Kids will thank us for shortening the school summer holidays

Oh for a normal summer – so close now, but Covid remains capricious, a wave across Europe threatening to wash it all away. But just think: for some schoolchildren, and their parents, the normality of the long six-week summer break may not be such an appealing prospect. Sure, the middle-classes are able to pack it with enriching activities – exciting new skills, friendships and memories. But, for kids in families with stretched budgets, it can be isolating, impoverishing, boring. And, as quite a substantial body of evidence now shows, very bad for their emotional and cognitive development – some studies even conclude that the majority of the attainment gap between