Wednesday, 16 September 2015

School Summer Holidays

OK, I'm going to put on my tin hat and put my head above the parapet - would it be so wrong to reduce the school summer holidays?

Hold your fire and hear me out - what if we had four weeks in the summer and the other three weeks were added onto the October, February and May half-terms?

Obviously this would have to be done with the agreement of the teachers and support staff, but might it be a solution to the expensive summer getaways which nobody can afford?

Wouldn't it give more opportunities for families to have affordable breaks together without taking children out in term time and facing fixed penalty notices and fines?

Plus, seven weeks is actually a long time to entertain children, and, particularly if both parents are working full time, it's also very expensive to pay for clubs and other childcare.

I know at this point you're all looking back misty-eyed to the school holidays of your youth, were you played in the fields, picked blackberries from the hedgerows, made dens and the time seemed to drift on forever like a scene from an Enid Blyton book, complete with lashings of ginger beer.

But, in the same way that dear old Enid didn't actually write about lashings of ginger beer, was any of that other stuff real either?

Don't you remember how much it rained - except in 1976 when we had the drought and the ground cracked so much you could lose your leg down the crevasses created.

We only had three channels on the TV, and much of that didn't cater for children.  I do remember 'Why Don't You...?', but that strapline finished with the words 'just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead' - such helpful advice!

Perhaps we should have a national debate to see what teachers, support staff, parents and children think.  We can't just leave this to MPs to decide - remind me, how many weeks Summer Recess do they get?

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