Schools to set own holidays as part of new deregulation push

THE TRADITIONAL long school summer holiday could be a thing of the past after the government yesterday announced it would give all schools the power to set their own term dates.

The move is another curb on the ability of local authorities to exert power over state schools. Instead, governors will have the final say on when terms start and begin. 

Education secretary Michael Gove has previously called for schools to have more, shorter holidays and end the practice of giving pupils six weeks off over summer.

The move is contained in the government’s new deregulation bill, introduced yesterday by Ken Clarke and Oliver Letwin, which promises to cut red tape across the private and public sectors.

Other measures included in the legislation include scrapping health and safety rules for 800,000 self-employed workers in low-risk occupations, requiring non-financial regulators to consider economic growth when making decisions, and making the apprenticeship system more flexible.

Niche measures include scrapping hefty fines for people who put out their rubbish bins too early, devolving decisions on footpaths to a local level and making it easier to hold film nights in village halls.