Barnsley cuts school summer holidays to five weeks


A council has become the first in England to cut the school summer holidays to under five weeks.

Barnsley Council in South Yorkshire has published the term dates for the academic year 2017-18, which include a shortened summer break, on its website

But teachers in the area are unhappy with the change, according to the Guardian.

The summer holiday will run from July 31 2018, a Tuesday.

In 2017, schools will break up almost a week earlier on Wednesday July 26. This year the final day of term will be July 20.

The new dates put the holiday at an estimated 34 days - though the start date for September 2018 has not yet been released - nine fewer than the previous year.

Children will enjoy an extra week off in October instead.

Horizon community college headteacher Nick Bowen told The Guardian that the council should reconsider as there had been little consultation with school leaders.

He said it would also affect schools' ability to recruit high-quality staff as teachers want and need a chance to "recharge their batteries".

"There is also the fact that most of the academies in the area probably won't come on board with it so everyone will have different holidays," he added.

"And it will be a disaster in terms of attendance because parents who have multiple children will have to take other siblings out of school if the holidays don't match."

The council said the dates had potential economic benefits for working parents and had been received positively.

Cllr Tim Cheetham told The Guardian: "The decision to alter the borough's term times and holiday dates is based on sound research evidence that shows the maximum length of the summer break should be no more than five weeks for the best educational outcomes."