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School Year Working Pattern Consultation

Posted: 11/10/19

School Year Working Pattern Consultation

We are consulting you about proposed changes to students’ term dates for future years. We are proposing to:

  1. Implement a two week October half-term holiday.
  2. Ensure that the maximum length of any half-term for students is seven weeks
  3. Move INSET days to outside term time so that there are no “odd days” of holiday for students during term time. Except for Bank Holidays which are outside our control.
  4. Ensure that the school year for students remains within the Sutton school dates as much as possible i.e. it does not start earlier or run later, so that our student holidays overlap with other school holidays.

Why make these changes?

  • The autumn term often comprises of one eight week half-term; the end of this term becomes less useful as students and staff become very tired and illness is higher as a result. 
  • We believe using this “week” at other times will be better for students’ learning and progress.
  • A two week October half-term will ensure a maximum of seven weeks before and after the October half-term. It gives students a restful break before the long winter terms and busy Christmas and New Year period.
  • Moving INSET days to outside term time will mean that teachers and other staff are working when students have their holiday breaks. This gives the potential for the two weeks at October for students and for some staff.

We welcome your thoughts on this proposal. This information, and also an example of what term dates may look like for the next academic year should this go ahead, can be found on the following page on our school website:

Click here for EXAMPLE TERM DATES 2020-21

If you wish to respond, please email the school with any comments by 9 am on Monday 11th November 2019 at the school email address:  Alternatively, you can write to Debbie Stocks, PA to the Headteacher, heading your communication:  SCHOOL DATES CONSULTATION. 

What happens next?

We will take your feedback, together with students and staff responses to the Governing Body later this term. 

We should be able to confirm whether this proposal is accepted by the end of December 2019 or January 2020 and, if accepted, whether this starts for the academic year 2020/21 or later.

Please note: this is a consultation at this stage and you should not make any plans to use a two week October half-term in your holiday planning.


Will this mean that the school year will start earlier than other schools?

Maybe. The start dates of schools always vary, depending on when they take INSET days. Our intention would be to start within the Sutton published dates, usually on a Monday. Other schools may start a day or so later, or may start the same day.

Will this mean a shorter summer holiday?

The school will finish at the same time as other Sutton schools in July.

Will the school still have INSET days and training time?

Yes. There will be days just before students start in September. This will mean most teaching staff agreeing to work in August in some years to ensure the necessary preparation for the school year. In addition, there will be training and development sessions on certain dates at the end of the school day.  Some staff will also be involved in training and INSET days in the second week of October half-term.

The school and governors are very aware of the huge changes in both the curriculum and public examination system; time for development of resources to support students to learn remains a high priority for the school.