An early Easter has thrown Cheshire West and Chester school holidays out of sync.
Historically, the Easter weekend heralds the end of the spring term followed by a fortnight's break or sits neatly in the middle of a two-week break for pupils.
As Easter Sunday falls on March 27 this year, outside the borough’s standardised term dates, many schools will have a long weekend around the Christian festival then go back to school for four days before having another fortnight off. Their holidays will run from Friday, April 1 going back to school on April 18.
This anomaly has caused some schools in the borough to move their two-week break to coincide with Easter which could leave parents who also have children at different schools in a difficult situation regarding child care or booking a family holiday.
Bishops’ Blue Coat CE High School in Great Boughton, Chester Catholic High School and St Nicholas Catholic High School, Northwich, are the secondaries which have chosen to include Easter in their breaks. Their holidays will run from Thursday, March 24, returning for the summer term on April 11.
The 10 primary schools which have followed suit are:
- Byley Primary School, Middlewich
- Cloughwood Community Special School, Northwich
- Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School, Ellesmere Port
- St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, Weaverham
- St Saviour’s Catholic Primary School, Great Sutton
- St Werburgh’s and St Columba’s Catholic Primary School, Hoole
- St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School, Northwich
- St Winefride’s Catholic Primary School, Neston
- William Stockton Community Primary School, Ellesmere Port
- Wimboldsley Community Primary School, Middlewich
Pupils enjoying the early Easter holidays are in for a marathon summer term from April 11 to July 20, a total 15 weeks including the traditional Whitsun week's break at the end of May.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has discussed the possibility of setting a fixed date for Easter Sunday, which would avoid this issue in the future.
At the moment Easter determined by the moon’s cycle.
Cheshire West standardised its term dates together with neighbouring authorities in the Learn Together Partnership (LTP) including Cheshire East, Wirral, Halton and Warrington starting from September 2013.
Are standardised school term dates still a good idea?
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Academies and free schools such as Bishops' Blue Coat and Chester Catholic High are not governed by the local authority and can still set their own dates.
Do you have children off at different times? If you have been affected at all by some schools moving their Easter holidays we would like to hear from you. Tweet us @ChesterChron or let us know in the comments below.