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School summer holidays set to be CUT for thousands of students in sweeping reform

Summer holidays in Wales could be shortened under new plans being considered by the Welsh Government.

Under the proposals a week would be taken from the summer holidays and added to the one-week break in October with no change in the total number of weeks of holiday, with the changes to begin in October 2025.


Chief executive of parenting charity Parentkind Jason Elsom, said he was pleased to see the consultation by the Welsh Government.

He said: “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.”

Parenting charity Parentkind welcomed the plans

In response, national secretary of NAHT Cymru Laura Doel told GB News: “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.

“And 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?

“NAHT Cymru firmly believes that the basis of any reform should ensure the best provision and outcomes for learners.”

The Senedd building

The Senedd is considering the proposals

Getty

There would be no change in the total number of weeks of holiday, with the changes to begin in October 2025 and the first shortened summer break coming in July 2026.

Another week could also be taken from the summer break in the future, but not from 2025.

Laura added: “In fact, the little evidence available on school holidays shows that countries with much longer summer breaks than Wales have higher levels of attainment and suffer no significant loss of learning.

“With so much going on in schools right now, with a new curriculum, ALN reform, and severe recruitment and retention and funding this just isn’t a priority for schools.

“Welsh Government would be better served in focusing on providing support to teachers and learners, and helping schools deliver current reforms, before embarking on any further changes to education.

“When school staff are being made redundant to balance the books, when schools should be prioritising delivering quality education to learners, and when we are deeply concerned about the recruitment and retention crisis, this should not be a priority for government.

“Additionally, we are concerned to see the inclusion of an implementation date in this consultation.

“It seems to beg the question whether this is a true consultation, or has the government made up its mind already?”

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