THE return to a two-week October half term holiday looks set to be approved by senior Isle of Wight councillors after parents had their say.
It follows an Island-wide consultation with parents and teachers which attracted more than 3,250 responses.
Results were split, but a majority of 57 per cent indicated a preference for an extended autumn half term holiday.
Cabinet members are being asked to approve the 2023/24 school holiday calendar which includes a two-week October half term break between Monday, October 23, 2023, and Friday, November 3, 2023.
Why is the council looking to change Isle of Wight half term dates?
Cllr Debbie Andre, cabinet lead for children’s services, education and skills, said: “The decision to revert to a one-week autumn half term for 2022/23 was made using the results of a smaller consultation carried out prior to my coming into post ..
“I worked closely with the team to ensure the recent consultation carried out for 2023/24 would be more thorough, offering a choice of three options and seeking views from a wide range of participants including headteachers, teaching unions, parents / carers and pupils themselves ..
“The consultation this time received 3,257 responses and I would like to personally thank all of those who took the time to respond.
“There was a clear preference among all groups which we have recognized and it is on this strong evidence that the term times for 2023/24 have been set to include a two-week autumn half term break, while maintaining the statutory 195 school days, allowing for five teacher training days. ”
Not all schools use the Isle of Wight Council dates. Academies, voluntary aided, foundation and free schools set their own term dates.
The two-week October half term was first introduced in the 2019/20 academic year. The one-week half term was reintroduced in 2022/23.
If the new dates are agreed for 2023/24:
Autumn term 2023 will run from Friday, September 1, 2023 and end on Tuesday, December 19, with half term from Monday, October 23, to Friday, November 3.
Spring term would start on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, and end on Thursday, March 28, 2024, with half term from Monday, February 12, until Friday, February 16.
Summer term would start on Monday, April 15, and end on Friday, July 26, with half term from Monday, May 27, until Friday, May 31.
The cabinet is due to meet next Thursday.
The full report is available to read here.