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Are the school holidays too long?

Of course everyone needs a break: teachers, pupils, parents, all of us. And it’s lovely to press pause and spend time with the family, but is six weeks too long? 

Lengthy school holidays are an antiquated relic of the Victorian era – a necessity for the agricultural economy of the nineteenth century when schools needed long summer holidays so children could toil in the fields. So does this still apply now?

Nowadays, most families have two working parents, so childcare has become a huge issue during the summer holidays.  Grandparents are regularly relied upon to mind the little ones during the holidays.

Most children seem to thrive on routine and enjoy the stimulus of education.  Does a lengthy break in learning cause a negative impact on a child’s growth or is it more beneficial to have time out ?

What are your views?  Do you mind your grandchildren during the school holidays? Is the summer break too long or just about right in your opinion? Would you rather see the holiday breaks more balanced throughout the year?

Are the school holidays too long?

287 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes - they are too long No - children need a long break

What are your views?

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jentie51
4th Sep 2016
0
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I think the school holidays should remain the same number of weeks in total, but be split into four of equal length, rather than the current two shorter breaks, overly long summer break & half term breaks

It's not so much the children who need the break, but the poor old teachers! I don't speak as a teacher either, as it's not a profession I could ever undertake, no matter how great the reward!

Like the junior doctors, teachers are a much undervalued, hard working profession, so yes, they do deserve their holidays & with pay.

Friends of mine who worked as teachers, put in so much extra work, such as lesson preparation, marking, out of hours activities, plus the constant changes to the curriculum for which they were not paid. People critical of the profession are probably unaware of the constant pressure teachers are under.
bea747
2nd Sep 2016
1
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Originally I'm sure I heard it was to help with harvesting, so since that is no longer an issue it is very outdated. Teachers don't need 'a rest' I worked long and hard - being monitored for productivity etc etc. Paying people to do nothing is out of order.
Gail Ann
19th Aug 2016
1
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Although the long holiday has a negative affect on learning, the children soon catch up. I work in a school as a learning mentor and I see very tired children who need a long break. Children get to a point where they can no longer concentrate on learning and become argumentative with their friends. Teachers also need a break. Although most teachers will take a short break and spend the rest of the holiday preparing for the new school year. Six weeks goes incredible fast, however this year we only have five weeks and four days.
snappy11
19th Aug 2016
1
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Yes far to long children get bored and it cost parents more having to keep them occupied
MalSmith
19th Aug 2016
1
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My mother-in-law, back in the 1970s, said that they only gave children long holidays to annoy the parents - I don't think she was joking!
anf
19th Aug 2016
1
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Living next to a school, I think the holiday should be much longer. Freedom from inconsiderate parents parking across the drives. The children are fine, but used to walk to school, but the current fashion of driving is causing congestion on all roads not just adjacent to the schools.
John H Scadden
13th Aug 2016
2
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Why should they spend the best season of the year, cooped up in a classroom? If they had shorter break, holiday prices would rise as more people would need to take their holidays in a shorter period.

We take some of the Grandchildren away on the last week of the summer holidays when the prices are cheaper and the facilities are still available and not so crowded!

Every year, I hear this whinge. You can't have it both ways, long break or dearer holidays! There's plenty to do with the kids if you look, and a lot of it is free!
Alexander McEwan
13th Aug 2016
2
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Children have to work so hard at school these days, they need to relieve the pressure. They have their schoolwork, homework, projects,and don't forget the PC Brigade ,watching and listening to everything they say ,do and think.
Wilf
13th Aug 2016
2
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Yes I agree they have to work a lot harder than we did. My kids (all in their 20s now) had loads of homework, constant tests and it was tough. Good though as they all did well. I went to a comprehensive school and then at 16 a grammar schopol. the latter was far more disciplined and focused on learning. The comprehensive school was a joke
Theoldgirl
13th Aug 2016
2
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Yes I think the school holidays are far to long, they get fed up and end up getting in mischief.
And you always hear of children being involved in bad accidents, in the school holidays.
Zia
12th Aug 2016
2
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So many subjects are taught at school they only just touch the basics. This is why our chn are falling so behind other countries. Less subjects more emphasis on the three "r" s and what we actually need to function well in the world now.
Capricorn
10th Aug 2016
2
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It is a known fact that Education is falling behind in Britain . Not only the 7 weeks Summer Holiday , there is Easter, Christmas, Whitsun
and Britain is falling behind in Education . Time to have a radical change if we want to not only improve childrens' education , but their chance of getting a job when they leave.

Has there ever been a Survey on where Britain stands in School
Education around the World.?
Wilf
11th Aug 2016
2
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Many lisst of where the UK is., Its not pretty about 27th. China, Singapore and Finland are at the top. Shanghai is top in maths.
Capricorn
11th Aug 2016
2
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I couldn't agree more backpacker and do wonder why no Education Minister has not reduced the Summer Holiday. British
children are lagging behind Europe in Education and I read even India has overtaken us.

I am sure most Mothers would welcome a change and the Standard of Education in the U.K. has fallen, Michael Gove was soon moved from Education when he tried to bring about changes.
backpacker
9th Aug 2016
6
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The long summer break was introduced a long time ago because children who lived on farms were required to help get the summer crops in - haymaking and such. This no longer applies. The school year could be broken up in a different way with a few more, shorter, breaks.

Many children themselves find this long break boring and are eager to get back into a routine. It's becoming increasingly more expensive to entertain kids during holidays as many parents think the only way is to take them to theme parks and shopping centres etc. Gone are the days when the traffic was less during the holidays, as parents ferry their kids all over the place. Shopping is a nightmare as kids are allowed, even encouraged, to run wild in shops and shopping centres.

I'm waiting for the day when the Minister for Education looks at this in a sensible way and changes it.....
Wilf
9th Aug 2016
2
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Interesting I forgot that they were for farming etc and the summer season.
scandiman
9th Aug 2016
3
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If, like me you have a family two doors away with five kids screaming their heads off in the garden every afternoon, one week would be too long. One of them, aged five has an angry voice that's a cross between an air raid siren and a fog horn. Mummy lets them get on with it. After all, Tarquin must express himself.
Janewd
14th Aug 2016
2
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Oh so pleased to hear this scandiman as I thought I must be turning into a miserable old woman lol. Im surrounded by screaming, fighting, and bored youngsters! They have turned the grassed area in front of my home into a football pitch, even brought their own goal post. My next door neighbour's fence has been broken down(to get easy access onto his property to collect stray footballs I presume.) Also the guttering around his garage is now laying on the grass along with empty discarded drinks bottles and cans . My garage doors are covered in dents from stray footballs and if I politely ask them to not kick the ball on my property they do it deliberately. The grassed area belongs to the council and we have contacted them and rang 101 on many occasions but nothing ever gets done. The developers planted 15 trees on this area and a few years later there are 4 left. The rest have been vandalised by children old enough to know better. Can't wait for the school holidays to be over! At least there will be peace during school hours. Rant over, feel better now.
JohnHerb
16th Aug 2016
1
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Think kids have so much energy which is why schools good for them. My daughter is a primary school teacher and they start the day with 15 minutes of exercises to get the kids fit and oxygen into their brains. I think its a great idea and we should have had that in our day!
Irene88
9th Aug 2016
2
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There's two sides to this one. If you are a parent 6or seven weeks can be a long time to keep the children occupied/cared for and could cost a fortune. On the other hand, I find that there's a lot less traffic on the roads so it's easier to get around and the mornin commute less stressful.
Jo Kingham
9th Aug 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
The summer holidays are far too long. Nightmare for the parents who have to try and juggle work and childcare but more importantly terrible for children's education. They slip back so much in the 6+ weeks they have off. We get homework to keep them ticking over but when they get back in September it's a hard slog for them to get back up to speed.
Joannabradley1969
9th Aug 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
No, holidays are not too long! I work in a school. Our children start at 8.30am and finish at 4.00pm. There are also after school clubs each night until 5.00pm - so some children may not finish until 5.00pm. Also, what about the Teachers? They start at 7.30 or 7.45am and finish at 5.00pm or later if there are meetings. They are marking every night after a full day. They also plan in their spare time and their holidays, when they will also be getting their classroom ready for the next term. Teachers need the long holidays as well as the children.
JaneR
9th Aug 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
As a Mum to 5 children and now grandmother of 5 too I think the amount of holiday from school is about right although maybe spreading it more evenly throughout the year would be a better option. Personally I never felt the need to fill every minute of the holidays with activities for my children the way some parents do now. We had lazy days, sleeping in late, playing out, picnics and late nights with an occasional day at the seaside or something. They all went back to school refreshed and ready to learn. I just enjoyed spending the time with them. Lucky I know compared to some who have to work. Happy days
Baxi
8th Aug 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I don't have children, but so many of my friends who do moan about how long the holidays are. They end up sending their children to camps and clubs so that they can carry on working and it's a huge stress and expense. There seems to be a huge fear that children might be bored for 5 minutes! So they pack each day with back to back activities and everyone ends up totally exhausted.

I always thought holidays were about recharging the batteries and having a rest!
Alicia
8th Aug 2016
3
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Give them much less holiday as most of them are not learning enough.
Wilf
8th Aug 2016
4
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I think they should split them in half and have a month in May/June and then another month is August. Sop many people go away in August that its a good time to have holidays but by having a month in June say it gives people a bigger break. I think most adults should have more holidays as well. Like 8 weeks a year instead of 5.
JohnHerb
8th Aug 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I remember when I was young...a long long time ago!...the school summer holidays were about 6 weeks and just seemed to rush by. We played outdoors most of the time and had great fun. At the time it seemed they went too fast. Looking back I think there should be more school holidays but spread out. So the autumn term was always the longest. Maybe there should be 2 one week breaks in it instead of just one half term at the end of October. Kids get too tired with learning. Having said that a lot of parents work as we did and what to do with young kids in the holidays?

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