PLANS to shorten the summer school holiday in favour of an extended October break in the Wee County are expected to garner parents' support.

Branded a long-standing issue, the current term dates include seven weeks of holidays in the summer and just one week in October along with two weeks each at Christmas and Easter.

Elected members at Clackmannanshire Council's People Committee heard that for a number of years, local parents have been expressing a view that the summer break is too long while the autumn break does not offer enough time.

They agreed to begin a public consultation, already underway, on the proposed changes, which would come into force in August 2022, potentially the first summer to have a holiday period cut by a week.

In 2012, there was already overwhelming support for changing the pattern, according to council papers, but all local authorities on the Forth Valley operate on the same dates.

This meant Stirling and Falkirk councils also needed to agree, but this was not the case with the latter so the change was never implemented.

Neighbouring Fife as well as Perth and Kinross councils already operate the six week summer and two week October holiday currently being proposed in the Wee County.

Stirling and Falkirk have now both agreed to seek approval on changing dates themselves and if it all goes ahead, the school holiday patterns will be aligned across all of Clackmannanshire's neighbouring areas as well.

As council documents highlight, the move would be particularly advantageous for parents and staff who work in one of the five areas, but live in another.

Having to manage different calendars and holiday patterns was branded a "nightmare" by Councillor Les Sharp, who revealed he has personal experience in the issue.

He also highlighted the long summer break puts pressure on parents to arrange activities or care for their children and can lead to rising living costs.

Mr Sharp concluded changing the pattern "makes absolute sense".

Cllr George Matchett was also in support of the "long-awaited, much-needed change".

He said the change also makes sense as the Wee County is a commuter area, but highlighted that consultation was "crucial".

Cllr Matchett added: "I'd be surprised if there isn't tremendous support."

The chamber heard the 2012 drew a higher-than-usual number of responses and a repeat of that is expected with each parent council to be approached and asked to engage with members on the issue.

Clackmannanshire Youth Council will also be consulted; people will be able to find the relevant survey using the portal.

It is understood the summer holiday would be cut by a week on the August end, something suggested by Cllr Donald Balsillie.