Sussex

Brighton school terms proposal 'to help family holidays'

Plane taking off as summer holidays begin Image copyright PA
Image caption The council said families may be able to find cheaper holidays outside of the current term-time

Hard-pressed families may find it easier to pay for holidays under plans to vary Brighton school term dates, according to the city council.

The plan is to use inset days - days when schools close for staff training - to change the start and finish dates of the three terms.

Each school has five inset days and the proposal could create a week's holiday in what is currently term-time.

The council said the plan could help lower-income families take breaks.

Chairman of the council's children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Tom Bewick, said: "If there is something we can do to offer lower-income families in particular the chance to take holidays that would otherwise be unaffordable, then I think it's worth exploring."

The council has also said the plan could help families where parents have to work in peak-holiday times, and armed forces personnel who can be away from their children for months on end.

'More flexibility'

Mr Bewick said: "Our plans are about offering more flexibility for parents throughout the year, while trying to respond to the fact that modern families come in all shapes and sizes."

The council sets academic year dates for community, voluntary-controlled and community special schools in Brighton and Hove.

Foundation and voluntary-aided schools have their terms set by their governing bodies, and academies and free schools have their terms set by the trust that runs them.

All state schools in Brighton and Hove currently follow the council's academic year, but academies and free schools will not have to in the future.

The council said it had no powers to force schools to choose certain dates, but could encourage them to do so in order to help families have lower-priced holidays.

Consultation runs until 20 May with plans to be considered in June.

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