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Academies - do they have to follow term dates set by the local authority?

(25 Posts)
GettinTrimmer Sat 28-May-16 14:08:01

There is an e-mail from my dc's headteacher mentioning term dates and holidays etc, but no mention of summer half term for next year 2017/18 - parents are worried that it's been cancelled, but I would say more likely it's a typo.

Does anybody know if academies can set their own holiday dates?

noblegiraffe Sat 28-May-16 14:10:17

Academies can set their own term dates but it's unlikely they would cancel summer half term.

If it's a secondary, they definitely wouldn't cancel it because of GCSEs.

Easiest way to quickly check given that school is now closed for half term would be to count the number of days in school. Children should be in school for 190 days.

meditrina Sat 28-May-16 14:22:12

No, they don't.

Just like VA schools never had to.

And yes, if you've spotted something that looks anomalous in the forward timetable, a quick email asking for clarification is probably the best way to find out if it's a typo or not.

bojorojo Sat 28-May-16 14:27:24

It would be unusual to do this and I would imagine it would not go down well; except the 4 days could be added to other holidays to give more lower priced family holidays! Academies do not have to adhere to the LA dates but it would make it very difficult for parents with other children who do attend LA schools if the holiday dates differ. Check with the office when the school reopens.

OddBoots Sat 28-May-16 14:57:53

Do the term dates you have add up to 190 days (38 full 5 day weeks) a year?

GettinTrimmer Sat 28-May-16 15:04:54

Thanks for replies. Will check with office after half term.

giraffe agree it's unlikely that the school would cancel, it is a secondary.

Already a petition (wrong way to approach a headteacher imo) as people do not like the change of CPD time from a Friday to a Tuesday. Pupils can't leave early on a Friday now and they leave early on a Tuesday, hasn't gone down well, with parents saying they should be consulted first before any changes are made.

GettinTrimmer Sat 28-May-16 15:07:03

Oddboots will check, she's listed key dates etc.

TeenAndTween Sat 28-May-16 19:03:35


GettinTrimmer Sat 28-May-16 20:00:01

Continuing Professional Development. I think most schools allocate 2hours per week.

noblegiraffe Sat 28-May-16 20:04:34

2 hours a week? confused

Most schools allocate nothing, that's what INSET days are for, surely?

apple1992 Sat 28-May-16 20:32:11

We do CPD but before school, not during the school day!

All schools can change school hours without consulting parents, and yes academies can decide their own dates.

bojorojo Sat 28-May-16 20:33:22

Obviously not a school that has to deal with coach and taxi contracts if it changes term dates and school day times without consultation. I think it really says they do not value a partnership with parents.

admission Sat 28-May-16 20:39:28

Hm, I would be questioning if there is 2 hours a week for CPD whether or not the pupils are receiving the full allocation of not only days but hours in each week that they are supposed to get. Nothing against 2 hours CPD but if you then add in 10% time out of the classroom for Planning, preparation and assessment, it seems as though they might be short on pupil teaching hours.

bojorojo Sat 28-May-16 21:37:08

admission: is there still a minimum number of teaching hours each week? I think I read somewhere it had been abolished and I cannot find any reference to it in the Dept for Education web site.

GettinTrimmer Sat 28-May-16 22:53:37

bojorojo that's interesting what you say about partnership with parents - in my experience, dc's schools change what they want without any consultation with parents. The change in early finish day won't happen until autumn so everybody else will have to change arrangements. I thought all schools would be the same.

A lot is being invested in the teachers then if most schools allocate nothing noblegiraffe.... a lot have left recently, change in management often results in teachers leaving I suppose.

apple1992 Sun 29-May-16 08:54:43

I wasn't aware of minimum allotted teaching hours and can't find anything online. The DfE says:

Every school day must have two sessions divided by a break. The length of each session, break and the school day is determined by the school’s governing body. The governing body has the power to revise the length of the school day as it sees fit. There is no requirement to consult parents on revisions to the school day but it can assist parents to do so

bojorojo Sun 29-May-16 11:44:27

"assist parents" is really code for "value your parents". Give SLT/Governors a rocket on the Ofsted site. Schools I know would have to speak to parents due to child-minding, work and transport arrangements and other contracts. We have disabled children who come via taxis. The senior schools have many coaches. Amending contracts with them for one day a week would be a nightmare! You may even have to alter the hours of the cleaners. Why would you not consult your stakeholders? Parents are important.

So many brash new leaders of schools think they can take total control and do as they wish. A few sheep-like "pet" parents will go along with it whilst the rest fume and try and get child minders and transport sorted out and are not happy that their children are on the loose for an extra couple of hours. If they finished early and ran homework clubs, that might be different.

I do not know of any school that closes early one day a week for CPD. Most CPD is done via a day off to go on a course, early staff meetings, evening staff meetings, trainers coming into school outside lesson time, and 5 days of INSET each year. NQTs teach a reduced timetable. I think a timetable that varies the finish time for one day is a total nuisance.

apple1992 Sun 29-May-16 15:56:44

I think a timetable that varies the finish time for one day is a total nuisance.
I agree entirely.

GettinTrimmer Sun 29-May-16 17:20:48

Thanks apple for copy and paste of DfE statement. Do you have a role in many different schools Bororojo?

Really interesting comments everyone, good to get some different perspectives. I do know that lunchtime has been shortened by governing body to close early on one day - has been like this for last 10 years. I am strongly suspecting CPD on a Tuesday means it's a better time to do it rather than at the end of the week when teachers have probably had enough. Schools obviously do things differently round here.

noblegiraffe Sun 29-May-16 17:22:56

My school has an early finish on a Friday, but the kids still have 5 hours of lessons that day, we just have a shorter lunchtime. The earlier finish isn't for CPD, it's so that both teachers and pupils can start their weekend early.

Do the kids still have the same amount of lessons on this shorter day? Feel sorry for the teachers if they have to teach 5 hours of lessons and then still hang around for 2 hours of training every week!

AnotherNewt Sun 29-May-16 17:36:15

I can think of a couple of London independent schools which have early finishes on Fridays. It's so that families can get away to the country pile before the rush hour.

SoupDragon Sun 29-May-16 17:39:04

Have you checked whether the term dates are on the website and whether they are different there?

GettinTrimmer Sun 29-May-16 17:50:35

another/giraffe the teachers were having to stay late on Friday, until 5pm according to ds (nothing mentioned officially), and he supports the Tuesday early finish as he likes his teachers and doesn't think they should have to stay so late on a Friday - the head is saying change of day 'will assist with teacher retention' which is vague and could mean a lot of things. I really support teachers, my family are mostly in the profession. If it means inconvenience to us but it's better for them, I'll go with it. Cancelling half term would be a step too far though, but I am sure it's probably a typo which will be confirmed after half term.

4 hours of lessons at the moment on a Friday before early finish, I suppose it will be just the same but moved to a Tuesday.

GettinTrimmer Sun 29-May-16 17:51:57

Thanks soupdragon for suggestion, I'll look.

apple1992 Sun 29-May-16 19:36:07

Must be mistake, a 7 week term is tricky enough, I don't think our kids or staff would get through double without a break!

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