Primary school extends school day for extra off-peak holiday time

Kent Primary Chiddingstone school has extended its school day and shortened term times in a bid to help parents plan cheaper, off-peak holidays.

Pupils at the schools will study for an extra 20 minutes each day in return for two weeks of extra holiday time over the course of the year. Both parents and teachers came to a joint agreement on the new term structure, which will allow pupils two weeks off during the May and October half-term breaks as opposed to one.

Chiddingstone Primary is a Church of England school, meaning school governors have the power to determine the length of each school term and day, unlike local authority run schools.

Rachel Streatfeild, Chiddingstone Primary School head teacher, said: “We have a very close relationship with our parents and after a long period of consultation we have decided to trial this restructure.

"We are conscious that parents will be able to benefit by taking their children on holiday when prices might be more affordable, but we also feel the longer half-term holidays will keep the terms short and therefore allow us to teach the curriculum more efficiently.

“We do not have a problem with our parents taking their children out of school during term time, but we noticed that after last year's term six, the children were exhausted. By adding a week to each half-term holiday we can restrict each term to no longer than six weeks.

“We also feel the slightly lengthier day will benefit the older children who will face longer school days when they transition to secondary school.”

The news schedule will be trialled for one year before it is reviewed by parents and staff members for future academic years.

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