The government is looking at the possibility of shortening the six-week school summer holiday and moving to a five-term academic year, reports the i newspaper.

In an interview with i, before schools reopen in England on Monday, the education secretary Gavin Williamson said changes to the school calendar were among the options being considered by the government’s “education catch-up tsar”, Sir Kevan Collins.

Asked by i whether England’s current six-week summer holiday was too long, Williamson said: “I think we should never be nervous about looking at new routes and different ways of doing things.”

He said there had “always been a lively and strong debate around actually is the distribution of holidays the right distribution?”.

Williamson told the newspaper: “There’s been discussion about five-term years. It’s right to have that discussion, look at the evidence and make an assessment as to what are the best options…this is why we’ve asked Kevan to look at all options.”