A pledge by Jeremy Corbyn to give workers an additional four national holidays per year will reduce the school year to 186 days for pupils, and 191 for teachers.
The new bank holidays planned by the Labour Party as part of their election pledges, would be on each nation’s patron saint day: St David’s on 1 March, St Patrick’s on 17 March, St George’s on 23 April and St Andrew’s on 30 November.
Corbyn believes the holidays would “celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations” and give more families time to spend together.
Schools are currently required to open for 190 days to pupils each year, and an additional 5 days for teacher training.
The Labour Party has confirmed the holidays include schools and that teachers would not be exempt from the additional days.
Schools would therefore only be required to open 186 days a year for pupils, instead of 190, with teachers attending school for 191 days, as opposed to 195.
The policy directly contrasts the Conservative’s approach to attendance.
The government recently pursued the case of a father who removed his child for a week to visit Disneyland all the way to the Supreme Court, with Schools Minister Nick Gibb claiming that even having “just one day off” can damage a child’s education.
A Schools Week investigation revealed that one in six schools is disrupted during elections – with many having to close twice in six weeks to accommodate the local and general elections.
In 2012, when an additional bank holiday was called for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, schools were only required to work 189 days.