YP Letters: All-year-round schools fit for the 21st century

Should there be greater flexibility over school holidays and term dates?
Should there be greater flexibility over school holidays and term dates?
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From: Mrs D M Davis, Larkfield Crescent, Rawdon, Leeds.

ISN’T it about time we joined the 21st century and re-organised school holidays? I have a number of suggestions, which will no doubt upset some of my former colleagues, speaking as a retired teacher.

In the first instance, keep all the Bank Holidays, but have schools open for virtually 52 weeks of the year. Allow staff six weeks annual holiday (plus bank holidays), which they can take whenever they want, with their children and/or family.

For argument’s sake, expect that teaching and ancillary staff will be on site Monday to Friday between say 9am and 5pm, but within this time, all preparation, marking, record keeping and meeting times will be done.

Consider the benefits. Teachers will be able to enjoy holidays and weekends, without the dread of incredibly long hours to achieve all that is required at school. Families will be able to take their holidays when it suits them, with the advantage of not having to go in August, and not being fined. Childcare will be a given, except for Bank Holidays.

I understand that these ideas may be considered revolutionary. However, when it is recognised that children tend to relapse after the long summer break, couldn’t this be a way forward?