Are Shorter Holidays the Answer to Improving the Prospects of our Children?

Are Shorter Holidays the Answer to Improving the Prospects of our Children?

As you may have read in the papers recently, the Government's poverty adviser is proposing that the school summer holiday should be shortened in a bid to improve the prospects of poorer pupils.Frank Field, who is heading an independent review into UK poverty that will report to the government said disadvantaged children fall further behind during long summer holidays because they are not being read to and tutored and as such, called for the school year to be broken into four or five terms with shorter holidays to help poorer pupils who do not receive support at home.

However, this has been met with opposition by many Labour MPs and parents across the country for the following reasons:

a) Children deserve a rest and a break from studying to participate in different activities and relax from the pressures of preparing for tests, doing homework and writing assignments

b) Not everything is learned in school. Part of learning comes from spending time with family and great holiday experiences...that shouldn't be taken away from kids. There's more outside books and classrooms.

c) There are a variety of affordable childcare options available in the holidays that broaden childrens horizons outside of the standard curriculum, and remove the boredom many associate with several weeks at home,including holiday camps and study abroad programmes

d) Many schools in Europe close for up to 16 weeks during the summer and there is no linkbetween longer hours in the classroom and higher standards.For example, countries which have the lowest number of hours in the classroom - Finland, Norway, Sweden, South Korea and Denmark - are also among the countries with the highest level of achievement.

e) Teachers deserve a significant rest period between academic years and come back feeling refreshed and ready to provide the best education possible to the children. So, whilst the historical reason for the longer summer holiday was to ensure children couldgo off and help with the harvest, it seems there is a still a strong belief that the longer summer holidays should stay. Do let us know what you think...

If you would liketo discussoptions for your child’s holiday over the summer break, Easter or half terms, please do not hesitate to contact Richard Bernstein who is thea Director of XKeys Ltd t/a Cross Keys, Mini Minors and XUK. You can read more about his camps on the website or call for a chat on 020 8371 9686.