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Merseyside Easter could make way for spring

Local authorities in Merseyside have launched a consultation on standardising the school year, and plans include scrapping school holidays over Easter. Instead, a fixed holiday in the first two weeks of April - the spring break - will be introduced. When Easter does not fall during this fortnight, schools will enjoy a long weekend because of the two bank holidays.

According to St Helen's Council, one of the five Merseyside authorities, this would mean an "even distribution" of terms and provide a better balance for children and staff by avoiding "exhausting" long terms - the date on which Easter falls can vary by as much as five weeks.

A council spokesperson said: "Good attendance is absolutely critical to a child's success. Many absences result from holidays in term time, and this is affecting attendance figures, and potentially also the progress and attainment of the children themselves."

The school year consists of 195 days, 190 for teaching and five for training.

All terms will start on a Monday, and the February half-term will always be the third week of the month; the October half-term will be the last full week of October.

Liverpool will run a pilot scheme next year to see how the changes affect staff and parents.

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