Schools in Wales could have summer holidays cut by a week

There would be no change in the total number of weeks of holiday (PA)
There would be no change in the total number of weeks of holiday (PA)

School summer holidays in Wales could be cut by a week after the Welsh Government drew up plans it said would benefit both teachers and students.

Under the proposals a week would be taken from the summer holidays and added to the one-week break in October.

There would be no change in the total number of weeks of holiday, with the changes to begin in October 2025 and the first shortened summer break coming in July 2026.

Another week could also be taken from the summer break in the future, but not from 2025.

Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles said the six-week summer break “can be a real strain” on parents.

“Families struggle to find childcare over the six weeks, and others struggle with the additional costs long summers bring,” Mr Miles said.

“We also know our most disadvantaged learners suffer the most ‘learning loss’ from a long summer.

“We want to make sure education works best for pupils, teachers, and families.”

Jason Elsom, chief executive of parenting charity Parentkind, said he was pleased to see the consultation by the Welsh Government.

“Our recent poll of 6,800 parents in Wales revealed that the majority of parents support a move to spread school holidays more evenly across the year, with 72% of lower-income families in favour,” Mr Elsom said.

“It is fair to say that the current concentration of school holidays in the summer months results in inflated childcare and family holiday costs, compounding the challenges faced during the cost-of-living crisis.”

However, Laura Doel from the National Association of Headteachers Cymru told the BBC there are more pressing issues facing schools in Wales.

She said: “When school staff are being made redundant to balance the books, when schools should be prioritising delivering quality education to learners, and when we are deeply concerned about the recruitment and retention crisis, this should not be a priority for government.”