Parents’ groups greet holiday plan

Move to give children more days at school is welcomed, but teachers group calls for more money

26 February 2013

PARENTS’ groups have responded mainly positively to a proposal to cut school summer holidays from eight weeks to six – but were less taken with the idea of moving to a two-zone system as with the winter and spring holidays.

Education Minister Vincent Peillon had suggested the changes during a live TV broadcast on Sunday.

Teachers’ unions immediately attacked the move as “off the cuff” policy-making “without consultation” but Jean-Jacques Hazan, president of parents’ group FCPE, said: “One hopes there will be fewer hours of classes per day and more days of school during the year: that will allow a better balance of classroom time and rest.”

He added to France Info that splitting summer holidays into three zones would not work and that two zones was preferable to three.

However, Valérie Marty, the leader of parent group PEEP, said the split into two zones for summer would hit families hard: “It’s the only time, with Christmas, that families can come together and I think they hold that time dear.”

While teachers’ union Snuipp said it was time for Peillon to “stop making hasty announcements through the media” the Snes-FSU was more pragmatic, with Daniel Robin saying “if we extend the teaching time by 5.5% we will need to be recompensed”.

Mr Robin said that the idea for a dual-zone system originated with the tourist industry and the road safety lobby: one wanted to keep an extended tourist season while the other wanted to see less busy roads with all of France heading on holiday at the same time.

It was not the first time Peillon had suggested the changes and former Sarkozy education minister Luc Chatel had suggested doing the same in 2011 as it “would mean less pressure on holiday prices... less pollution and an improvement in road safety”.

Read our original story: Confusion over school holidays
Photo: Fotolia 16605604 Chlorophylle

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Brexit and Beyond for Britons in France*
Featured Help Guide
What the Brexit deal means for UK residents of France, second homeowners and visitors in 2021 and after
Get news, views and information from France