Thursday, 31 October 2013

Half Term Week

I can't think of anyone who benefits from all the state schools having half-term on the same week.

It's easy to see who would benefit from staggered half terms: parents, as places they want to go would be less liable to be booked up and there would be less congestion getting there, the holiday industry as they would get three weeks of trade at higher prices instead of just one, commerce as every working parent isn't trying to take the same week as holiday, residents of cities, as they would get three weeks of reduced congestion instead of one. It looks a bit of a no-brainer, yet the powers that be insist on keeping half term to one week. Am I missing something?

8 comments:

paulc156 said...

"Am I missing something?"

Parents with more than one kid, each at a different school with different half terms?

Bayard said...

Yes, I thought of that, but each local education authority would have the same half term across all its schools and the most likely scenario of parents having children at two different schools is that some are at primary and the others are at secondary school.

Antisthenes said...

I rarely have anything good to say about France but they do indeed stagger their half term and end of term breaks except the summer one and it works well. They have two weeks off middle and end of terms staggered in three groups of schools the summer term runs from the end of June until September. Just saying...

Antisthenes said...

Sorry that should say the summer holiday.

Bayard said...

A, perhaps we just want to differentiate ourselves from the French.

DBC Reed said...

As somebody who has taught at different levels I would say: an invariant Stalinist system where the pupils are taught exactly the same things at exactly the same time in exactly the same way is the first requisite, with all notions of academic freedom for half arsed middle-class personality teachers to re-invent the wheel of the syllabus strictly suppressed.So bugger different half term dates.

The Stigler said...

Indeed. Fact is, I've not done certain breaks with my family because the cost of flights rockets at half-term. The accomodation at the other end? No problem. Lots of it in France, Germany or Italy.

My half-term tip: Disneyland Paris. Crossings are still cheap. As long as you don't go on a Saturday, the accomodation/park tickets are cheap on a combined deal. And because you're off when a lot of Europe isn't, the queues are very tolerable.

But to do it cheap, you have to do it by car. Which actually doesn't take that much longer than the train once you factor all your connections in and is much cheaper.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed.

Which is why sane countries like France or Germany stagger their holidays by regions. This means that two kids going to different schools in the same area get half term at the same time.

However, it is a myth that tour operators charge double during the main holidays and half term.

They don't. That's the normal price and they charge half price outside of school holidays. :-)