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Views sought on October half-term date change for city schools

Published on Friday, June 22, 2018

LEICESTER City Council is asking for views on whether the city’s half-term break in October 2019 should be changed to bring it in line with the half-term dates recently announced for schools in the county.

From Monday (25 June), people will be able to have their say on whether next year’s October half term should be brought forward by a week – or whether the dates for the break should stay as they are.

Schools under local authority control in Leicester are currently due to close for half term from Monday 21 October 2019

But since the city council published its term dates for 2019-20, Leicestershire County Council has announced that county schools will start their half-term break on Monday 14 October – a week earlier than in the city.

This earlier half-term break means that schools in the county will start the new school year at the end of August 2019 with a short half term of just 32 days – but students and staff will return from their half-term break to face a 45-day run-up to Christmas.

In contrast, the city council’s preferred approach is to divide the school year into half terms of equal length – a pattern that was supported by the vast majority of respondents in an earlier consultation.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell said: “As a matter of principle, we would not normally support proposals that would require students and staff to work for nine weeks without a break.

“But we recognise the difficulties faced by parents, teachers and children when city and county schools have different term times and holiday dates.

“We are therefore asking people to let us know if they would like to see the city’s half-term break brought forward to 14 October next year to match the county’s dates, which would mean a 45-day run-up to Christmas – or whether they would prefer to stick with our published dates, which give students and staff the benefit of two half terms of roughly equal length.”

The online questionnaire – which goes live on Monday 25 June and will run for 12 weeks – can be found here

The consultation exercise will also seek views on whether the city’s term dates should follow patterns set by Leicestershire County Council in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Academies and free schools in Leicester and Leicestershire – which are not under the jurisdiction of local councils – set their own holidays and term dates.