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26th Feb 2024

School summer holidays should be reduced to four weeks, report says

Nina McLaughlin

Long summer breaks are a staple of nearly every child’s life, but a new report has suggested that this may not be the best way to go about things.

The report from the Nuffield Foundation looked at how to deal with education inequalities post-pandemic, and it had some interesting recommendations for the summer holidays.

It claimed that the usual six-week summer break should be cut to four weeks, and to extend the half term breaks in autumn and winter to two weeks instead.

The report says that it is “time to consider reforms to a school calendar that has been stuck in place since Victorian times”.

One of the authors, Lee Elliot Major, who is a professor of social mobility at the University of Exeter, explained that altering holidays would be a low-cost way of reducing inequality.

“Spreading school holidays more evenly across the year makes complete educational sense: improving the wellbeing of pupils and the working lives of teachers at no extra cost, balancing out childcare costs for parents, and potentially boosting academic results for many children,” he said, via The Guardian.

“Reducing the summer holidays from six weeks to four weeks would still provide adequate time for teachers to recuperate, while two-week breaks during the February and October half-terms would give much-needed time off during the most gruelling parts of the academic year.”