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June Half term Holiday Consultation

The term dates for the academic year 2019-20 are already in the calendar but we are now considering dates for 2020-21.

 

We usually just adopt the Thurrock Council Calendar which all schools used before becoming academies on the basis it would be easier for parents if schools in the area did the same. Unfortunately, other schools, and particularly secondary dominated Multi-Academy Trusts, have failed to do this, resulting in a very confusing situation in the borough. These changes have often been made without consultation outside the school group, on the false assumption that primary parents will all want to send their children to the trust's secondary school. Many of these groups have opted for a 2 week half term holiday in the autumn  term, usually achieving this by the dubious practice of teaching less days altogether.   They have often said they do this to recruit staff who get "tired" towards Christmas. We do not have a problem recruiting staff, as we train our own and treat them well, and in any case we prefer teachers who are motivated by wanting to be part of a great school, not having long holidays.

 

Our proposal is different:

 

  • We shall be consulting all the other schools in the borough as well as our own parents, children and staff before we make a decision.

 

  • We are proposing a 2 week half term in May/June - after most assessments are done and when it is possible for more people to enjoy a holiday or just some time with their family at home; in this country, or by more sustainable travel elsewhere rather than needing to fly to the other side of the world. Most of the holiday in that year will actually be in June.

 

  • We will not teach children any less days.

 

We will add an extra week to the existing summer half-term holiday by taking the first 2 days  out of the summer holiday (Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd July) and  having  3 of our 5 training days together in this week.  The half term holiday will then be Saturday 29th  May until  Sunday 13th  June. We will then work the extra 2 days to finish the term on Friday  23rd July. To give staff the same holiday we will break each of the three training days into three two-hour training sessions  and hold these after normal school hours. The remaining training days will be the usual first day of the the autumn term (Wednesday 2nd September) and the first day of the spring term (Monday 4th January). 

 

We have chosen the above option because we believe:

 

  • The summer holiday is long enough and children do forget their learning if it is extended.

 

  • Every day children have learning in school is important. Extra minutes cannot make up for this.

 

  • Our Y6 children deserve the best chance in their SATs. Time out before then is helpful and extra holiday afterwards well-deserved.

 

  • Extra holidays in the winter may be good for cheaper flights to somewhere warm but not everyone can even afford these and flying is bad for the planet in any case.

 

We will be consulting on this via social media and email in due course.  We have not already decided and this will be a genuine consultation (not like the Lower Thames Crossing). We will continue to provide our holiday workshops for Y6 and Y5 children and our holiday club.

 

You can see the Thurrock calendar for 2020-21 here:   https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/sites/default/files/assets/documents/school-calendar-2020.pdf

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