Teachers take an extra day off for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee despite disruption to children

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Teachers have been given an extra day off after the Platinum Jubilee weekend if their school is on half-term - but parent groups have warned the move will cause disruption to children’s education.

The special bank holiday has been awarded to all Britons on June 3 to celebrate the Queen’s 70-year reign. It has been extended to schools to take another time if the bank holiday falls during half-term.

The Department for Education has amended regulations to reduce the school year to a minimum of 189 days, rather than 190, to allow schools to close on June 3 or on another day.

Announcing the change, the National Education Union said: “Schools not already on half-term break on the day of the bank holiday will be able to close that day. Most schools will, however, be on half-term at the time of the bank holiday.

“This change to the regulations will allow maintained schools to be able to close at another time to give staff and students an extra day off.”

'Need to minimise disruption'

The result of a day off at another time during the school year could mean that parents with multiple children at different schools will face more than one day of closure and disruption to education.

Molly Kingsley, co-founder of UsForThem, a campaign group for parents, told The Telegraph: “While we appreciate that people want to celebrate the jubilee, we also need to be mindful of the need to minimise disruption and it would be much more preferable if this was at least on a standardised day.”

John Jolly, chief executive of the charity Parentkind, said: “In this jubilee year, many schools will provide children with the chance to celebrate the Queen's remarkable reign.

“Where this will lead to an additional day of holiday following the half-term, schools must communicate clearly with parents to allow them the maximum possible time to prepare for alternative arrangements and minimise any disruption to family life.

“A key driver for successful schools is communication, and this is a crucial area for schools to get right where additional holidays will undoubtedly have an impact on parents.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The announcement of an additional bank holiday for the jubilee was made by the Government a long time ago, and schools will have long had arrangements in place for this day off to take place on a different date where the bank holiday falls in the school half-term holiday.

“This is in order to ensure their staff are able to benefit from the additional holiday decided by the Government, in line with all other workers.”

The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.

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