"Obviously, we very much understand the cost pressures that hard-working families can face. I think the right thing is for schools - and this is what the Government is doing - to have the freedom to set their own term dates in conjunction with parents at their schools.
Academies already have that freedom and all schools are being given the freedom to set their own term dates, so I think that is the right approach.
I think it is important to understand both the pressures that hard-working families face and also the importance of children being in school, and that's why I would very much put the focus on flexibility around term dates as the right way to go about this."
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Wintry flurries overnight for West Lancashire, Cumbria and North Wales. Icy stretches developing by morning. Windy and feeling bitterly cold