Term time consultation receives mixed opinions

By Alice Warner

After Leicestershire County Council launched a new consultation for the public to have their say on preferred school term dates, it has received mixed replies from residents and teachers across Leicestershire.

One suggestion is to align with city school patterns, at the moment, Leicestershire schools break up a week earlier than the rest of the county.

Council members are encouraging people to have their say – the feedback will then allow the council to determine whether the term dates will change or stay the same.

Alice Walker with primary student

Some people are in favour of the changes. Amy Hesketh, 29, SEN (Special Education Needs) primary teacher, said: “If the city and county are not in alignment it will cause a lot of problems for those who teach in one school and their children are at another.

“For some, the schools may be a mile apart but not have the same holidays, it makes no sense and is not benefitting anyone.”

Some residents across Leicestershire have mixed opinions on changes to the term dates. Nicola White, 31, mum of two, said: “I think that if one high school had one set of term dates, then the rest of the schools in that catchment area should have the same dates too.

“However, I do think that the term times should stay the same to avoid confusion.”

And some are very much against the changes to school term dates. Alice Walker, 20, teaching assistant, said: “If the term dates align with the city ones, it could turn out to be a nightmare.

“Some children really struggle during their first term back, its new often unfamiliar and challenging.

“I personally think that too many parents will disagree with the term changing purely due to the issue of holidays and getting cheaper flights. I do not see the issue with the current holiday plans, so why change them?”

But, it is now your choice and the council wants to hear from you.

Councillor Ivan Ould, county council cabinet member for children and families, said: “The current term dates for our schools in the county end in Summer 2019 so, as a result, we’re required to consult on future term dates and I’m encouraging people to have their say.

“The feedback will enable us to determine if we maintain the current arrangements or align school terms with surrounding areas.”

You can have your say at www.leicestershire.gov.uk/term-time-consultation, or to request a paper copy you can call 0116 305 6324 or email admissions@leics.gov.uk.

The deadline for the consultation is April 2, 2018.

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