Primary school pupils to get just four weeks off for their summer holidays – after request by parents

Move will save families hundreds of pounds in childcare and holidays

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The Independent Online

Two Lincolnshire primary schools will become the first in England to abandon the traditional six-week summer school break.

Pupils at White’s Wood and Mercer Wood primary schools in Gainsborough broke up on Thursday for a four-week holiday which will see the students return to lessons on 19 August.

Instead, extra weeks of holiday will be added to the school’s terms in September and November as well as two weeks in May.

The schools, which are both part of the Tall Oaks Academy Trust, said that the change was made to help improve learning and give parents the chance to take their children on holiday during off-peak times.

Sharon Close, executive principal at Tall Oaks Academy Trust, told the BBC: “It's a big break and parents are telling us that, after four weeks, they would like their children to come into school, so we are responding to that.”

According to reports, most parents have agreed with the shorter break as their children often became bored during the summer holidays and it would ease the pressure of finding child care.

Others who have children at different schools said that the change would be “awkward”.

At present, academies and free schools have powers to set their own term dates, which the Department for Education hope will soon be extended to council-run schools.

A DoE spokesman told the Independent: “We have given schools the flexibility to change their term dates, and we trust headteachers to make decisions based on what they consider is best for their own pupils.”

Parents currently risk being fined if they take their children out of school during term time.

Meanwhile, Eveswell Primary School in Newport, Wales is giving students an extra week off in term time so parents can take their children away when it is cheaper.