Kids’ holidays could be cut

Headlands School headteacher Scott Ratherham
Headlands School headteacher Scott Ratherham

SUMMER holidays could be cut from six to four weeks in schools across Bridlington.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council are talking to headteachers in Bridlington and across the county to gauge the reaction to any possible changes to the school calendar.

Paul Butler, inclusion and access manager at East Riding council, will lead these informal discussions with schools.

He said: “There have not been any decisions made as yet and if after speaking to headteachers they say, ‘we don’t want to change’, things will stay as they are.

“At the moment we are simply looking at reordering the holiday periods to provide three or four equal length terms. Currently, the autumn term is very long and we believe there would be a benefit to shortening the summer holiday period so that there would be a longer break during half terms.”

Mr Butler also believes that there could be benefits to parents in a shorter summer break.

“The six week summer break is a tradition that goes back to having children off school to help with the harvesting which is now outdated.

“Parents face the problem of children who are bored after a few weeks of summer, especially if the weather is unsettled, and those who work also can have difficulties with planning childcare.

“There is also the issue of term time holidays. Longer half term holidays would allow families more freedom to go on holiday in the autumn or spring.”

Scott Ratheram, headteacher at Headlands School, believes that while council discussions are at a very early stage, there should be thorough consultations with parents and schools before any decisions are reached.

“We are working very hard to improve the schools in Bridlington and I wouldn’t want something like this to distract us from that,” said Mr Ratheram.

“It is something that should be looked at very carefully, and should be standardised across the area as differences between schools, for example if parents have children in primary and senior schools with different holidays it could cause chaos.

“Something that does cause us problems at school is when the Easter break falls, as we are sometimes left with very uneven half terms.”

Mr Ratheram also pointed out that in Bridlington, students are in a unique position due to the summer tourism economy with many students working throughout the summer break.

Debate has raged on the Free Press Facebook page over the plans.

Tracy White, wrote: “Its got disaster written all over it.

“As it is now summer holidays begin in July, and end in September, its been like that for as long as I can remember, it gives us enough time to get new uniforms and everything else they need for the new term. If you change it, you change everybody’s routine.”

Bethany Strathearn, who left school two years ago and left college this year, said: “The 6 week holidays left me getting bored and forgetting what I’d learnt before breaking up.

“I think the idea is good, but definitely an extra week should be added at Christmas.”

What do you think? Is cutting the summer holiday period a good idea, or would it create as many problems as it would solve? Get in touch by sending a letter to 3 Prospect Street, Bridlington, YO15 2AQ, or letters@bridlingtonfreepress.co.uk.

Alternatively, leave your views on the Bridlington Free Press Facebook page.