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15 July 2016, 08:45 | Updated: 15 July 2016, 08:47
New term dates announced for the school year 2017 to 2018
The term dates for schools maintained by Brighton & Hove City Council will include an extended autumn half term in the academic year 2017 to 2018.
The traditionally one week break from school in October will be changed to a fortnight. The move comes into effect a year from now (not this September) with the first extended autumn half term, running from 16 October to 27 October 2017.
The changes are designed to support families by giving more flexibility about when they are able to spend time together without missing school. This will also offer families the chance to take excursions or holidays outside of the peak summer holiday period. The move follows consultation with parents and carers which ran earlier this year and debate at last month’s children, young people and skills committee.
The new term dates have been set with consideration to the term dates of schools in the neighbouring authorities of East and West Sussex. This additional week of holiday will not reduce the number of teaching and learning days children receive. The change has been made by slight adjustments to the start and finish of the three main terms.
• Autumn term will start on 1 September 2017 and end on 20 December 2017
o Half term break will be 16 October 2017 to 27 October 2017
• Spring term will start on 2 January 2018 and end on 29 March 2018
o Half term break will be 12 February 2018 to 16 February 2018
• Summer term will start on 12 April 2018 and end on 24 July 2018
o Half term will be 28 May 2018 to 1 June 2018
The same holiday pattern will apply during the academic year 2018 to 2019 as a pilot arrangement after which time the changes will be reviewed.
Cllr Tom Bewick, chair of children, young people and skills committee, said: “Modern families come in all shapes and sizes and the reduction in the discretion available to headteachers is damaging. The introduction of a new week's holiday in term time is a positive step and I hope addresses the behaviour of travel companies who whack up prices."
The creation of a new week’s holiday in 2017 to 2018 will mean that families have the potential to achieve a saving in the cost of trips or excursions. A review of representative holiday prices for the week commencing the 16 October shows that, compared to a holiday starting the following week, prices are lower.