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West Cheshire Schools to Adopt Standardised Year

Published: 23rd July 2012 12:31

Schools in Cheshire West and Chester are to standardise term dates from September 2013 following a show of support from families and schools.

calendarSome 77 percent of 2,000 respondents to a public consultation agreed that the borough's Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools should adopt a standardised holiday pattern.

The decision, which has been approved by the Council's Executive, means that the borough's term dates will be aligned with neighbouring authorities in the Learn Together Partnership (LTP) including Cheshire East, Wirral, Halton and Warrington.

Under the changes, October half term will fall in the last full week of the month and February half term will be the third week in February. Easter break will be replaced with a fixed holiday at the beginning of April and known as spring break, with Easter continuing to be observed through the Good Friday and Easter Monday bank holidays.

The Whitsun half term break, which some primary schools extend to two weeks if Easter falls early, will be fixed at one week.

Where a school is open for part of a week for any reason, this will be for a minimum of three days to encourage good attendance.

Although not required to follow term dates set by the authority, Foundation, Voluntary Aided schools and Academies will be strongly encouraged to follow the new calendar wherever possible.

Councillor Mark Stocks, Executive Member for Children and Families, said: "Although we were aware of the difficulties differing term dates were causing, it was essential that schools, families and the wider community had their say before a decision was taken to adopt a standardised pattern.

"The response showed overwhelming support for the proposal, with many commenting that it would help schools and families to plan ahead.

"We are sharing the feedback with neighbouring authorities so that we can explore ways to further develop the standardised pattern."

The changes in full are:

  • All terms to start on a Monday (or a Tuesday if necessitated by a bank holiday).
  • October half term to always be the last full week of October. 
  • A break covering Christmas and the New Year period. 
  • February half term will always be the third full week in February. 
  • Easter break will be renamed the Spring break and will always be the first two full weeks in April. 
  • Easter will always be observed via the bank holidays for Good Friday and Easter Monday. 
  • Whitsun half term break will be one week across all primary, secondary and special schools. 
  • Where a school is open for part of a week to pupils, this will be for a minimum of three school days (to encourage attendance). 
  • The five ‘inset' teacher training days are all to be designated by the individual school governing body, but there will be no more than two days (in any one term) set consecutively for this purpose.

The school term and holiday dates for 2013/14 are available on the Council's website.


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