HALF-TERM HAS­SLES

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment&analysis -

To para­phrase the fa­mous Pe­sach ques­tion: why are Jewish schools’ half terms dif­fer­ent from all other schools’ half terms?

My two chil­dren at Jewish schools have been off, one for al­most two weeks and the other for one week, dur­ing the two weeks cov­ered by Suc­cot. The rest of the coun­try has been on half term this week.

The prob­lem is this: there was noth­ing for our chil­dren to do. All the hol­i­day schemes are geared to when most schools are off. The Jewish schools might ar­gue that fam­i­lies go to Is­rael for Suc­cot, but I would sug­gest that that is a mi­nor­ity — and ar­guably even smaller in th­ese con­strained times.

This gives work­ing par­ents like me and my hus­band a ma­jor headache in try­ing to find ac­tiv­i­ties to stop our chil­dren be­com­ing couch pota­toes. Nei­ther of us has enough leave in the course of a year to take off ev­ery school hol­i­day.

Jewish schools do this al­most ev­ery year — and some­times more than once. Per­haps some­one might like to ex­plain why. I would call on th­ese schools to fall in with the rest of the coun­try, rather than ar­rang­ing cal­en­dars to suit them­selves. Linda Sy­mons Muswell Hill, Lon­don N10

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