SCHOOLS run by Blackburn with Darwen Council are to have the same holidays as those run by County Hall.

Borough councillors have voted through the reform which will come into affect in 2018/19.

Cllr Dave Harling, the executive member for education, said said adopting the same holiday pattern as Lancashire County Council for schools run by Blackburn with Darwen was the best option for parents.

He added that the holidays will be the same for primaries and secondaries.

Cllr Harling said a uniform system for state schools across East Lancashire meant their academies, church and independent schools were ‘more likely’ adopt the same pattern.

However the move was questioned by borough council deputy leader Cllr Andy Kay at the executive board meeting recently..

He said it landed families planning to go on holiday with higher prices and questioned why the borough is following the county’s lead despite is becoming a unitary authority in 1998.

However Cllr Harling said the uniform timetable between the two councils suited schools, parents with children either side of the council border, and teachers living in either area who had teacher partners or children at schools in the other.

He added that when the 2016/17 county council holiday calendar was published, the borough objected to a half-term holiday in November and succeeded in it being moved into October.

Cllr Kay said: “There are good historical reasons for Blackburn with Darwen having different schools holidays to the rest of Lancashire related to the old ‘Wakes Weeks’ workers’ holidays.

“Aligning them with the county pushes them into the highest-priced peak holiday prices meaning families have to pay more

“I don’t see why we should give up our distinctiveness and independence on this issue.”

Cllr Harling said: “I understand where Cllr Kay is coming from but we have consulted with schools, teachers about this and adopting the county council pattern makes sense.”

The 2018/19 term pattern will be: autumn from September 3 to December 21 with half-term from October 22 to 26; spring from January 7 to April 5 with half-term between February 18 and 22 and summer from April 23 to July 23 with half-term between May 27 and 31.

Tory group leader Cllr John Slater said: “This is the right decision.”