September 2015 marks a change in the school holiday system as all schools will be able to decide their own term dates.

Currently, term dates are set by the council, but the plans are being put in place to give schools greater autonomy and to allow for more blocks of working time. This could see many state schools switching away from the traditional long summer holidays in favour of shorter ones spread more evenly across the year.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) says it will cause problems for families with children in different schools and it claims that holiday firms will take advantage and extend the peak booking period in order to encompass all dates.

Christine Blower, head of the NUT, said: “Holiday companies will almost certainly just expand the period over which they charge premium rates so there will be no benefit to families, or indeed the general public who will have fewer weeks of less expensive holidays.”

An education department spokesman said: “It is right that all schools are free to set their own term dates in the interests of parents and pupils.”

Academies already have the power to decide their term dates. The changes to state schools will mean that they can change their term dates but must operate within the minimum of 190 school days per year.