School summer holidays shouldn’t be cut, say teachers, pupils – and even parents

Six out of 10 parents think the long summer break is the right length, despite childcare headaches

Teachers, pupils and parents are in favour of long summer holidays – despite parents struggling to find adequate childcare cover, a new survey shows.

Nearly eight out of 10 teachers do not believe the summer holidays are too long, while more than six out of 10 parents (61 per cent) agree that the current length of the break is fine as it is.

The survey, from children’s newspaper First News, Mumsnet and TES, comes after Barnsley Council in South Yorkshire dropped its plans to shorten the school summer holiday to five weeks from next year, following criticism.

Last month, the council agreed to undertake a wider consultation for the 2018 year after teaching unions and parents opposed the original plans.

The new poll shows that 85 per cent of pupils are happy with having five or six weeks off school in one lump. More than a third (34 per cent) of parents think the holiday is too long.

The majority of schools will break up for the summer holidays next week, giving teachers and pupils a long break until the start of term in September.

‘Children become themselves again’

In the survey, both pupils and parents spoke about the stress experienced by children at school and the benefit of an extended break.

One parent said: “You almost ‘get them back’ over the summer in a way you don’t in the other holidays. They become themselves again – not exhausted and grumpy.”

Keilly Swift, managing editor at First News, said: “[It] clearly shows that by the time they reach the summer holidays, children are tired out and in need of a rest.

“They really do value the chance to take a break from homework and develop extra-curricular interests they simply don’t have time to pursue during term-time.”

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInGoogle GmailShare