Shorter School Holidays Would Help Struggling Families, SMPs Told
May 16, 2018
Shortening school holidays over the summer months would help take some of the financial pressures off families throughout Scotland.
That’s according to Lindsay Graham, an expert on poverty and food security, who has told the Scottish parliament that shorter school holidays could make a positive difference to the finances of parents nationwide.
Ms Graham said that shorter holidays would help reduce levels of child poverty because extra financial burdens tend to fall on parents when their children are not in school for extended periods.
Summer holidays for schools tend to last for seven weeks in total, which for many thousands of families means spending more money than at other times of the year and can lead directly to an added reliance on debt.
More than nine out of 10 respondents to a recent study by the Child Poverty Action Group Scotland said that they spend more money during the school holidays than they would under normal circumstances.
Parents tend to spend more money on food during school holidays, as well as on additional daytime activities and on childcare costs that they wouldn’t normally need to cover.
For some parents the summer holidays for their children can quickly become a very stressful period and one which they are eager to see the end of.
Ms Graham told the Scottish parliament that she believes that there should be a “radical rethink of term times” in schools across Scotland, according to the Scottish Sun.
Peter Kelly from Poverty Alliance, an anti-poverty network based in Glasgow, is quoted as saying: “We know that the grip of poverty on families on low incomes can tighten during the school holidays.
“Without access to school meals and with a need to ensure childcare, the financial pressure on parents can be huge.
“To address this we need to identify what will loosen the hold of poverty on families.”
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