Like quite a few of Gove’s ideas, the latest announcement about term dates has a grain of justification. Leaving aside that the long summer hols are about the only perk left to teachers, it probably makes sense on educational and child care grounds to have a look at changing. However, no one with an ounce of common sense would think of handing over decisions to individual headteachers.
We live in one local authority area which is where our son went to school. My wife and I worked over the border for another LA. On several occasions half term holidays did not coincide so it is easy to imagine the chaos that would ensue if even neighbouring schools had different term dates. Arranging child care and family holidays would be a nightmare. Someone needs to have responsibility for coordinating but ideology dictates that Gove must give heads ‘freedom’ to do their own thing.