Unity Schools Partnership has launched a second round of consultation asking all staff and parents for their comments on an extended Autumn half-term break.
Last year, schools throughout the Trust trialled a two-week half term in October after an overall majority of respondents from the first consultation agreed with the proposal.
A second consultation process has now begun with staff and parents across every school encouraged to take part and let the Trust know what they thought about the fortnight half term.
The consultation will run for four weeks with the comments used to decide whether the two-week half-term in October will become a permanent fixture in the school calendar.
Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, said: “Firstly, we would like to thank every person who took part in the first consultation and have given us their feedback and comments since we trialled the initial two-week half term in October.
“As promised, we are now launching a second consultation to gauge people’s thoughts and opinions.
“We would encourage every staff member and parents across all our schools to take part to give us the best overall picture before a final decision is made.”
In March last year, the two-week Autumn half-term break was originally proposed to combat two issues affecting the education sector:
- High absence rates of staff and pupils during the Autumn Term.
- Recruitment challenges for both teaching and classroom support staff. Currently, recruitment is difficult across all sectors, particularly the public sector. We are looking to both retain our current, excellent staff and recruit the very best staff when our vacancies arise.
Each school considered ways they could adjust the timetable over the rest of the year to ensure that no learning time was lost for pupils and decided on plans that best suited their school.
This week, each school within the Trust is writing to their staff and parents to promote the consultation period and to ask them to share their views via a school-specific online survey.
While a majority of parents who responded to the original consultation were in favour of the proposal, some who did not agree with the proposal had a number of reasons with the top three being challenges about childcare in the further week of the October break, disagreement about the replacement of learning time and disagreement about how long school staff should work.
A decision is expected to be made on Friday 16th February.