Skip to main content

Find out about the work that is exploring changes to the school year.

First published:
11 October 2022
Last updated:

What’s happening

We ran a public consultation on:

  • term dates
  • re-distributing the school holidays and lengths of terms 

We asked what options could work better for learners, school staff and parents. 

This consultation ran from 21 November 2023 to 12 February 2024 and is now closed.

No decisions have been made yet. Our external contractor, Miller Research are now analysing the findings from the consultation. We will publish a consultation report and decision in spring 2024.

Reasons to consider change

The school year in Wales has not changed for over 150 years. It was designed for a very different time, when going to school was voluntary, there was no national curriculum and children were expected to contribute to the agricultural economy during the long holidays.

Over recent years there have been many changes and improvements to education in Wales including a new curriculum, greater teacher professional learning, and new ways of supporting learners with Additional Learning Needs. However, the one aspect that has not changed, or even been looked at before now, is a fundamental one: the way we structure the school year, terms, and holidays.

Possible changes

We are looking at the system as a whole to see how we can better support the teaching profession in planning and managing workload, while helping address the learning loss and effects on the wellbeing of learners and staff, that the profession tells us comes from a long summer and uneven terms.

Things that won’t change

Reforming the school year is not about reducing school breaks; there will be no changes to the overall amount of breaks  for learners and teachers. The Welsh Government wants to look at how we distribute the same number of holidays across the year.

In addition, we have a commitment that the summer break will be at least four weeks in length.

The consultation focussed solely on term dates. It was not about adding more hours or extending the school day.

Tourism, childcare and other sectors

The Welsh Government is engaging with the workers and employers from sectors outside of education. The primary objectives of the work is to address disadvantage, narrow educational inequalities, support learner and staff wellbeing and bring the school calendar more in line with contemporary life. It is important to recognise it is an education policy. It is also important that the wider potential impact, opportunities, and benefits of any changes are shared and understood.

Different term dates across the UK

Although there are similarities in the school calendars of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, they are not the same. It should also be noted that Scotland operate a different term time structure entirely. Any changes to the school year following the consultation will apply in Wales only.


The responses to the consultation are currently being reviewed. We will publish the outcome as soon as it is available.


Contact us

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome correspondence in Welsh.