Fury mounts as schools adopt two-week October half-term – Henry Club

Schools are adopting a two-week half-off in October for teachers’ ‘mental health’ – despite warnings that students need to make up for lost time amid the COVID pandemic.

Nearly a third of multi-academy trusts and one in five local authorities now take a fortnight’s leave in the autumn period, with principals saying they need longer breaks for the welfare of employees, according to the analysis. It shows. wire,

A survey found that 31 out of 102 multi-academy trusts that administer secondary schools have a two-week half-term holiday in October, and 30 of 149 local authorities have a two-week autumn break. in which three – Kent, Peterborough and Bromley – who are offering it for the first time in 2022.

Schools can set their own vacation timetables, provided they maintain a minimum 190-day validity for teaching. These days are created by local authorities elsewhere in the year and Multi-academy trusts that moved to a two-week vacation model.

Family groups are calling the October half term ‘shocking’ after the impact of the coronavirus on schools.

Molly Kingsley, co-founder of the original campaign group UsForThem, said: ‘This is absolutely not the year to increase the number of days off school for students.

‘Children do not need leave after six weeks when they have just got summer break. This is shocking. Two weeks off is great for parents who can take another week off, but for working parents, many cannot.

But Darren Gelder, executive principal of Grace Academy in Solihull, says the move to a two-week break is becoming more popular in state schools — and it’s important to consider that many teachers leave the profession because of burnout.

He said: ‘The logic is quite simple. Without a two-week half-term break, one of the conditions is likely to be eight weeks long and everyone is shattered when it is absolutely clear.’

Shortly before Christmas, Education Secretary Nadeem Jahvi warned that schools could be disrupted during Easter. omicron-Sparked staff absenteeism – because they issued a desperate call for qualified teachers to sign up for help.


A survey found that 31 out of 102 multi-academy trusts that govern secondary schools have a two-week half-term holiday in October, and 30 of 149 local authorities have a two-week autumn break. . In which three are included- Kent, Peterborough. and Bromley – which will debut in 2022 (stock image)

Mr Gelder, who sits on the executive committee of the National Association of Headteachers, said his own school changed about five years ago, and that staff used the October half-off break as the ‘most important’ thing to do for his well-being. Did. , As has been given importance.

When Nadeem Jhavi was made education secretary in September, Dame Rachel de Souza warned him that schools should never be closed again in future lockdowns.

COVID staffing crisis UK: unions warn Omicron spread has left public services in ‘dangerous condition’

Unions warned today omicron Public services are left in ‘dangerous condition’, recycling centers forced to close and bin collection at risk London – While flights were canceled and trains were cancelled.

Lewisham Council announced that its main recycling center will remain closed until Wednesday and that black bin collection will be prioritized in the event of a delay in recycling collection.

The rail distribution group said 6.8% of trains across the country were canceled yesterday, as against the annual average of 2.9%. Trains have been suspended ‘indefinitely’ in Warwickshire, affecting services between Leamington Spa, Nuneaton and Coventry.

Heathrow canceled 60 flights on Sunday, FlightAware tracking data shows, with more than 2,200 flights canceled globally yesterday. Gatwick said only three of the 215 flights were canceled on Sunday and none yesterday.

Currently, people with a positive COVID test must self-isolate at home for seven days, but today leading vaccine expert Professor Sir John Bell favored reducing this to five if clear from lateral flow tests.

Sir John, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University and member of the Vaccine Taskforce, has backed Boris Johnson’s refusal to tighten England’s COVID restrictions, saying mass deaths and hospitalizations from the deadly disease are ‘history’.

Heads of local government have said staff shortages across the country are particularly acute in areas including waste collection as well as social care and child services.

John Richard, assistant general secretary of the Public Service Association, Unison, told Guardian: ‘The key health, council, care and police services are so staffed that many are worried they will not be able to move forward.

‘Therefore additional measures to contain the spread of the virus are extremely important in the coming weeks. Years of cutbacks have left people with enough staff to receive services in normal times. Now Omicron has paid for leaving services in critical condition.

England’s Children’s Commissioner said the damages from losing an education are enormous, explaining how his Big Ask survey of youth ‘likes school’ and ‘feels in front of a computer’, with one There is no proxy to stay in. Teacher’.

The watchdog said closing schools in the earlier lockdowns was the right thing to do because that’s what science had dictated.

But she added: ‘I never want to see schools close again. This is really important.’

Paul Whitman, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, has warned that concerns have already been raised about schools reopening after the Christmas break, sending some students home if there are not enough staff to teach them. can go. could.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told the BBC that absenteeism at some schools had reached ‘unstable’ levels, with up to 25% of staff being laid off in the week before Christmas.

‘We don’t know what next week will look like. We’re not spoiling it, but we’re saying we should have a sense of realism around it.”

Education Secretary Nadeem Jahvi has warned that there could be disruption in schools till Easter. omicron The cases have triggered a wave of employee absenteeism.

Mr Jahvi issued a desperate call for qualified teachers to sign up for help, calling on qualified teachers – those who left the profession or pursued other careers – to apply to the teaching website as soon as possible. for.

Schools have had low attendance of both teachers and pupils ahead of the winter break, and Department of Education (DFE) officials acknowledged yesterday that they expect Omicron to bring high-level staff absenteeism throughout the spring term.

The government is now asking retired teachers to ‘come forward and join the national mission’ amid fears that many teachers have been forced into self-isolation coronavirus Variation may cause schools to close or groups may be sent home throughout the year.

Education Secretary Mr Jahvi said: ‘Doing everything in my power to protect education has been my first priority – that is why today I am asking any teachers to come forward, are not available. To make up for the temporary absence in the new year.

‘While 99.9% of schools have remained open for this period consistently, with Omicron’s increasing cases we must ensure that teachers in schools and colleges remain open for face-to-face learning.

‘Anyone who thinks they can help should start the process on the Get Into Teaching website, and everyone should be encouraged to help reduce the amount of disruption caused by the virus in the new year .’

DFE said in a statement: ‘The Omicron version is expected to continue to increase staff absenteeism levels in the spring term, and some local areas may struggle to provide sufficient numbers of supply teachers unless former employees Do not come forward

Dr Nikki Cannani, medical director of primary care for NHS England and NHS Improvement, also called on teachers and school staff to get a COVID booster jab during the Christmas break.

The government asked retired teachers to ‘come forward and join the national mission’ amid fears that the number of teachers forced into self-isolation by the coronavirus version could result in schools being closed or groups sent home throughout the year . (Photo: Nadeem Jhavi)

South East London GP Dr Kanani said: ‘We are asking teachers to come forward during the school holidays to be safe before school resumes.

‘We have pop-ups, we have mobile units, we are working with community and faith leaders to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have this protection, so please come forward.’

The Department of Education (DFE) said in a press release that some local areas may struggle to provide adequate numbers of supply teachers unless former staff come forward.

Eligible DFE staff to come forward, who are not working on the Department’s own COVID response, will be issued to do so.

The Disclosure and Barring Service said it stands ready to meet “any increase in demand for its service”.