Head teachers' union to announce plans to reform school holidays and shorten summer break

The National Association of Head teachers believe shorter but more regular breaks could benefit both teachers and pupils

Head teachers from across the country are expected to announce plans to radically reform the structure of the British school holiday.

As part of their annual conference in Birmingham today, it is believed the National Association of Head Teachers will announce a plan to shorten the 6-week summer break and replace it with shorter but more frequent breaks throughout the school year.

The NAHT argue that more breaks could drastically reduce teacher exhaustion, improve the continuity of children’s learning and stop parents having to pay extortionately high holiday prices during school holidays.

Currently, schools in Britain have three week-long half terms, two two-week holidays at Easter and Christmas and one long six-week holiday over July and August.

However, the NAHT want this to change by bringing in a four-week summer break and add an extra week of holiday in October and February.

Russell Hobb, the Secretary of the NAHT, questioned whether the current structure was healthy for the staff that worked in schools.

He said: "It seems like at the end of term everybody is ready to drop. Not reducing the amount of holiday but distributing it more evenly throughout the year might be one solution to that."

He also said that the union were worried about “learning loss” in students over the six-week break, after studies in America showed that longer breaks can have a major impact on students being able to retain what they have learnt during the previous school year.

Hobb also believes that by following a more European model of staggering holidays in different parts of the country could help parents by drastically reducing the prices of holidays for families.

At the moment, trips taken during school holidays can be as much as four times more expensive than if the holidays taken during term time and Hobb feels the staggering of holidays could be the solution.

He said: "You could have a staggering of holidays around the country. I believe Germany do something similar. So if different parts of the country within local authority boundaries or regional boundaries had slightly different holiday times I think that would ease the pressure on prices of holidays."

Nevertheless, it has not been met with unanimous support and it is believed that some NAHT members will oppose the plan and are willing to strike to ensure they hold onto their entitlement of a six-week summer holiday.

The calls come after both the Minister for Education, Michael Gove, and head of Ofsted, Michael Wilshaw, have both said publicly that they would like to see changes to the school calendar.

Last year, Gove said the six-week break was archaic and had been “designed for a time when Britain ran an agricultural economy.”  

While Wilshaw said in December that the summer break was “far too long.”

Currently, it is only free schools and academies that can set their own hours and term times. However, this is hoping to be extended to those schools that come under the direction of local councils.

The proposal is part of a new education manifesto that the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) that could also see priority in admissions given to those on free school meals and a cap on teacher’s working hours.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?