12 Feb 2018

Term times could change in 2019

Councillors will consider the option of changing school term times on the Isle of Wight, following an extensive consultation with the public.

More than 1,800 people responded to the survey which asked whether shortening the previously six-week summer break would be well received. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents supported the proposal to reduce the summer holidays by one week, suggesting that the autumn half term (October) break be extended by a week (67 per cent of responses favoured autumn over spring).

“The results of our survey clearly demonstrate that there is a desire to trial a new approach to school holiday patterns on the Island, which was one of our pledges; to give families more choice over when they take their holidays, while at the same time making term lengths more even," said Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services.

“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.”

If the proposed pattern for school holidays is adopted by local authority-run schools, there is also agreement in principle, that other Island schools will structure their academic year around the same dates to ensure that there is no disparity between families with children attending different schools.

The survey also asked whether a two week reduction of the summer holidays and extra week in spring also be considered. This was not supported by the public and is therefore not proposed as an option. Survey respondents also said that they "didn’t mind" whether the Easter weekend was incorporated in the school Easter holiday period.

Opinions of parents/carers, pupils, school staff (including teachers) and ‘others’ were collected as part of the consultation; with 68 per cent of responses offered by parents.

A paper will be considered by the policy and scrutiny committee for children's services on 20 February: https://www.iwight.com/Meetings/committees/Policy%20Scrutiny%20for%20Children's%20Services/20-2-18/agenda.pdf? 636540404502153713

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Term times may change
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Factfile
  • More than 1,800 people responded to the survey which asked whether shortening the previously six-week summer break would be well received.
  • Fifty-nine per cent of respondents supported the proposal to reduce the summer holidays by one week, suggesting that the autumn half term (October) break be extended by a week.
  • Sixty-seven per cent of responses favoured autumn over spring.
 
Isle of Wight, UK