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Councils issues Q&A over proposed school holiday changes

by Iain Roberts on 10 December, 2018

Stockport Council is consulting on changes to the school holiday times, including a longer Christmas break and a shorter summer holiday.

The council has issued a list of common questions and answers about this, which is below.

Services to People Directorate

Town Hall



Telephone:       0161 217 6022




School Terms & Closures

Question & Answers





Why has the local authority consulted upon these holiday dates, and why now?

Schools terms and closures are consulted upon annually at this time of year as part of the School Admission Arrangements.





In what way is this consultation different to previous years?

Representative Headteachers have requested changes to the principles behind the way term dates are decided in future, to better allow them to meet the needs of the children and do their jobs. This time round these new principles are built in to the consultation to inform the way dates are decided going forward.


Q Are these holiday dates any different from what has been published previously?
A The holiday and term date patterns which are currently out for consultation represent a significant departure from what has been formulated previously. Key distinctions to note are: changes to start and finish of terms/half terms, Christmas holiday duration, Whitsun holiday and End of academic year.
Q Why have these particular dates been set?
A The local authority has met with the Primary and Secondary Headteacher Representatives who voiced their members’ views – these have been taken into consideration with these particular dates.
Q Will the local authority take into account the views received from the Consultation?
A Yes. The Local Authority will take into account the views received from the consultation and will make recommendations to the Primary and Secondary Headteacher representatives. Therefore, the resulting dates set for school terms and closures 2020/21 may be different from those printed.
Q Why are some of the term dates so late in relation to the start and finish?
A Representative heads from the Primary and Secondary sector have put forward new draft principles upon which school term and half term dates will be decided in future. These include beginning school term and half term dates on a Monday and always finishing on a Friday, and the formulation for 2020/21 incorporates this principle as an aim. Due to the way dates fall this is not always feasible, however this is one example of the ways in which staff are seeking improvements.


Q Why is there a 3-week Christmas holiday?
A Christmas term dates are not currently 3 weeks long. The Christmas holiday based on the proposed dates is 2 weeks and 3 days and will change year on year, reducing the holiday to a 2 week block by 2022/23. These dates may be varied based on the outcome of the consultation.
Q Why is there an option for the Whitsun holiday – a choice of one week or two?
A This is an option with differing views put forward by the Primary and Secondary representatives. The primary sector have always preferred 2 weeks at Whitsun as they believe it best meets the needs of the children within the primary age range.


Q What do I do if I don’t support either option?
A It is crucial that we hear your views so please respond to the consultation. It would be helpful to know exactly where the issue lies in both of the options. Please use the “comments” sections so all opinions can be considered as part of the final recommendation.

Once the closing date for the consultation has passed (31st December 2018) the Local Authority will meet with both Primary and Secondary representatives (January 2019) and will share with them the outcomes and views of parents and all other stakeholders.  The school terms and closures for 2020/21 will be then determined and published (the determined dates may differ from those considered)


Chris Harland

Placement Officer

Services to Schools


2 Responses

  1. Wendy says:

    Just to update I am not in favour of 3 week holidays at Christmas but would prefer the time in spring or summer.

  2. Jeff says:

    Why would anyone want long holidays in bad winter weather instead of in summer? What am I missing here?

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