Primary school extends school day to help parents afford cheaper holidays

A primary school in Kent has lengthened its school day by 20 minutes in order to help parents plan cheaper, off-peak holidays.

Chiddingstone Primary School near Tunbridge Wells has extended its daily timetable, allowing the May and October half-terms to be increased to two weeks, instead of one.

Pupils will break up a week ahead of other state schools in Kent for an extended May half-term, and will also get a longer half-term holiday in October.

Headteacher Rachel Streatfeild said the changes would allow parents to take children away on holiday when prices are more affordable.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

She added: “We are aware that many of our parents work – but so far we have received only positive feedback.”

“We plan to work to the new term structure for 12 months and then conduct a review with our parents and perhaps consider a holiday club during school holidays.”