Pupils’ Easter break is cut to just one week

Holding a petition signed by over 200 parents is Khalid Patel. Picture ref: AB0102a0417
Holding a petition signed by over 200 parents is Khalid Patel. Picture ref: AB0102a0417

A school is facing a backlash from parents after this year’s Easter holiday was cut from a fortnight to one week.

Children at Boothroyd Primary Academy in Dewsbury are due back at school on Tuesday - a week earlier than previous years after a change in term dates.

Around 200 parents have signed a petition against the move.

And they are considering keeping their kids off school next week in defiance of the reduced Easter break.

The Temple Road school, which is run by the Focus Trust chain of academies, said it sent a letter to parents last April and put term dates on its website.

But dad Khalid Patel, whose son Mukarran, 11, is at the school, said many parents were not aware of the change to the Easter break.

He said: “Parents feel very strongly about this. Within 48 hours we had 200 names on the petition.”

Mr Patel, whose older son Nasir, 13, goes to Mirfield Castle Hall Academy, said the change to holidays was causing a headache for working parents who had children at Boothroyd and at other schools.

He said: “They have holidays and family engagements.

“It’s affected me because I work. Which week do I take off?”

Parents were deciding whether to hold a boycott of the return to school for their children on April 18.

Mr Patel added: “It’s something we are looking at doing.”

In a statement Boothroyd Primary Academy said parents were given a letter on April 28 last year giving notice of the change to the 2017 Easter Holiday.

The statement said: “The decision to change the Easter holidays was made in the best interests of the children to maximise their learning.

“Reducing the Easter break to one week evens out the weeks between the terms and provides Year 6 pupils with an additional week back in school after the holiday ahead of their SATS which take place week commencing 8th May 2017.”

A reminder was also given to parents last September, the school said.

It added: “We did not receive any official feedback from parents regarding the change to the holidays since they were first notified in April 2016 until a petition was presented at school at 11.55am on Friday, April 7, 2017.”