A new bill to be introduced on this week would give ministers in Wales the power to coordinate the holidays of all state schools. Reports suggest that when local authorities choose different dates from each other, families then struggle with caring for children while they are away from school.
The BBC reports that initially councils would be expected to work together to coordinate term dates, and ministers would then be able to step in if a suitable agreement could not be reached. This contrasts with plans announced in England this week whereby schools will now be able to decide their own term times.
The Education (Wales) Bill will also look to reform the General Teaching Council for Wales, and attempt to get more members of teaching profession registered. The bill will be announced by the education minister Huw Lewis in his debut statement to the assembly in his new role. The position became available last week when Leighton Andrews shockingly resigned from his post due to lack of support for a school in his Rhondda constituency.
The Welsh government said in a statement: “It is believed that the effect of this legislation will be to harmonise school term dates across Wales, with variations occurring only occasionally and where they can be fully justified.
“This should bring savings for families who have been facing additional child care bills as a result of siblings attending different schools which have differing school holidays.”