

Reply Posted by Year 11 teacher on Wednesday November 9 2016 at 14:45
Hello Paul
I agree it would be better if Easter could be fixed.
I think a lot of primary school teachers would welcome an additional week in October, as it is a long stretch for little kids and the shorter darker days can feel miserable.
My own children are Year 2, 5 and 7, but I teach mostly older secondary students and for them, another week in October wouldn't be best. We get most of our Year 11 work done in the autumn term, they are fresh after the summer break and we can push hard with a nice Xmas break ahead. in January we can pick up on weaker areas, decide what exam levels to enter them for, complete the syllabus and there is still plenty of time to improve.
For some Year 11s, having a 2 week holiday in October would be damaging.
I don't know why the holiday changes are even being suggested, has somebody decided it is bad for kids to have 6 weeks off in the summer?

Reply Posted by stacey white on Sunday November 6 2016 at 14:56
The kids aren't in schools long anyway, they r only in school about 6 weeks and then they have a break and then back in school for another 6 weeks before having another break. why can't they just change this instead of adding more holidays. Just make kids stay in school an extra week or so it be better I think.

Reply Posted by James on Sunday November 6 2016 at 21:41
Push the Summer Holidays back by a week and give us an opportunity for a cheaper family holiday just before the start of the new term. Everyone wins.

Reply Posted by Janet on Monday November 7 2016 at 13:03
Where is the link to take part in the survey?

Reply Posted by Pen pusher on Tuesday November 8 2016 at 13:10
To take part in the survey press. Here

Reply Posted by @Janet on Tuesday November 8 2016 at 18:56
Go to consult.barnsley.gov.uk
Or to BMBC education.

Reply Posted by Parent on Wednesday November 9 2016 at 15:00
It is not hard to find.
It is consult.barnsley.gob.uk
It takes a few clicks to take part.

Reply Posted by Parent on Wednesday November 9 2016 at 15:04
Don't be so silly, pen pusher. Have you taken part in the survey or not. If you don't take part, your views are a bit pointless unless you think there is a conspiracy going on. In which case get your Anonymous Guy Fawkes mask and keep it on at all times.

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