The Welsh Government is considering introducing a shorter summer holiday so that pupils do not forget what they learned during the previous term.
The changes would mean the holidays will be distributed more evenly, with a two-week break in the fall semester.
The Welsh Government suggests this would mean poorer pupils would not find it as difficult to return to learning after a long summer holiday.
Under the proposals, a week would be subtracted from the start of the summer holidays and added to the October half-term. According to the plans, teachers and students would still have 13 weeks of vacation.
The changes would be made starting in September 2025 so that schools would have a two-week break in October 2025 and a five-week summer break in 2026.
The consultation is even considering delaying the summer holidays by a second week, so that the summer holidays take place just four weeks in the future.
“Disadvantaged students suffer the most”
Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, said: “The long summer holidays can be a real strain.
“Families struggle to find child care during the six weeks, and others struggle with the additional costs that long summers bring. “We also know that our most disadvantaged students are those who suffer the greatest ‘learning loss’ after a long summer.”
He added that there were many examples of local authorities across the UK that had changed their school calendar to suit local needs.
Sian Gwenllian, member of the Welsh Senedd, said: “The current school calendar was designed a long time ago, in very different circumstances, and we are suggesting changes that might work better for everyone, but especially for pupils of all ages.”
“The concentration of vacations generates inflated costs in child care”
Jason Elsom, chief executive of Parentkind, a charity that supports parental voices in education, said: “Our recent survey of 6,800 parents in Wales revealed that the majority of parents support a move to distribute school holidays more evenly. more uniform throughout the year, with 72 percent of low-income families in favor.
“It is fair to say that the current concentration of school holidays in the summer months is leading to inflated costs on childcare and family holidays, compounding the challenges faced during the cost of living crisis.
“Most importantly, this affects the life experiences and opportunities of the most vulnerable children. “We are pleased to see this consultation from the Welsh Government.”
However, one union has argued there is no evidence it would improve pupils’ education.
Laura Doel, of the National Headteachers’ Association Cymru, said: “When school staff are being made redundant to balance the books, when schools should prioritize providing quality education for pupils and when we are deeply concerned about the recruitment crisis and retention, This should not be a priority for the government.”