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Bronte School in Pelham Road, Gravesend increases days off for its pupils

Parents have signed a petition after a private school increased days off for its pupils.

Bronte School in Pelham Road, Gravesend, has increased holiday over the year by 14 days as it claims children often get “very tired” towards the end of term.

The changes come in from July 2015 and some parents, some of who will be forced to find extra child care, are far from keen on the idea.

Bronte School, Pelham Road, Gravesend
Bronte School, Pelham Road, Gravesend

One group, led by Sabina Borthwick, has started an online petition. They claim the increase is inconsiderate as it comes only months after fees were raised by 5%.

Ms Borthwick said: “This comes only two months after fees were increased above inflation and parents are being told fees will not be reduced in line with the new term schedule.”

Ms Borthwick claimed parents were not consulted and had left with a feeling that negotiation was “not an option.”

"This gives more opportunity for staff training days and professional development..." - Head teacher Nicholas Clements

Head teacher Nicholas Clements said the decision was taken in the best interests of the children.

He said: “We are an independent school with a full educational programme, although our terms are longer than most independent schools.

“Our teachers consistently report that the children get very tired towards the end of the terms, so we’re planning to modify our year pattern to help with shorter terms, closer to, although still not the same as, those used by most independent schools.

“Also this gives more opportunity for staff training days and professional development and planning.

“There are no changes until July 2015 and our 2015-16 dates are provisional, so there’s plenty of time to receive parents’ and others’ comments.

“If there are any concerns that these plans are related to fees, I can affirm that they are not. These sorts of changes have hardly any school financial implications.

“However, we do recognise that some parents may need more child care and have sought views on this as well.”

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