Proposed Bristol School Term Dates 2023/2024

Closed 7 Mar 2022

Opened 24 Jan 2022

Feedback updated 7 Apr 2022

We asked

The LA ran a public consultation on the following dates.

Term 1 - 1st September 2023 to 20th October 2023 (36 Days)

Term 2 - 30th October 2023 to 15th December 2023 (35 Days)

Term 3 - 2nd January 2024 to 9th February 2024 (29 Days)

Term 4 - 19th February 2024 - 28th March 2024 (29 Days)

Term 5 - 15th April 2024 - 24th May 2024 (29 Days) 

Term 6 - 3rd June 2024 - 23rd July 2024 (37 Days)

Total 195 School Days

The consultation ran from January 24th until March 7th 2022 and was circulated via head teacher bulletins and with support from the BCC communications team to school and parents. Information was posted on the BCC Citizen Space consultation page where all feedback was collated.

 

You said

We received 22 responses to the consultation.  The majority of these were in support of the dates proposed although we did receive some responses with alternative suggestions.  Overall, responses against the dates focused two considerations.  These have been summarised below, along with a response to each point on behalf of the LA.

  1. Feedback on the chosen dates
  • Starting term on a Friday puts extra pressure on teachers and makes booking holidays for the end of summer difficult
  • The end of term 2 (15th December) is too early meaning there was a long break before Christmas and children returning to school too soon after new year (2nd January)
  • Making the longest terms in the winter means more travelling to and from school in the dark
  • Summer term ends too late (23rd July)  

2. Feedback on general sceduling of school term and holiday dates.

  • Summer holidays are too long.  This time would be better used by extending all end of term holidays to two weeks
  • It is wrong to align the dates to the rest of the country.  Changing this would bring the cost of holidays down.

 

We did

Every school year decisions need to be made concerning term length and where to place half term and end of term holidays.  

We understand it is not favourable to start the term on a Friday and we accept that full school weeks would a preference, but this does not always fit with the school calendar.  The law dictates that LA maintained schools meet for the equivalent of 190 school days.  We timetable for an additional 5 dates for non-contact or INSET days.  Therefore, we generally expect schools to use this time as one of their allotted INSET days, allowing schools to prepare for the start of the school term.   

Breaking up on the 15th December means that children have a longer holiday period before Christmas rather than further into the new year.  When consulting on previous term dates we have received comments stating that ending the school term closer to Christmas day is problematic in school because it is unproductive as children are distracted and a longer period after New Year is wasted time.  In summary, this is about individual preference which does vary.  Future term dates may require term 2 to end nearer to Christmas.  

When setting term length, we activity try and make the terms similar in length.  However, this is not always possible as Easter is not a fixed date.  Feedback from schools in the past has been critical of over long terms which lead to fatigue, illness and school absence.

Summer term in the past has generally ended around the third week of July.  Alternative dates were considered whereby the school year ended mid-week, not on a Friday.  However, based on feedback from previous term date consultations this is unpopular and doing so has repercussions on school attendance.  

We fully understand the difficulties schools and parents/carers face in organising learning and attendance during term times.  We also appreciate that it can be challenging for working parents/carers trying to arrange childcare during half terms and holidays. 

Some LAs in England have taken the action to change the structure of their school terms in the past, reducing the summer holiday to 5 weeks, adding the additional week the October half term, the aim being to reduce the length of the autumn terms and allowing parents the potentially more flexibility and affordable holidays. The argument against this is the impact on those families relying on consistency year on year and across different schools and LAs.  Furthermore, if this structure was to become the norm, the nature of the new calendar could mean demand and the price of holidays would simply be moved to another point in the year.  If a change was considered in the future it would be in full collaboration with our neighbour LAs and a full a public consultation would be held, accordingly.

Year on year we collaborate with other LAs to consider the best options available, in the best interest of schools and families and to provide consistency.  We include the concern for parents/carers with child siblings in different schools and those commuting across LA borders.  On occasions in the past, when the dates have not been aligned to a neighbouring LA the feedback has been negative from those families impacted.

Having communicated with colleagues within education at BCC and co-ordinating with Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire objections were discussed and the dates have been and agreed.  Therefore, the decision was made to proceed with the proposed dates.  

Results updated 7 Apr 2022

In collaboration and co-ordination with Local Authorities in South West England, including neighbouring Local Authorities; Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

The opton was put to public consultation which was open from 24th January to 07th March 2022.

Following this the decsion was made to proceed with the proposed school term and holiday dates for 2023/2024 for Community and Voluntary Controlled School in Bristol.

Term 1 - 1st September 2023 to 20th October 2023 (36 Days)

Term 2 - 30th October 2023 to 15th December 2023 (35 Days)

Term 3 - 2nd January 2024 to 9th February 2024 (29 Days)

Term 4 - 19th February 2024 - 28th March 2024 (29 Days)

Term 5 - 15th April 2024 - 24th May 2024 (29 Days) 

Term 6 - 3rd June 2024 - 23rd July 2024 (37 Days)

Total 195 School Days

*In the school year 2023/24 pupils must attend for 190 days.  School may decide which 5 days in the school year are INSET or non-contact days (days when pupils do not attend)

Other schools, which are not Community and VC schools, are responsible for setting their own dates so these may vary from those set by BCC.

  

Overview

This consultation includes the proposed dates for the 2023/24 school year.

Term 1 - 1st September 2023 to 20th October 2023 (36 Days)

Term 2 - 30th October 2023 to 15th December 2023 (35 Days)

Term 3 - 2nd January 2024 to 9th February 2024 (29 Days)

Term 4 - 19th February 2024 - 28th March 2024 (29 Days)

Term 5 - 15th April 2024 - 24th May 2024 (29 Days) 

Term 6 - 3rd June 2024 - 23rd July 2024 (37 Days)

Total 195 School Days

*In the school year 2023/24 pupils must attend for 190 days.  School may decide which 5 days in the school year are INSET or non-contact days (days when pupils do not attend)

A calendar format of these dates can be downloaded below.

Why your views matter

Bristol City Council is responsible for setting the school term and holiday dates for all Community and Voluntary Controlled schools in the city.

Academies and Free schools are able to set their own school term dates which may or may not be co-ordinated with those set by Bristol City Council.

These dates are being proposed following discussions with local authorities neighbouring Bristol; South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset who are also consulting on the same term dates.

Before agreeing the proposed school term and holiday dates we would like to know your views.

Please complete the online survey or email your comments to james.last@bristol.gov.uk

Our privacy policy explains what we do with your personal information, how long we keep it and your right to withdraw your consent at any time you choose.

 

What happens next

All responses will be considered before the school term and holiday dates are agreed.  The school term and holiday dates will then be published on the Bristol City Council website.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Children / Young People
  • Parents, carers and guardians
  • Community & Voluntary organisations

Interests

  • Children and young people
  • Education and early years