SCHOOLS in Cheshire West and Chester are to standardise term dates from September 2013.
The move follows a show of support from both families and schools.
A total of 77% of 2,000 respondents to a public consultation agreed the borough’s community and voluntary controlled schools should adopt a standardised holiday pattern.
The decision, which has been approved by the council’s executive, means the borough’s term dates will be aligned with neighbouring authorities in the Learn Together Partnership (LTP) including Cheshire East, Wirral, Halton and Warrington.
Under the changes, the October half-term will fall in the last full week of the month and February half-term will be the third week in February.
Easter break will be replaced with a fixed holiday at the beginning of April and known as spring break, with Easter continuing to be observed through the Good Friday and Easter Monday bank holidays.
The Whitsun half-term break, which some primary schools extend to two weeks if Easter falls early, will be fixed at one week.
Where a school is open for part of a week for any reason this will be for a minimum of three days to encourage good attendance.
Although not required to follow term dates set by the authority, foundation, voluntary aided schools and academies will be strongly encouraged to follow the new calendar.
Cllr Mark Stocks, executive member for children and families, said: “Although we were aware of the difficulties differing term dates were causing, it was essential that schools, families and the wider community had their say before a decision was taken to adopt a standardised pattern.
“The response showed overwhelming support for the proposal, with many commenting that it would help schools and families to plan ahead.”
The school term and holiday dates for 2013/14 are available at www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.