East Leeds: Six week holidays? Not the David Young Community Academy

BACK TO SCHOOL: Ros McMullen, CEO of the Leaf Academy Trust.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Ros McMullen, CEO of the Leaf Academy Trust.
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FOR most pupils across Leeds September means the start of the new school year and the end of the long summer holidays.

But David Young Community Academy has been back in full swing for several months thanks to a timetable which its principal Ros McMullen says is better for pupils, parents and teachers.


The school in Seacroft has four weeks off during the summer rather than six.

Ms McMullen said: “The normal current school year makes no sense.

You end up with some terms which are so long that a lot of the issues you face as a head teacher are because the staff and children need a holiday.”

To equalise the calendar the school year is split into seven blocks: pupils began the year on June 8 and had six weeks at school before having a four week long break in the summer.

They returned to school in the middle of August and then work for another six weeks before having a week off at the end of September.

Ms McMullen said she believed it was better for teachers as it was easier to plan for lessons. She added: “When GCSE results day comes our school is already open.

The pupils are in and there is a real buzz about the place.

“The year 11 pupils can see all of their teachers and it makes it a very special day. “

She also suggested the system had an additional bonus for families.

“We have a week off in September and November where most schools are in.

“If more parents understood the benefit of this for holidays I might have fewer people wanting to take their children away during term time,” she said.