Consultation School term and holiday dates - academic year 2018/19

Closed 31 Jan 2017

Opened 15 Jan 2017

Feedback Updated 5 Feb 2018

We Asked

The Local Authority (LA) is currently responsible for setting school term and holiday dates for all Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools.  Academies, Foundation and Aided Schools are responsible for setting their own term dates. There is collaboration between the LA and Academies, Foundation and Aided schools which have been invited to consult on the term dates and have generally followed the Local Authority’s pattern of terms and holiday dates. 

As one of the three 2018/19 calendar options put forward for consideration was a 5 week summer holiday the decision was taken to extend the consultation to parents and other interested parties.  The consultation ran between the 15th of January 2017 and the 31st of January 2017.

You Said

In total 303 responses were received from this consultation through the online survey, directly through emails, and via general correspondence.

Of the responses, 45% were in favour of option 2 to implement a 5 week summer holiday, with many respondents citing the greater benefits to child welfare by shortening the initial autumn term into more manageable pieces.  Option 1, a six week summer holiday with Autumn half term running from 29th October 2018 to 2nd November 2018, was the second most favoured calendar option.

We Did

Feedback from the consultation was considered and whilst the more favoured option 2 was initially recommended for approval, further information received outside of the consultation period raised concerns relating to the impact of implementing option 2.  These concerns primarily concentrated around the reduction of school days during the autumn half term having an adverse impact on exam preparation for pupils, and not aligning with our neighbouring authorities many of whom decided not to adopt the 5 week summer break.

Further information on the approval of the 2018/19 School Term and Holiday dates can be found here:

Results Updated 5 Feb 2018

Following the consultation a report was considered by the Portfolio Holder (Education and Learning) in June 2017.  

On 7th July 2017 an additional report was considered and approval given for the school term and holiday dates for 2018/19 set out in option 1.

The reports for both meetings are available below.

Files:

Overview

Introduction

The Local Authority is currently responsible for setting school term and holiday dates for all Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools. To date, the majority of Voluntary Aided, Foundation and Academy schools have followed the same term and holiday dates.

Traditional principles used in Warwickshire

A number of ‘guiding principles’ have traditionally been used to set the pattern of terms and holidays and every effort is always made to adhere to as many of the following as possible:

  1. 195 days from which the five teacher days are taken;
  2. Two of the five days defined by the local authority, one at the start of the autumn and  spring terms; the other three to be set by schools;
  3. Complete weeks wherever possible;
  4. A three weekend break at Christmas and Easter;
  5. A summer break as close to six weeks as possible;
  6. A pattern which is as consistent as possible with neighbouring authorities.

In attempting to adhere to the above principles, Warwickshire’s calendars have occasionally differed from those set by neighbouring authorities. The previous process followed by Warwickshire was for officers from the West Midlands authorities to meet in January to discuss potential options and seek to achieve a consensus. However, with the presence of more Multi Academy Trusts spanning across authorities it is more of a complex issue to agree term dates and training days than ever before. The impact of these decisions being home to school transport costs.

Options for 2018/9 (see attached PDFs)

Option 1: School would begin the academic year on Monday 3rd September and continue through till the 22nd of July, although the pupils would finish the year on the 19th. Christmas holidays would be for 2 weeks from the 21st of December till the 7th of January which is a teacher training day so the pupils would return on the 8th.

Option 2:  School would begin on the 3rd of September and continue through to the 29th of July for teachers with pupils breaking up the Friday before (the 26th). This would result in a 5 week summer holiday with an extra week holiday in the October half term from the 19th October till the 5th of November.

Option 3:  Here the term would start on the 3rd September for staff and on the 4th for pupils, and continue through till the 22nd of July, although the pupils would finish the year on the 19th. The first half term would extend from the 19th to the 29th of October and Christmas break would begin on the 21st of December.

What Happens Next

This consultation is closed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to tell us their views.

All comments received will be considered before a recommendation is put forward to the Portfolio Holder for Education for a decision. The calendar for the 2018/19 academic year will then be published in June.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background
  • Parents
  • Teachers

Interests

  • Schools and learning