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London school terms including days off for Diwali, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Eid-Al-Adha and Guru Nanak Day

(135 Posts)
SomeGuy Tue 20-Oct-09 00:01:03

What do we think of this? (The DM has just noticed, there's no point in linking to them though)

This is the school term for Newham schools:

Tuesday 1 September 2009
To
Friday 18 December 2009

plus

EID-UL-FITR
Monday 21 September 2009
GURU NANAK DAY
Monday 2 November 2009
EID-UL-ADHA
Friday 27 November 2009

there are the usual Teacher Training Days scattered throughout the year.

Haringey's term, for comparison, starts 2 days later, so the net result is that Newham children have school year that is 1 day shorter.

Diwali is also scheduled, but it falls on a Saturday so no days off are scheduled.

This year the holidays all fit in well with weekends, being either on Friday, but they are all movable feasts, so in future years they could fall mid-week, weekends, whatever.

A quick look at the banner on Newham's website suggests that the local population is perhaps more interested in some of these holidays than the traditional ones, so I guess many would take the day off anyway.

Obviously there are issues - on the one hand, summer holidays are very long, and moving a few days out of it to make up for these holidays wouldn't make much odds, on the other they are imposing additional childcare obligations on parents potentially in the middle of the week, and an extra holiday on say a Wednesday in January is of little use unless you are celebrating the associated holiday.

The complaint appears to be that these have been forced upon schools (they cannot opt out), I guess it must reduce absence numbers, but should schools have more freedom to set their terms anyway, those (nationally) with significant Muslim populations could set these Muslim holidays, while other schools would not. And I guess in Jewish areas, if they want to have days off for Yom Kippur, they could do that too.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Tue 20-Oct-09 00:06:59

stirring it again someguy? In anticipation of Griffin's big performance?

MadBadAndWieldingAnAxe Tue 20-Oct-09 00:07:14

Message withdrawn

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 20-Oct-09 00:15:08

isn't that okay? they've not banned christmas or anything? we 'christians' get that off and most of us don't set foot in a church, we just eat too much food and fight with our families.

moondog Tue 20-Oct-09 00:16:00

What's with you Vulpusina? hmm

In Bangladesh where my dh lives, every religious holiday is just that, so all muslims, Christians and Jews get a day off.

Another argument for separation of religion and state I think.

SqueezyCheesyPumpkin Tue 20-Oct-09 00:18:00

PMSL Aitch grin Very true.

SomeGuy Tue 20-Oct-09 03:51:20

Have you even read my post Vulpusina?

No? I didn't think so.

Idiot.

squashimodo Tue 20-Oct-09 04:23:10

In Redbridge, we don't get any official holidays for festivals, but pupils usually take the day off and head teachers are ok with it.
I suppose if majority of pupils are muslim, and alot of the teachers, then schools woud be almost empty so why not have official hols anyway?

seeker Tue 20-Oct-09 05:19:50

Seems eminently sensible to me.

stuffitllllama Tue 20-Oct-09 06:11:39

Someguy I'm not quite sure what your point is, but I think you'll find that Christmas is exported around the world, into many Muslim and Hindu countries, if this is any part of it. I can only think of Japan where it isn't a public holiday though I don't have encyclopaedic knowledge. I don't know there, must be others. But it's a public holiday in Saudi Arabia for example, in India, in Singapore. So it does work both ways.

Excuse me if this has nothing to do with the point you're making.

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 20-Oct-09 10:51:25

yes, what is the point you're making someguy?

preciouslillywhite Tue 20-Oct-09 10:56:00

I have no problem with any aspect of it this end...

Are you in Newham, SomeGuy?

Filibuster Tue 20-Oct-09 10:58:28

I went to school in the US where we had the Christian and Jewish holy days off. I think it is sensible for each Borough to set hols to reflect it's popultion. It would be harder if it was set on a school by school basis in case you had kids in different schools. I think you will also find most Boroughs run holiday clubs on the days in question.

preciouslillywhite Tue 20-Oct-09 11:00:03

...oh, and like the way you've capitalised the festival names. Hoping for maximum OUTRAGE, perhaps??hmm

bran Tue 20-Oct-09 11:01:02

The only complaint that I have heard is that some of the religious holidays aren't fixed dates until the last minute which makes booking childcare or parental holiday extremely difficult. Otherwise, it's a bit of a non-issue around here (East London).

I think there has been some suggestion some of the schools around there that the school might remain open if there are enough staff who are not of the religion concerned but not be a usual school day, ie mix age groups together and do one-off project work. This would make life easier for working parents.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Tue 20-Oct-09 11:01:25

Message withdrawn

bran Tue 20-Oct-09 11:02:52

Sorry, rearrange my second paragraph in your own heads to make sense as I have written total gibberish. I was referring to schools around here not Newham, although it may also be true there.

ramonaquimby Tue 20-Oct-09 11:04:29

what's your point?

I work at a multifaith school and since I've been working there ( a v long time indeed) we have ALWAYS scheduled teacher training days and occasional days around the religious holidays like you've listed. It's an Ealing school. dates are set by the school in consultation with staff - not by the LA

thedolly Tue 20-Oct-09 11:05:49

And this affects you how SomeGuy?

preciouslillywhite Tue 20-Oct-09 11:08:32

The OP reminds me of the Daily-Mail-satnav sketch on Armstrong and Miller, which I can't find on YouTube angry

"...left past the Community Centre- don't get me started"

Katz Tue 20-Oct-09 11:08:57

ramon - was just going to type what you have, my DH works in a sixth form college which has a predominantly Muslim student base and as such all their inset days fall on the Muslim holiday's, the Muslim teachers are given leave for the day.

edam Tue 20-Oct-09 11:13:12

I suppose it's a pain in the bum if you are not of the relevant religion and have to arrange childcare for an extra day.

Depends on the make-up of the school, I suppose - if very few of the children will turn up on those days, putting an occasional or inset day in there makes sense.

But I do feel very strongly that everyone should learn about Christianity amongst all the other major religions in RE - you are at a real disadvantage living in the UK if you don't understand the mainstream culture and history of your own nation. It probably happens already, though.

BobbingForPeachys Tue 20-Oct-09 11:15:01

Our Uni has a scheme where time off will be givcen for a faith celebration if they are asked. Fair enough.

It seems to me that when we are talking about a very few days from the whole term, compared to the amount so many people take for trips away, and the huge cultural value of that (because education is so much more than book learning- it's also about your own community, finding your place in your own society) there is no issue there.

Besides, we have the same number of days off, just as insets spread randomly- sems there is sense typing them in with festivals. The inset days between the chools (DS3 is in a diferent school becuase of SN) never tally and if I were working i'd be in a right mess tbh


You know, where I grew up in Somerset the days off included one for Fair Wednesday (big local fair) and one for Black Friday (day after local carnival ): carnival is now on a Sat so not needed, but it's just about reflecting local needs and traditions- and acknowledging that many kids won't be there anyway so why not work with it?

BobbingForPeachys Tue 20-Oct-09 11:17:40

Edam I've not yet come across a school whree Christianity isn't taught; there may be one but at the very least it is the vast minority.

Whereas I am increasingly aware of a number of schools gettinga way from teaching anything else by taking Judaism as the second faith and just covering the Genesis stories etc. Whereas I think it needs to be Christianity as a basis, and then the basics and traditions of the others of the Big Six (with local variations if needed- say if you lived near the big Jain temple or whatever)

be far more useful imo.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Tue 20-Oct-09 11:34:52

And as far as I recall, your kids go to private school right SG? So actually it won't affect you in the slightest...?

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