Two weeks' less summer holidays in Belgian schools from next year?
The education committee of the Parliament of the Belgian French-speaking Community officially approved the planned reform of the school year from 2022-2023, which will see summer holidays shortened by two weeks. The approved reform consists of periods of seven (minimum six, maximum eight) weeks of lessons, alternating with periods of two weeks' holiday.
Flanders is considering a similar move, with Education Minister Ben Weyts consulting the Flemish Education Council (VLOR) and the social partners (SERV) on the matter. A decision is expected in June, his cabinet confirmed to The Brussels Times. The approved reform means that the summer holidays, which traditionally begin on 1 July and end on 31 August, will be shortened from nine to seven weeks for pupils in French-speaking schools.
In practice, pupils in Wallonia and the French-speaking parts of Brussels will start the next school year on Monday 29 August 2022 (a week earlier than the usual first Monday of September), and end it on Friday 7 July 2023 (a week later than the regular last week of June).
To compensate, an extra week of vacation will be added to both the All Saints holidays (in autumn) and Carnival (in spring), making them two weeks long, instead of just one. Nothing changes for the Christmas and Easter holidays, which will both still last two weeks.
In the Committee, the opposition parties asked for the reform to be postponed until the next school year (2023-2024) because many families would have to adapt plans that have already been made. However, their amendments were not taken into account. Within two weeks, the text is expected to be definitively approved in the plenary.