Not entirely sure this will work you know

School pupils are to be given an extra week off school in the autumn to help parents with the cost of expensive holidays.

Brighton and Hove City Council has announced that the traditional week-long autumn half-term break will be doubled for state schools from October 16 2017.

Councillors hope changing the school holiday timetable will allow parents the flexibility to take cheaper breaks outside the expensive peak summer holiday period.

Holidays are more expensive because the schools are off. Extending the period that the schools are off will extend the period that holidays are expensive.

Of course, if the school systems started to stagger their holidays then that would work but that requires the sort of coordination I wouldn’t expect from British local politicians. Although the French seem to manage it easily enough….

20 comments on “Not entirely sure this will work you know

  1. TBH most countries manage staggering holidays, it shouldn’t be rocket science for a country as centralised as the UK to manage it when the highly decentralised Swiss do it…

  2. I suppose it spreads the load a bit.

    The only problem is, you’re now getting parents to pay for winter sun, which means flights as well as accomodation. And of course, some parents will turn this into 2 weeks off (as flights are a big part of the cost).

    Most of this is just whining parents. You can rent a gite in rural France for about £500/wk in the height of summer. Another couple of hundred for crossings, tolls and petrol. It’s only that people want to go to exotic places to show off to their friends.

  3. Surely it woud be possible to run schools/universities all year and allow kids to take approved holiday a la the modern workplace?

  4. “Surely it woud be possible to run schools/universities all year and allow kids to take approved holiday a la the modern workplace”

    Delegating work is one thing. It’s rather trickier to delegate learning.

  5. It really needs the tourism industry to step up. Here in Queensland, Australia, the tourism industry (which is a dominant part of the state’s economy) has long campaigned for Queensland school holidays to be offset in comparison to New South Wales/Victoria school holidays. That way demand is spread over longer and less quiet time for business.

  6. Darren, yes appreciate that is different, but work needs to be done now, so if you’re not around you need to delegate. Learning needs to be done, say within a year, so if you’re not around next week then that is not a problem in itself. Logistics I don’t can be done by flipping a switch. It would require an innovation. But the current model of 1 teacher delivering a known curriculum to classes to 30 students for 9 to 3.30 180 out of 365 days has a lot of scope for efficiency improvement.

  7. Just go back to the old idea of allowing a parent to take their children out of school for 10 days without a penalty. In my experience. the kids don’t miss much but do gain from wider experiences.

  8. The trouble* is that you can shift breaks by the odd week here and there.. but you can’t move Christmas or Easter. Summer is more flexible, but moving the holiday forward (y’know, so it is during the actual summer bit of summer) means you need to much about a lot with the Autumn/Winter term (probably split it into three). The religious holidays anchor everything down a bit.

    It’s all surmountable.. start by ending the default that Easter should be a holiday.. but the teaching unions are conservative and gobby. So there’s no chance.

    * when I say ‘trouble’ I do so as a childless type who always rather appreciates the stretches of year where everything is cheaper and there are hardly any kids on the planes.

  9. The point is that holidays are not more expensive out of term times, they’re less expensive during term times. They gear up for maximum demand (out of term time) and then discount during term to fill empty beds.

    This is a point that is often missed – but it’s basic supply and demand economics…

  10. When my wife was teaching she objected to this proposal, as did most of her colleagues and, IIRC, the teaching unions, on the grounds that families may have children in 2 areas. In our case we lived in Bucks and our son was at school in Oxfordshire and it would have meant child care difficulties when she was teaching and he was off.

    Far easier, as far as they were concerned, to make Greek hotel owners and foreign airlines reduce their prices in school holidays and raise them outside. The ignorance really hurt, but at least she now understands.

  11. The standard educational model’s one virtue is admin simplicity. But this comes with a very heavy price
    Bigger schools: have to take 100% of the workforce and students
    Redundant buildings and grounds for 1/3rd of the year,
    Limiting the employment market to people who would only like to work part time.
    Half solve parents child care issue by looking after the kids for 3/4 of a working day and for a 3rd of the year. The knock on effects for work are also hidden costs. The knock on effects for the travel and out of school child care industry (asymmetric demand). Travel’s effects can be seen in the pricing. but as another example holiday camps. They are great. But you pretty much have to 100% staff them with university students. Follow the why? and it takes you back to school/university holidays.

    My frustration is that Acadamisation is seen as some kind of radical education reform. Its not really. Maybe one could hope then individual innovations will be picked up and a new model will evolve, but I don’t see any fundamental canards being discarded.

  12. @KJ July 17, 2016 at 10:28 am

    A week spent at Butlin’s Pwllheli every year certainly proved invaluable to me…

    Knock knock knock!!

    “Who’s there?”
    “Chalet Patrol”
    “Oh! What do you want?”
    “Have you got a woman in there?”
    “No!”
    “Do you want one?”…

    🙂

  13. KJ:

    “A week spent at Butlin’s Pwllheli every year certainly proved invaluable to me…”

    Not least, how to pronounce Pwllheli, which would’ve won you a prize in my car about two decades ago.

  14. @jgh

    According to a mate of mine, those American style camps are already on their way……

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