Schools In England Are Breaking Up Early For Christmas
9 December 2020, 13:48 | Updated: 9 December 2020, 13:57
Schools in England can break up for the Christmas holidays earlier than planned, to give teachers a ‘proper break’ after a difficult year.
Teachers and pupils at schools in England have been allowed an extra day off before Christmas, to give them “six clear days” before the big day.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said schools will be allowed to schedule an inset day on Friday 18 December, the last day of term, to give staff a “proper break” without having to “engage in the track and trace issues” on Christmas Eve.
Inset days mean teachers will be in schools for professional development but pupils will be absent.
Schools which do decide to finish on Thursday next week may have one less scheduled inset day in 2021.
However, some schools have said they will stay open on the last day of term given the huge chunk of time pupils had away from the classroom earlier this year due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), described the announcement of an optional inset day as a "small concession”.
"A single day is better than nothing, but it still means that school and college leaders will have to continue contact tracing in the event of positive cases through to Wednesday December 23," he said.
"It also leaves them responsible, at very short notice, for informing families that they will need to self-isolate over the Christmas period."