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Schools’ Easter holiday dates under review
9:11am Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
Easter holidays could be set to change in Leeds after complaints from parents and unions.
The city is reviewing the timing of its two-week break for schools which was changed in 2011.
Traditionally the holiday was always centred around Easter itself but that changed two years ago when it was decided to introduce a fixed break for the first two weeks of April.
Now the Children’s Services Leadership Team for Leeds is reconsidering the issue and has launched a consultation to gauge public opinion.
In a letter to councillors the team says: “Historically Leeds has had an Easter break that has moved with the Easter bank holiday.
“However, in 2010 Leeds consulted on fixing the Easter break to the first two full weeks in April. Public opinion was in favour and Leeds moved to a fixed break in 2011.
“With a fixed Easter break the spring and summer terms are more equal in length. Schools are always on holiday the first two weeks of April.
“Sometimes the Easter bank holidays fall within this break, at the beginning, middle, or end, but once in every 4-5 years the Easter bank holiday falls outside of this break. We are now seeking public opinion again, in order to decide whether to continue with a fixed break or return to the previous arrangement where the school Easter break wraps around the Easter bank holidays.
“With this arrangement the spring and summer terms vary more in length.”
Leeds consulted on a new fixed holiday in 2008 and public opinion was in favour. But the changes meant that in 2011 the bank holidays fell outside of the break, resulting in numerous complaints, particularly from families living or working across local authority boundaries.
Opponents of the fixed break say it meant pupils only had eight days in school in April – hindering their preparation for GCSEs and SATs.
They say it also left families unable to spend time together or visit relatives in other parts of the country.
A decision will be made by the Executive Board in May or June, when the 2014-15 calendar is approved.