Plaid Cymru has called for a radical look at the school year in Wales, following what the party says is evidence that long summer breaks cause problems particularly to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Education spokesperson Simon Thomas said,
It’s time we look afresh at the school year. The current structure was set up in the Victorian times, and is not the most beneficial structure for children. Spreading school holidays over the year, rather than having them in one large block will help children retain information and help them in their studies. This is Plaid Cymru’s priority.
– Simon Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru Education spokesperson
Redistributing school holidays will also benefit working families by making it easier for working parents to arrange their holidays and childcare, which is particularly important in this economic climate. It will also help families who want to go abroad or go away chose more affordable times to do so.
Plaid also wants to start consulting on ways of making sure students continue to get the assistance of education after 16.
Whatever the outcome of the consultations, Simon Thomas says Wales will need to have power over teacher's pay and conditions, currently agreed at a Wales and England level.