Unity Schools Partnership

MAKING REMARKABLE CHANGE HAPPEN

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Plans to extend the October school half term to a fortnight are not at this stage being taken forward by the Samuel Ward Academy Trust following the results of a widespread consultation.

The Trust consulted with staff and parents from its eight schools in Haverhill and three surrounding primary schools to ascertain whether a majority would be in favour of extending the school holiday.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of the Trust, thanked everyone who took part in the consultation and revealed they were a “variety of responses and helpful comments”.

He added: “We naturally wanted to consult all staff and parents within our Haverhill schools before making a decision.

“We always said we would listen and react to the majority and, overall, our conclusion is that we have not yet found a set of dates that has the confidence of both parents and staff to move to something different. We will not, therefore, be changing to the dates that were proposed and will be staying with the dates to be used generally in the area.”

In addition to a large number of informal comments by staff and parents, there were a total of 428 formal replies – with 195 people stating they didn’t want any change to the existing holiday structure and 139 people supporting the proposals.

Mr Coulson added: “The responses showed that there was interest in considering dates that are different from what have been the usual pattern.

“We will think further during the spring term about the comments we received, both by those that were interested in what had been proposed and by those who were concerned about the proposals.

“We truly value the opinion of all our staff members and parents and we would like to thank them all for their variety of views.”

The proposals were originally discussed as the autumn term is regarded as quite a long school period and is traditionally a time where more staff and children are off with sickness.

If anyone would like to view a full breakdown of the consultation, please email ltaylor@swatrust.co.uk.