At the start of every year, we always review term dates. As the Trust has eight Haverhill schools under its banner, we thought we might look at trying something different.
The main proposal is to extend the October half-term to a second week to make it a fortnight’s holiday.
The idea behind this is that the autumn term is particularly long and it is a time where we typically see more staff and children taking time off with sickness. We wanted to see if we could break the term up to combat this.
The second week would also give parents an opportunity to have a holiday away from the traditional half term, and therefore be more cost-effective for them.
We naturally wanted to consult all staff and parents within our Haverhill schools before making a decision.
Letters have gone out from the various schools and the consultation will run until the end of November.
We truly value the opinion of all our staff members and parents and we have so far had a variety of views. I would like to thank everyone who has already made their opinions known.
I want to reassure people this is certainly not about cost-cutting and there will be no alterations to either the hours of our valued support staff or to other existing school holidays.
Every single view will be listened to. I also want to stress that if the majority of responses come back saying they don’t like the proposals, then we will not go ahead with them.
While if the majority say they want a second week of half-term in October, we will trial it for one year, starting in September 2018. We will then see how it works before making a more permanent decision.
Another idea within the proposals is to increase our enrichment programme within our primary and secondary schools in Haverhill to ensure more students have access to a greater number of groups and clubs. Once again, we value all the feedback we are getting from staff and parents on this.
Dr Tim Coulson, Chief Executive of Samuel Ward Academy Trust.