Sunday 25 May 2008

A five-term year makes sense

Today's suggestion by the IPPR that schools should move towards a five-term year is an enormously practical contribution to the debate about how best to raise school standards. After the disruption of this year's early Easter, with schools facing breaks every few weeks, many teachers would welcome the idea. Some city technology colleges and academies - which are free from local authority norms - already opt for this approach to good effect. In the late nineties, an LGA commission that tackled the issue came unstuck as a result of teacher opposition, and came forward with the half-hearted six-term year instead. By having five broadly equal terms, pupils' learning is more structured; with shorter summer holidays, something that many parents would surely welcome, they forget less of what they have been taught. It is time to revisit this issue.

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