February 2024 Calendar With Holidays

POLL: Should the school summer holidays be shorter? Have your say

The Welsh Government has started a consultation over school term dates – which would see the summer holidays cut down to just four weeks, while the autumn break could be extended

School holidays in Wales could be cut down to just four weeks (

Printable February  Calendar Templates with Holidays
Printable February Calendar Templates with Holidays

Image: Getty Images/Image Source)

Students and teachers in Wales could see their summer holidays slashed down to just four weeks, in a move designed to benefit pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds – and we want to know what you think.

February  Calendar With Holidays - Download in Word
February Calendar With Holidays – Download in Word

The plans, proposed by the Welsh Government, are being put out for consultation today (November 21) and could be enforced as early as October 2025. It means that the autumn break could be extended, while the summer holidays would be cut down.

Referencing research carried out by Beaufort, the Welsh Government said in a statement that having a shorter summer holiday would help working families with child care, would benefit less advantaged children and learning of all pupils. It reads: “The current school calendar means that the autumn term is longer than others. Research suggests this term is tiring and challenging for learners and staff, as more teaching is squeezed into this term than any other.

Printable February  Calendar
Printable February Calendar

“Some pupils, especially those from financially disadvantaged backgrounds and those with Additional Learning Needs (ALN), find it difficult to get back to learning after long summer breaks. Because the summer break is long, time in the autumn term has to be devoted to going over things rather than advancing learning. Teachers also report more behavioural and well-being issues after the summer break.”

Under the proposal, a week would be taken from the start of the summer holiday and added to the October break, meaning pupils and staff would get more time to rest during the lengthy autumn term. The changes would mean having terms of similar lengths which the Welsh Government said would “make it easier for pupils to learn and teachers to plan”.

Printable February  Calendar
Printable February Calendar

Consultation on school year dates in Wales, which ends in February 2024, will also look at additional changes proposed for after 2025. These include cutting the summer holidays to just four weeks by moving a second week from the summer break and adding it to the Whitsun holiday. The number of days of school holidays, teaching and inset days would not change under either of the plans. Public holidays would also not be affected and would still be taken off, reports WalesOnline.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh language, said: “The long summer break can be a real strain. Families struggle to find childcare over the six weeks, and others struggle with the additional costs long summers bring. We also know our most disadvantaged learners suffer the most ‘learning loss’ from a long summer.”

Jason Elsom, the Chief Executive of Parentkind, said: “Our recent poll of 6,800 parents in Wales revealed that the majority of parents support a move to spread school holidays more evenly across the year, with 72% of lower income families in favour.” He added: “It is fair to say that the current concentration of school holidays in the summer months results in inflated childcare and family holiday costs, compounding the challenges faced during the cost-of-living crisis.”

However, the National Association of Head Teachers Cymru (NAHT) and the Association of School and College Leaders Cymru stated that the focus should be spent on more pressing issues facing schools, such as low attendance and funding cuts. Laura Doel, National Secretary of NAHT Cymru, said: “We are bewildered as to why this consultation is taking place. No evidence has yet been presented that changing the school year would have any educational benefit for learners. The previous consultation on this subject showed there was no real appetite for change, from parents, educators, businesses or the general public. So why is this continuing to be pushed as a priority right now?”

Eithne Hughes, director of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Cymru, echoed: “There are many issues which need to be addressed in our schools – lack of sufficient funding, teacher shortages, high levels of pupil absence, a rising tide of mental health concerns, and unsustainable workloads.” Do you think the summer holidays should be shorter? Vote in our poll HERE to have your say.

The Mirror will also be discussing the topic with you in the comments section below and you can join in! All you have to do is sign up, submit your comment, register your details and then you can take part.

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