Two thirds of teachers think fixing the Easter holiday to the first two weeks in April every year would benefit children’s education, according to a survey.
Barnsley-based recruitment agency Provide Education conducted a snap survey to ask the teachers it works with what they think about the idea of taking the Easter break at the same time every year.
The idea of fixing the holiday is to give consistent and equal length terms either side and create a more balanced academic year.
This would mean Easter itself – which can fall as early as March 22nd and as late as April 25th – may not necessarily fall inside the holiday every year and when this happens, it could be taken as a stand-alone bank holiday weekend.
Sixty-three per cent said fixing the Easter break would be a good idea, whilst 37 per cent said they thought the holiday should be left as it is.
Director of Provide Education Barry Simmons said: “Our quick end-of-term survey shows that a majority of the teachers we asked could see the benefits of fixing the important Easter break.
Barry Simmons of Provide Education
“They said it made sense to create a more balanced academic year that wasn’t at the mercy of the moveable feast that is Easter.
“Many could see that a fixed holiday would benefit children, teachers and parents by providing clarity and consistency every year. With a set routine and even-length terms, pupils would be better able to manage their studies and recharge their batteries with regular breaks.
“And, knowing exactly what to expect every year could help teachers with structured planning and help parents to make long-term childcare and work commitments.
“On the other hand, just over a third were not convinced it was necessary and opted for the status quo and leaving the traditional holiday alone.”
The date of Easter is determined by a mix of traditions based on ancient religious calendars, governed by the cycle of the moon and the date of the spring equinox. Attempts have been made to fix Easter. In 1928 the House of Commons agreed a law to fix it to one Sunday in April, but this was never implemented. And in 1990 the Vatican approved a proposal for a fixed date too, but this was subject to agreement with others, which has never been reached. Several education authorities have considered fixing the Easter holiday too.
In the Provide Education survey, some teachers commented that the whole school calendar should be reformed, mainly reducing the large break in the summer to about four weeks and breaking up the year into more equal sized terms and longer half-term breaks.
Some also called for all holidays to be synchronised better across neighbouring local authorities to help working families plan childcare.
Barry said: “We are always interested to hear the views of the teachers and schools support staff we work with across the region.
“These are important employment matters and we keep a close eye on any possible changes to the school calendar to see how it may affect education in general and jobs and work placements in particular.”
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 works through its busy period of placing teachers in long and short-term supply teaching posts to help schools cover the exams and testing period.