A Welsh Government consultation on changing the school year cost £130,000 to undertake, figures have revealed, despite all the major teaching unions coming out in opposition to the proposals.

Unions warned that more than a quarter of school support workers will quit if the changes are made to holidays in Wales.

The Welsh government held a consultation which ended in February on proposals to shorten the school summer holiday by one week and lengthen the October half-term by a similar amount.

The government says the move would boost pupil attainment and help minimise staff fatigue.

However, a Unison Cymru/Wales survey of nearly 3,000 school support staff found they wanted ministers to prioritise dealing with staff shortages, low pay and increased workloads.

Plaid Cymru, including Ceredigion MP Ben Lake and Ms Elin Jones, has ruled out supporting reform of the school year if new school terms clash with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show or the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

In the Senedd last week, in response to a question from Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew R.T. Davies, Minister Jeremy Miles said the consultation had cost £130,000.

Mr Miles said: “We will continue to do what is best for teachers and learners across Wales, engaging and working with education workforce unions as we do so.

“The recent consultation on the School Year, which closed on 12 February 2024, was an opportunity for everyone across Wales to share their views on how we best structure the school year, to tackle educational inequalities and improve learner and staff well-being.

“We are now considering the responses ahead of any decisions.”

Welsh Conservative MS Laura Anne Jones, Shadow Education Minister, said: “The Labour Welsh Government continues to blow money on their pet projects without taking advice from experts in the field.

“To continue with this policy, which has been roundly rejected, is characteristic of Labour Ministers who refuse to roll up their sleeves and solve the deep-seated issues in our education system.

“The Welsh Conservatives would listen to teachers, scrap school holiday reform and appropriately fund education in Wales to save Labour’s lost generation.”

The proposals, if given the go-ahead by the Welsh Government, will come into effect from September 2025.

Teachers and pupils will still get 13 weeks of break, the Welsh Government says, but schools would get a two-week break in October 2025 and a five-week summer break in 2026.