Consultation on proposed holiday dates and in service days for 2021/22 to 2025/26

Pupil (head out of shot) writes on paper

Published: Wednesday, 18th September 2019

We are holding a consultation on school holiday dates (statutory and casual) and in service days for the academic years 2021/22 to 2025/26.

This meets our requirement to maintain a three-year forward programme of holiday and session dates.

The survey will run from Tuesday 24 September to Sunday 20 October 2019 and asks for people to choose one of two options:

  • Option A proposes that no changes are made to the existing pattern of statutory and casual holiday dates or in service days.
  • Option B proposes making some small changes to school holiday days and changing the dates of the in service days.
    This would give pupils the benefit of having a full week off in February, instead of the extended weekend currently experienced, and shortening the summer break by two or three days.
    There would be no other changes to the current pattern of statutory holidays but there may be minor changes to casual holidays as determined by each learning community.
    In service days would be changed to be taken before or after statutory holidays and so they align with those of neighbouring authorities, which would enable joint training opportunities for staff to take place.

Take part in the survey

The survey is available online - if required, free computer access is available in all public libraries and our contact centres.

If you would like a paper copy or support to take part in the survey, contact the Children and Young People’s service on 01835 825080. 

Frequently asked questions

  • Why are holidays being set for five years? 
    We are required to maintain a three year forward programme of holiday/sessions dates - consulting on a five year plan will enable schools and parents to plan accordingly.
  • Why is a week in February being proposed?
    Traditionally the February break is split over two weeks but feedback from the consultation held in 2013 included the request to have a whole week in February.
  • Why are changes to the dates of some in service days being proposed?
    Where possible, in service days have been aligned with neighbouring authorities to allow opportunities for joint training to be take place.
  • Why is no in service day in November being proposed?
    There was feedback in the last consultation asking for in service days to be held after holiday periods.
  • Why can’t in service days be held during the summer holidays?
    This would be against teachers’ contracted working arrangements – they are required to work for 195 days which includes five in service days.
  • Why not have two weeks in October?
    This option was rejected in the consultation carried out in 2010.
  • What are casual holidays?
    Each learning community allocates two casual holidays for pupils and staff which are usually aligned to their local festivals.

Next steps

The results of the survey and final decision will be communicated as soon as possible after the closing date, with the preferred option setting the school term dates for the next five years. These will be published in the school holiday pages of our website.  

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“We would encourage anyone who is potentially impacted by school holiday dates including parents, pupils, carers, staff, parent councils and local businesses to take the time to consider the changes we are proposing. They are primarily the result of comments we have previously received, with a number of families telling us about the difficulties they have with childcare arrangements when holiday weeks are split and in service days are not linked to holidays. Option B is an attempt to address these concerns and we hope that people can see the potential benefits that making these changes would bring.

“If anyone would has any questions or would like more information before making their decision, we would encourage them to contact their nearest school in the first instance. Otherwise the Children and Young People’s team at Council HQ will do their best to help.

“All feedback is greatly appreciated as we are keen to have as representative a view of local opinion as possible.”