Brighton and Hove’s two-week half-term school holidays scrapped

Posted On 23 Feb 2018 at 6:57 pm

The experimental two-week half-term school holidays being trialled by Brighton and Hove City Council will be scrapped – but not until next year.

Almost 4,500 people responded to a survey which found that most parents and staff wanted to revert to the existing pattern of school holidays, the council said.

A decision to switch back is expected to be agreed when councillors met early next month.

The council said today (Friday 23 February): “A recommendation to revert to a one-week October half-term holiday for community and special schools in Brighton and Hove starting in 2019 will be considered by councillors at a meeting on Monday 5 March.

“The recommendation follows a recent public consultation that showed a majority of respondents to be against making a two-week half-term holiday a permanent fixture on the calendar.

“Two-week October half-term hoolidays in 2017 and 2018 were agreed on a trial basis by the council’s Children, Young People and Skills Committee in 2016 following public consultation.

“However, an analysis of the recent consultation carried out following the first of the two-week breaks in October 2017 showed that nearly two thirds of respondents did not wish to see the trial continue beyond 2018.”

Councillor Dan Chapman, who chairs the committee, said: “It’s clear that most of the people who responded to our survey do not wish to see the continuation of the extended half-term break.

“We are also aware that a number of our voluntary-aided schools have already decided to revert back to a one-week October break this year.

“I think it’s important for us to have a consistent model of holidays across our city-wide family of schools.

“The decision back in 2016 to trial the two-week break was informed by nearly 60 per cent of people responding to our consultation at the time saying they would like to see a new week’s holiday created outside the traditional pattern of school holidays.

“We listened then and I think we need to listen again and revert back to a one-week October half term break as of 2019.”

Councillor Daniel Chapman

The extra week in October was created by saving five days from existing holidays as a way to help families beat the higher cost of flights and hotels during school holidays.

There was no reduction in the number of teaching days as the council tried to give families more flexibility and reduce the number of children missing school as their families booked term-time breaks to save money.

The council sets the academic year dates for community and special schools in the city.

But voluntary-aided schools, which are usually Roman Catholic church schools, set their own dates – as do academies and free schools.

  1. Laurence Dickie Reply

    I think the trial should have run for another year. People are notoriously resistant to change.

    • Evie V Reply

      I think this was originally pushed by an individual who wanted to take her kid on a cheap beach holiday. It’s a crap idea and doesn’t fit in with the two adjacent education authorities, good riddance to it.

  2. Frank bothwell Reply

    It worked brilliantly for our family though we are lucky as we can take time out to spend with our kids whilst others cant (or dont want to 🙂 )

  3. Alexander P. Reply

    It would make more sense to have longer half term holiday either in February, so skiers can enjoy the time, or in May to catch some mire sun. I find it wrong having another long holiday just after long summer break.

    And yes, the decision on trial success or failure should not be done just after the first year if the trial is scheduled to run for two years.

  4. Kieran McDonald Reply

    I don’t recall seeing a survey, it worked well I’d have voted to keep it. Who was invited to this survey?

  5. Elaine Mulingani Reply

    Same here – I was delighted when they trialled this. Oh well; back to being stuck with paying 3 times the price of the weeks immediately before and after half term 🤨

  6. Elaine Smith Reply

    Such a shame it’s been scrapped.Have enjoyed having a cheaper holiday out of term time.First time abroad in 10 years as couldn’t afford to pay school holiday prices! I work for a school and can see more parents taking unauthorised leave for their children or calling them in sick now! Very sad Teaching assistant now☹️. If only the government would step in and sort out holiday firms! I agree with someone else’s comment,2 weeks in May might have been a better trial with only 1 week at Easter.

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