Reform of school year ‘should not be a priority’ says NAHT

Responding to the Welsh government’s plans to consult on shortening the school summer holiday in Wales next year, Laura Doel, director of school leaders’ union NAHT Cymru, said:

“Before we embark on further reforms, we must identify the educational benefit for pupils, and this must be at the heart of any change we make in schools.

“So far, there has been little evidence to support such proposals and a public consultation proved there was little appetite for them.

“This is the second consultation on the same issue, and it would seem unlikely that people will change their minds this time around. Money spent on this additional research could be better used elsewhere.

“Schools are already finding it difficult to keep up with the demands of the current reform agenda including the new curriculum, new legislation on Additional Learning Needs (ALN), new qualification arrangements, the community schools initiative and the universal free school meals roll-out. At the same time, they are also struggling to recruit and retain leaders and teachers because of concerns over pay and workload, and are being forced to make redundancies to balance the books because funding is at crisis point.

“Amid all these pressures, reforming the school year should not be a priority right now and this proposal should be put back in its box while we deal with the real challenges in education.”

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