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9 March 2018, 07:08 | Updated: 9 March 2018, 07:11
School summer holidays on the Isle of Wight are going to be cut, from six weeks to five.
The council's approved the plans, after a public consultation, to help give families more choice over going away. It means the autumn half-term will increase to two weeks.
The green light was given on Thursday by a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet – and follows an extensive consultation last year. It says Island school term dates are considered annually and will continue to be reviewed in the future.
Overall 1,877 people responded to the consultation, with 59 per cent supporting a summer holiday reduction by one week, and 67 per cent favouring an extension of the autumn half-term (October) break by a week as opposed to the spring half-term.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Paul Brading, said:
“These changes reflect the majority of responses to our thorough public consultation which clearly demonstrated there is a desire to try a new approach. However, term dates are considered annually and will continue to be reviewed in the future.
“Ultimately, our aim is to continue to drive up educational standards so that all of our schools are rated ‘good’ or better by Ofsted, and also to continue to increase attendance in our schools. And it has been one of our pledges to give families more choice over when they take their holidays, while at the same time making term lengths more even.”
Councillor Brading said there was also agreement in principle, that other Island schools will structure their academic year around the same dates to ensure that there is no disparity between families with children attending different schools.
Opinions of parents/carers, pupils, school staff (including teachers) and ‘others’ were collected as part of the consultation; with 68 per cent of responses offered by parents.
The changes are due to take effect in the 2019/20 academic year.