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School terms ‘unlikely’ to be extended into summer, but not ruled out

Gibraltar’s schools are “unlikely” to extend their term time into the summer months but the possibility has not been ruled out, Education Minister Gilbert Licudi said on Saturday, adding that the final decision could depend on developments in the UK educational system.

Speaking at the 4pm press conference, Mr Licudi said senior education staff had discussed the possibility of extending the summer term beyond early July, when schools usual break.

But he said there were no plans for change at present, despite schools being closed during the lockdown, adding that teachers would continue to support students via home-learning platforms including a new one aimed at GCSE students that the government will roll out imminently.

“It is something that we have discussed briefly, myself and my senior staff at the Department of Education,” he said, adding: “My own view is that is unlikely to happen.”

Mr Licudi said schools would likely continue with the term in as normal a manner as current circumstances allow, and then break for the summer.

He said any decision on keeping schools open beyond the normal end of the summer term could be influenced by developments in the UK.

“It’s important to emphasise that we are aligned to the UK, so if the UK took the view that schools should reopen and there should be some form of arrangement over the summer, then that is something that we would have to consider,” he said.

“But at the moment the arrangements are that the summer term will be the normal summer term and if we are back to normal and people can enjoy their summer holidays, then so be it.”

“Otherwise we will, even throughout the summer, continue to support our children.”