Schools axe Easter holiday “for sake of convenience”

Thousands of schools are adopting a standardised spring break, rather than moving it to coincide with Easter.

Research by The Daily Telegraph newspaper has found that schools in a third of local authority areas have adopted a fixed two-week break.

Religious leaders have criticised the move for downplaying the significance of Easter for the sake of convenience.

Local councils determine the holiday dates for state schools. A survey of half the local councils in England by The Daily Telegraph found that one third had adopted or were about to adopt a fixed spring break.

However, 46 out of 73 authorities said their schools’ spring holiday will continue to correspond to the date of Easter.

Easter is determined by the appearance of the first full moon after the spring equinox, meaning it can fall any time between 22 March and 25 April.

Teachers and education officials say fixing the date of the holiday helps simplify school timetables and makes it easier for families to plan holidays.

The Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, Revd Janina Ainsworth, said: “We remain opposed to breaking the link between the rhythm of the Christian year and the cycle of school holidays.

“While we appreciate that a varying date for Easter can cause some inconvenience, it is the most important Christian festival, linked to the date of Passover, and its moveable nature demonstrates that not everything in life can be moulded to fit bureaucracy’s desire for neat predictability.”

Revd David Phillips, General Secretary of the Church Society, an Anglican charity, said: “Easter is a moveable feast, it is a Christian tradition and it would be a terribly retrograde step to lose that for the sake of convenience.”

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