The process of looking into a fixed spring break started nearly two (Nov 2010) years ago. The idea is to have this holiday in the first two weeks of April. I first thought it would be a relative simple process, but it is not. Click HERE on previous blogs.
To be clear this change would not have any effect on the religious side of Easter either, as both Good Friday and Easter Monday are statutory holidays. Part of the consultation process included the Church of England and Catholic dioceses who have a good many church-run schools in Cornwall are supportive of the change.
Now, at the recent scrutiny meeting of the children’s committee, Councillors discussed either to recommend to Cabinet a fixed spring break, or leave the (moving) holiday as it is. This will now go to the Cabinet for final approval and implement the recommendations.
However, there is no rush for Cabinet to decide as the earliest this could be implemented is 2019. Yes, I said 2019 and it is not a typo!
That would be nine years from start to finish to change a holiday……
For the last 18 months I have been trying, with the support of others to get Cornwall Council to look into the feasibility of setting a fixed Spring Break. As we all know this moves yearly due to moons and certain days in the religious calendar. A year ago I finally got Cornwall Council to start to talk to other local authorities and our own schools.
At today’s Children, School and Families Scrutiny Committee (CSF) there was a report with the findings of recent letter and questionnaire sent to Cornish Schools asking if they felt the Spring Break should be fixed. 73 school replied and all but five said the Spring Break should be fixed. Granted not all schools replied, but out of those who did was an over all will to at least look into changing it.
I made a further recommendation to Cabinet:
The CSF Committee recommends that Cornwall Council’s Cabinet undertake a formal consultation on the proposal of moving to a Fixed Spring Break.
This was fully supported by the committee with the add-on from the Chairman of this consultation should be undertaken as quick as possible. Sometimes the wheels at Cornwall Council turn slowly, but at least they turn.
Today at the Children’s Schools and Families OSC, Agenda item 10 (Click HERE) was a report on the subject of school term times. If you remember this was one of the issues that I had campaigned to be reviewed. To refresh yourselves click HERE. This is an issue that is long over due a review as I have pointed out in my earlier blog post.
From the report this undertaking is huge and costly. I argued that just because the issue is not easy, we should not shy away from it. My personal feeling is this does not have the higher political will to change. In an ideal world it would be, but as we all know this is not an ideal world. I also believe that this issue needs to be tackled on a national scale as that is where the real change can take place.
What did have unanimous support was for a more fixed time for the Easter Break, or what many others call the Spring Break. We all know that the Easter Break is never the same year after year. The two Chairman of the Association of Primary and Secondary Schools fully supported this, as they had long argued for this to be standardised. Even that is not as easy as just fixing dates are we will have to talk to out neighbours in Devon to make sure it’s workable for those close to the border. In the past different term dates have caused much confusion and complaints when these are not closely aligned.
Now the work will start by talking to the other Authorities to look into the details and implementation of this idea. I am glad a more fixed date for the term and the spring break as this would be of greater benefit to our children and allow people to plan their lives better.
For me, this is just the start of the review and will still argue for changes that are more in keeping with the world we live in today.