HfL have issued a consultation document on Term Dates for the 2017/18 academic year and are inviting feedback and comment to be submitted by 25th November 2015. The purpose of the consultation is stated as:
The County Council believes that there is benefit in a degree of commonality or co-ordination of school term and holiday dates across all Academy and Maintained schools. We are therefore seeking the view of all schools on these proposals, and not only community/ voluntary controlled schools.
Hertfordshire’s dates are set based on the recommendations of the Working Party on Term Dates, which includes representatives from the head teacher associations and teaching unions and is chaired by the Assistant Director (Education Provision and Access). The Working Party makes their recommendations based on a set of principles which have been agreed with head teacher associations and the County Union Secretaries.
In recent years, the freedom that foundation, voluntary aided and academy schools have in setting term dates has led to increasing variation in school dates between schools, both across phases in any geographical area and within and between areas. Whilst the Government is not now intending to allow all community and VC schools to set their own term dates, the proportion of schools with this
freedom continues to increase.
For understandable local reasons, often different schools do wish to adopt different patterns of school dates. Some schools also wish to explore the possible educational and other benefits of nontraditional holiday patterns. For these reasons, it no longer appears possible to set a calendar for Hertfordshire which fully takes into account difference between schools and which all schools will follow.
Consequently, the terms dates working party wishes to explore a move to a more flexible system, which provides a greater degree of local choice to schools to accommodate diverse needs, but also provides commonality as far as possible in areas where all or most schools seem comfortable to follow a single set of guidelines.
The consultation document is viewable at:
To take part in the consultation visit www.hertsdirect.org/termdates1718.