The Education Network for Waltham Forest
 
Supported by Waltham Forest

School Term Dates

Guidance for Schools & Colleges

Please log-in to download below the school term dates for 2017-18 and 2018-19, which were produced following a consultation that took place from 7 October 2016 to 18 November 2016 with local schools.

 

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Background
Waltham Forest School Term dates for 2016-17
Waltham Forest School Term dates for 2017-18 and 2018-19
Religious Holidays
Staff Development (INSET) Days

Background

Schools have a statutory obligation to open for 190 pupil days and allocate a further 5 staff development (INSET) days for the school year.

Currently Local Authorities hold a statutory duty to set school term dates and holiday dates for community, voluntary controlled, community special schools and maintained nurseries in its area.

Within foundation, voluntary aided and foundation special schools, the duty currently rests with the governing bodies, but usually these schools choose to adopt the same dates as the Local Authority.

The Deregulation Bill was set to remove the statutory duty for Local Authorities to set term dates for community, voluntary controlled, community special schools and maintained nurseries in its area. At the Waltham Forest Council Cabinet meeting on the 9th December 2014 it was agreed, following consultation with schools and SACRE, that should the statutory duty be removed from Local Authorities Waltham Forest Council will continue to provide guidance to schools on recommended school holiday patterns for schools to adopt.

Waltham Forest School Term dates for 2016-17

The proposed calendar gives a total of 195 days. A maximum of 5 school INSET days can be deducted to ensure that schools meet their statutory obligation to open for 190 pupil days.

Please click on this link to the Council website to see the school term dates for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Waltham Forest School Term dates for 2017-18 and 2018-19

On 18th September 2015 the Department of Education sent the following communication to Local Authorities and School Governing Bodies regarding The Deregulation Act 2015:  Schedule 16 (Schools: Reduction of Burdens): 

  • The provision which gives the governing bodies of community, voluntary controlled, community special schools, and maintained nursery schools in England the responsibility for setting their own school term and holiday dates will not be commenced. These schools will not therefore be given the power to set their own term dates.
  • Currently academies, free schools, foundation schools and voluntary-aided schools have freedom over their term dates. Local authorities already have the power to vary term dates for other schools including for individual schools, and there has been no real clamour from maintained schools which do not have this power to have this freedom. Given this it would not be appropriate to commence with widening this to those maintained schools themselves, but we encourage local authorities to listen sympathetically to arguments for change from these schools. Those schools that are performing well can still choose to become academies in order to set their own term dates.

Please log in to download the school term dates for 2017-18 and 2018-19, which have been produced after a consultation that took place from 7 October 2016 to 18 November 2016 with local schools. These have endeavoured to adhere to the following principles (which schools in Waltham Forest are also recommended to follow):

  • Where a school is open for part of a week to pupils, this will be for a minimum of three school days (to encourage attendance).
  • The number of pupil days in each half term is kept as equal as possible.
  • The five staff development (INSET) days are all to be designated by the individual school’s governing bodies, but there will be no more than two days set consecutively for this purpose. This time could be designated as twilight sessions.
  • Some schools are closed for extra day(s) because they are used as a polling station for local elections (including mayoral and police commissioner elections) and in these cases, the governing bodies of those schools will approve the extra day(s) required to meet the statutory 190 pupil days for the year during which the election(s) are held.

Religious Holidays

Following a consultation, which took place six years ago, it was agreed that standard school closures should not take place for the religious festivals of Eid-ul-fitr, Diwali and Guru Nanak.

Since this point the Council set a standard school holiday pattern that did not include school closure dates for religious holidays. However, school governing bodies retain the option to vary the standard school year and could close their schools on a religious holiday if it occurs on a weekday in term time after consulting with their local school communities.

Schools are requested to inform SACRE if, after carrying out the recommended consultation, they plan to close for any religious holidays to enable the Local Authority to respond to any Freedom of Information requests on this matter. Please see SACRE pages.

Provision must be made elsewhere in the school year to ensure that the school is open for the statutory number of days to pupils (which is 190).

Please note the following religious dates for 2016-17:

  • Diwali - Sunday, 30th October, 2016;
  • Guru Nanak’s Birthday - Monday, 14th November, 2016.
  • Eid-ul-fitr - Monday, 26th June, 2017.

Please note the following religious dates for 2017-18:

  • Diwali – Thursday, 19th October, 2017;
  • Guru Nanak Birthday – Saturday, 4th November 2017.
  • Eid-ul-fitr – Friday,15th June 2018.

Staff Development (INSET) Days

The proposed school term dates ensure that there are 195 days within the academic school year. Governing bodies must ensure that five of these days are used for Staff Development (INSET) days and that staff have been consulted with when agreeing these dates. Governing Bodies must ensure that families are notified of planned school closures for INSET day in advance.

It is recommended that the following principles are followed when setting staff development days:

  • The five staff development days will be designated from the academic calendar by each individual school’s governing body.
  • No more than two days should be set consecutively for this purpose. This time could be designated as twilight sessions.
  • Some families of schools may wish to consider a common staff development day to facilitate shared training opportunities.
  • Although terms are designated to start on a Monday, schools can still use Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday is a bank holiday) for staff development days.

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Last updated: 
Thursday, 2 February, 2017
Last updated: 2 February 2017 by Arjun Gadhvi

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