Brighton & Hove term-time holiday – we want your views
Formal consultation has started on a proposal to introduce a new week’s school holiday during term-time in Brighton & Hove on a trial basis during the academic years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
The three options for the new week’s holiday during 2017-18 are the weeks commencing:
- Monday 16 October 2017;
- Monday 20 November 2017; or
- Monday 5 March 2018.
The new holiday would be created by saving five days from existing holiday periods. The closing date for the consultation is Wednesday 28 June.
During informal consultation carried out by the council during March and April 59% of the more than 1,500 respondents said they would like to see a new week’s holiday created outside the traditional pattern of school holidays.
The cost of holidays taken in the school holidays is higher than the equivalent holiday in term time. A stand-alone week’s holiday during term time could allow parents to buy a cheaper holiday or family trip without taking their child out of school.
Creating a stand-alone holiday during the summer term has been ruled out due to concerns expressed by the education community that this would cause too much disruption to vital exams and revision.
The chair of the council’s children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Tom Bewick, said: “We’re keen to hear the views of pupils as well as parents. I’ll be very interested to see which option proves the most popular.
“This is about offering lower-income families in particular the chance to take holidays and excursions that might be unaffordable during the traditional pattern of school holidays.
“It should also help to address the issue of parents taking their children out of school during term time for an unauthorised holiday.”
A final decision on the new week’s holiday for 2017-18 will be made in early July. The dates for the new week’s holiday during 2018-19 will be determined next year.
The council sets the academic year dates for community, voluntary controlled and community special schools in the city. For foundation and voluntary aided schools this is done by the school’s governing body.
For academies and free schools it is done by the trust that runs the school. All state schools in the city currently follow the council’s academic year, but the academies and free schools are under no obligation to do so in future.