Peter Aldous raises tourist industry concerns about proposals to shorten school summer holidays

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): I want to say a few words about clause 44, which gives individual schools the ability to set their own term times and potentially reduce summer holidays from six to four weeks. I understand the rationale for that measure both from an educational point of view and from the perspective of giving schools greater autonomy, but there is concern that the measure could have a significant adverse impact on the tourism industry, in particular on family seaside attractions such as Pleasurewood Hills and Africa Alive! in my constituency.
 
Such businesses tend to be concentrated in specific areas, very often on the coast, and they are an important component in the local economy. A good summer season is vital to the viability and profitability of many such businesses. Cutting the traditional summer holiday by a third could be extremely damaging to many local economies around the country. To properly assess the impact of the proposal, will my right hon. Friend the Minister consider carrying out an impact assessment while the Bill is being considered in the other place?

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