MP: Shorten school summer holidays

Arlington House rises majestically over the seafront at Margate

Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield is risking attracting the wrath of schoolchildren by suggesting that the six-week school summer holiday be scrapped.

But she believes a shorter holiday will benefit hard-pressed families who struggle to cope with paying for childcare over the extended break.

Ms Duffield, the Labour MP since June of last year, says the current system is out of date and advocates rearranging the academic year to make it easier for parents.

Her “years working in primary schools and as a parent and a single mother” meant that she understood the stresses placed upon parents over the summer, she said.

However, some parents welcome the longer break, which is also popular with teachers who welcome the time to recharge their batteries.


  1. Perhaps Ms Duffield has a point. After all, our friends north of the Tweed do this and in point of fact, many Scottish schools went back this week. Is there any evidence in Scotland that hard-pressed families prefer the shorter summer holiday? What do Scottish teachers make of the arrangement?
    More to the point, do Scottish kids do better academically?
    I’m sure there are many facets to this argument but it’s an interesting subject all the same.

    Here’s another summer Q to chew over. It’s now only mid-August and yet the light is fading by 9pm. It’s still nice and bright by 6am when most of us are still abed.
    Is it not time we re-introduced Double Summer Time? This would see the clocks going forward an hour, as they already do, at the end of March and again by an hour at the end of May. We’d get less light in the early morning but have summer evenings stretching to 10/11pm. The clocks would need
    to go back and hour, after the August Bank Holiday and again, as usual at the end of October.
    What’s not to like?
    Even Remoaners and Brexiteers could unite on this! Time-wise, we’d be as one with mainland Europe for June through to September and yet doing something quirky and independently British. It’s also be a green solution to the problem of fading summer light, as less power would be used to illuminate streets, gardens, BBQs, houses etc.
    Comments welcome on this…


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