Should school holidays be set at national level?

16th March 2007 at 00:00
I am writing as a teacher and a parent about the growing incompatibility of school holidays between adjacent local authorities in the North East.

Until last year, Aberdeenshire and Angus holidays coincided in all but one week in October. This harmonious arrangement allowed many teachers and other school-based colleagues to live in one region and work in the other, knowing they could spend their holidays with their children.

It is with disbelief that I and many similarly affected colleagues have viewed the proposed academic calendars for next session. As things stand, there will be six weeks when educational professionals will be denied holiday time with their families. Easter and October breaks fall on different fortnights in each authority.

I am not sure if this is an extreme example of a failure of adjacent authorities to communicate, or symptomatic of a more widespread problem? If the former, then those who have the power to affect positive change should reach a resolution through dialogue. If such lack of joined-up local government is the norm across Scotland, perhaps Holyrood's hand is needed to let common sense prevail. Has the time come for school holidays to be set at national level?

Hamish Keddie

Auchenblae, Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today