Plan to shorten Warwickshire school summer holiday to five weeks

A council report details how the West Midlands Term Dates Regional Group – a panel representing local authorities with responsibility for education, ensuring they work together on setting term dates – is “considering collectively” cutting the length of the summer break from six to five weeks and extending the October half-term from one to two weeks. It notes that the changes would not come in until September 2027 “and would require prior engagement with all stakeholders”.It does not stipulate whether that would include parents.
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A plan to shorten the summer school holiday to five weeks is being considered by Warwickshire County Council – and it has in-principle support from stakeholders.A council report details how the West Midlands Term Dates Regional Group – a panel representing local authorities with responsibility for education, ensuring they work together on setting term dates – is “considering collectively” cutting the length of the summer break from six to five weeks and extending the October half-term from one to two weeks.It notes that the changes would not come in until September 2027 “and would require prior engagement with all stakeholders”.

It does not stipulate whether that would include parents.That process started recently with an extra question thrown into the annual exercise of informally consulting schools and other stakeholders over the setting of term dates for the academic year 2025-26.More than half – 54 per cent – of the 81 responses from schools and stakeholders backed the plans in principle, while a further 21 per cent said they may do.

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Warwickshire County Council's Shire Hall headquarters in Warwick. Picture by Mike Baker.Warwickshire County Council's Shire Hall headquarters in Warwick. Picture by Mike Baker.
Warwickshire County Council's Shire Hall headquarters in Warwick. Picture by Mike Baker.
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The report does not make clear whether there were any further options other than no for the other 25 per cent but the report continues: “As this initial feedback is broadly supportive of the proposal to consider these changes in the setting of term dates, the local authority will consider amending its guiding principles in the future."The guiding principles outline the requirements for the setting of term dates each year, which include 190 days of education for pupils and complete weeks when setting holiday dates where possible.The changes include “a three-weekend break” in October, adding to that principle already in place for Christmas and Easter, plus a summer break of five full weeks and a pattern “which is as consistent as possible with neighbouring authorities” such as Coventry, Birmingham, Solihull, Worcestershire and Staffordshire.The report adds: “Engagement with schools, academy trusts, governing bodies and unions will be undertaken prior to the guiding principles amendments being proposed” for consideration by the county’s portfolio holder for education.That post is currently held by Councillor Kam Kaur (Con, Bilton & Hillside) but the report does not detail when any decision may be taken, or whether it will be discussed in a meeting held in public or just signed off by the portfolio holder in the same way the term dates are each year.As well as signing off the 2025-26 term dates on Friday (February 16), Cllr Kaur is being asked to endorse "future engagement with Warwickshire schools and other stakeholders regarding the guiding principles used to set term dates".