Anger over changes to school holidays in Fife that 'don't give families enough warning'

A Fife councillor has hit out at the local authority over changes to the school holidays, which she says didn’t give families enough warning.

Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 12:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:54 pm
Aude Boubaker-Calder
Aude Boubaker-Calder

Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Aude Boubaker-Calder is concerned about the late nature of these changes for next year’s Easter holidays, which parents and teachers were told of at the end of term.

The new Easter holiday dates in 2023 are Friday, March 31 to Friday, April 14 inclusive, which sees the fortnight moved by a week.

Parents were recently made aware of the change in a note from Fife Council’s executive director of education and children’s services, Carrie Lindsay.

The council says the move was made to avoid a clash of dates with senior pupils sitting their SQA exams.

Cllr Boubaker-Calder said having to cancel holidays may leave many families out of pocket.

She said: “A number of parents and teachers have reacted with shock at these late changes for the next Easter Holidays - particularly as many of them have already booked holidays at that time.

“There is a reason the dates for these holidays are given in advance, and families and teachers are now effectively finding they could lose out on hundreds of pounds on holidays they have already booked.

“This is the last thing they need with the current cost of living crisis.

“I am calling on Fife Council to urgently look into this matter - this kind of thing needs to be better planned and both families and teachers need certainty on term dates.”

Head of Education and Children’s services Shelagh McLean said: "Our Easter holidays have had to change next year to avoid a potential clash with the start of the SQA exams for senior pupils.

"We are responding to the specific dates which are published by the SQA a year in advance of the exams.

"We're sorry for any inconvenience this might cause but we hope that people understand the need for the change, and that we've let families know as early as possible.

"We’d like to reassure parents that their school will work with them on alternative arrangements if holidays are already booked and can’t be changed.”