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Local council considers cutting summer break

Saving up and booking your family summer holiday is often a difficult decision for many parents

 

But for mums and dads of children living in Sussex it may become slightly easier.

Brighton and Hove City Council is proposing to examine a shake-up of its school holiday dates to help hard-pressed families who are faced with steep rises in the cost of breaks.

It comes as the price of some holidays is found to more than triple during the half-term dates.

This leaves families with the dilemma of whether to pay more, or take their child out of school and run the risk of a fine.

According to local government figures, more than 50,000 penalties were issued in 2014 to those who opted to take their children out of school for a holiday.

That number has more than trebled, up 173 per cent from the 18,484 handed out by local authorities in 2012/13.

Now Brighton is looking at cutting the six-week summer holiday short and creating a “standalone” week’s holiday when going away is less expensive.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s Children, Young People and Skills Committee will consider the proposal on January 11.

Any plans agreed would not come in until the 2017-18 academic year.

Committee chairman Tom Bewick said: “If there is something we can do to offer lower-income families in particular the chance to take holidays that would otherwise be unaffordable then I think it’s worth exploring.

“Being able to take a cheap family holiday in March, for example, would make a huge difference to thousands of local people including, of course, our teachers.

“The long summer holiday goes back to the 19th century when children helped bring in the harvest. It’s time to take a fresh look at this and try and find a consensus for what works best for families in the 21st century.”

For working parents, spending a week on holiday with your family can help to strengthen relationships and really get to know your children.

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