Government consider a change in school terms and longer school days; What does this mean for my child arrangements?

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16 February, 2021

COVID-19 restrictions and government advice has changed everything when it comes to our children attending school, and uncertainty remains about the future of school terms, and when children will go back to school. Currently, it is estimated that children will not go back to school until 8th March at the earliest, but this is not guaranteed.

Ministers are considering changing the school year to keep pupils in class for longer during the summer term. The proposals could mean that the summer term is extended by two weeks, and pupils could be looking at extended school days.

Classrooms will be open for longer, and the reason for these proposals is to help children catch up with their schoolwork and the effects of lockdown.

The proposal for a two-week extension in Summer could mean that this will cut into the Summer holidays, and this time would be redistributed to future half terms and the Christmas break.

Private schools are preparing similar plans, with some considering bringing forward the Easter holidays to make more time for the Summer term.

An announcement regarding the school summer term and longer days at school is expected at the end of this month.

Will this affect my child arrangements?

These changes will affect everyone over the next year, at least. However, the changes will impact separated parents even more. Whether you have a mutually agreed arrangement in place with the other parent or a Child Arrangements Order which determines when contact should take place, the changes will leave some uncertainty and may directly alter day to day arrangements or holiday contact. Arrangements that are in place may not be able to go ahead as planned or as Ordered by the Court, and could leave parents, and children, in difficulty and not knowing when they should have contact, or if this can be re-arranged or made up.

This has been a difficult year and if you have any concerns about your child arrangements or how the changes to school terms, and longer school days will affect you and the child arrangements that you have in place, then do contact us to discuss the issues you are facing, and for our legal advice.

For more information contact Rubina Vohra in our Family/Divorce department via email or phone on 01254 580 000. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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