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Summer Holidays - Six Weeks Down to Four?

James (26) is a Primary Teacher working through Protocol Education Nottingham

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The school holidays have begun and teachers across the country are letting out a collective sigh of relief!

Six weeks off with no (or much, much less) planning, teaching, marking, evaluating, report-writing or paperwork to do. Teachers will have plenty of preparation to do for the new school year in September but, for now, they can look forward to some rest and relaxation.

As the holidays began I started wondering whether I would prefer less time off in the summer and more time off throughout the school year – as has been suggested in recent years in various circles. One suggestion the government has considered would involve reducing the summer holiday to four weeks and having two-week half-term breaks instead of one.

Supporters of this proposed system argue that 4 weeks is more than enough time for teachers and students to ‘recharge’ and that the system would make it easier for parents to manage childcare. They also suggest that the extra time off throughout the school year would allow teachers to be more refreshed and prepared throughout the year.

On the other hand, opponents of this proposed system argue that the 6 weeks of holidays in the summer allows teachers and students to make the most of the weather – playing sports, visiting parks etc. They argue that, with a relatively cold and wet climate, the UK should make the most of this window of good weather. There is also the tradition that accompanies the 6 week holiday. UK school holidays have been 6 weeks since long before I started school as a pupil, never mind as a teacher! Tradition should not be underestimated and if the system was changed I am certain that it would upset a lot of people!

What do my fellow teachers think? Even though teachers work incredibly hard, I am sure we can all agree that we are lucky to have good holidays - but which system would you prefer? I am leaning slightly towards the proposed system but I am sure that come late July I would be wanting the 6 weeks!

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Tags: James, Summer, Holiday, Secondary Teacher, Australian-Trained, Government, Teach in London, Supply Teacher, Protocol Education

Category: Australian Teachers

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