Teacher opinion is split over whether a shorter summer break would benefit children’s education, according to an end-of-term survey.
Barnsley-based recruitment agency Provide Education conducted a snap survey to ask teachers it works with what they think about proposals being mooted to shorten the traditional six week holiday.
54 per cent said reducing the length of the summer break would do nothing to benefit children’s education, whilst 46 per cent said they thought it could help.
A similar narrow majority of 58 per cent thought the whole school calendar should be left as it is, whilst 42 per cent thought there was room for improvement and it could be time to reform the length of school terms and the timing of breaks.
Director of Provide Education Barry Simmons said: “Our quick end-of-term survey shows that the teaching profession can see both sides of the argument when it comes to the idea of reforming the school calendar.
“Some prefer the status quo with the long summer break retained to allow children time to completely relax and do their own thing before embarking on their next year of study and to allow teachers the opportunity to re-charge their batteries and prepare for the coming academic year.
“On the other hand, some teachers told us that a shorter break in the summer of about four weeks with some longer half-term breaks throughout the year may be a better working model for everyone – pupils, teachers and parents.”
Provide Education works with over 2,000 supply teachers and support staff finding them jobs and placements in over 500 schools across South and West Yorkshire and the East Midlands. It works with more than 80 per cent of Barnsley schools.
The company conducted its mini straw poll to gauge opinion as it completes its busy period of placing teachers in long and short-term supply teaching posts starting from September.
Barry said: “We are always interested to hear the views of the supply teachers and support staff we work with across the region.
“These are important employment matters and we will be keeping a close eye on any future changes to the school calendar to see how it may affect education in general and jobs and work placements in particular.”
The UK Government is currently considering suggestions for a review of the way the academic year is organised. No formal legislation has been proposed as yet.
Some teachers in the Provide Education mini survey called for all holidays to be synchronised better across neighbouring local authorities to help working families plan childcare. Others suggested that fun-based optional ‘summer schools’ for any children who would like to attend may be a good idea. And, some also suggested longer half term holidays could give a more balanced academic year.