School holidays to be standardised

Cheshire West and Chester council are going to make their school holidays the same time ever year.

School holidays in western Cheshire are going to change to make sure that they are always at the same time.

Cheshire West and Chester council say that they've been and asked schools and parents what they thing, and 77% were behind the plans which would see the usual Easter break scrapped.

Instead, there will be a fixed break at the beginning of April, with schools closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday.

The changes will come in from September 2013, with the authority urging other schools like foundation, volunary aided schools and academies to do the same, although they don't have to.

Councillor Mark Stocks, Executive Member for Children and Families, said: "Although we were aware of the difficulties differing term dates were causing, it was essential that schools, families and the wider community had their say before a decision was taken to adopt a standardised pattern.

"The response showed overwhelming support for the proposal, with many commenting that it would help schools and families to plan ahead.

"We are sharing the feedback with neighbouring authorities so that we can explore ways to further develop the standardised pattern."

The changes in full are:
- All terms to start on a Monday (or a Tuesday if necessitated by a bank holiday).
- October half term to always be the last full week of October.
- A break covering Christmas and the New Year period.
- February half term will always be the third full week in February.
- Easter break will be renamed the Spring break and will always be the first two full weeks in April.
- Easter will always be observed via the bank holidays for Good Friday and Easter Monday.
- Whitsun half term break will be one week across all primary, secondary and special schools.
- Where a school is open for part of a week to pupils, this will be for a minimum of three school days (to encourage attendance).
- The five 'inset' teacher training days are all to be designated by the individual school governing body, but there will be no more than two days (in any one term) set consecutively for this purpose.