Parents back plan to keep long summer holiday and set term dates with Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

The consultation showed public support for the plans. Picture: James Bass

The consultation showed public support for the plans. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

Parents and teachers have supported plans for Norfolk schools to keep the long summer holiday, and harmonise term dates with nearby counties.

School leaders have been debating the future of the academic year since 2013, with a five-term year and shorter summer break considered.

The discussions were prompted by government proposals to allow all schools to set their own term dates.

In a consultation last term, 55pc of Norfolk heads supported the Eastern Region Model, which is similar to the current school year, and would be the same as nearby counties.

Now, a public consultation has shown a similar result.

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Of 60 participants, 82pc wanted all Norfolk schools to have the same dates. Of these, 56pc wanted Norfolk to adopt the same dates as neighbouring councils; 40pc disagreed.

One supporter of the plans wrote: 'They maintain the summer holiday at a suitable length to give teachers time to wind down, relax and then prepare again, which shorter holidays don't and which then leads to teacher burnout and stress.'

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One person who was against the plan wrote: 'Five to six weeks holiday is too long for children; they become bored very quickly. It is also extremely difficult for a parent in full-time work to get this amount of time off on leave to look after but again provide for your family.

'The amount of holiday only works if you are employed as a teacher and have children. The holiday camps are far too expensive for most families to afford especially if you have two children and so are days out.'

Schools wanting to set different term dates would have to carry out their own consultation, and the county council would charge them for any extra school transport costs it caused.

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