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Five terms better than three;What the parents say

Brooke Weston City Technology College, in Corby, has a five-term system. Its eight-week terms are separated by two-week breaks, plus a four-week summer holiday.

"I think it's great," said Wayne Davis, who has two children at the school. "This is better for learning. The children feel refreshed after a two-week break. A seven-week summer holiday wears you a bit thin - it wears your bank account a bit thin too!

"Socially there is a bit of a hiccup if friends or siblings are at different schools."

"Family holidays, potentially difficult with five terms, are not a major stumbling block and may be cheaper. "We go away more now than we ever did - nearly every term. We have the flexibility of going away for two weeks out of season, which costs a lot less."

"The Government has been talking about not taking children out of school for holidays," said Jeanette Ruegg, who has a son at Brooke Weston.

"But there would be less reason to if you've got a two-week block in October and May".

Some children have had problems convincing people they are not playing truant, said Alison Filsak who has two sons at the school.

"My sons have been questioned by adults who don't believe they're on holiday. They come home quite indignant."

Five terms have the approval of Catherine O'Rourke, the Parent Association chair, who has two daughters at Brooke Weston.

"I think it's wonderful," she said. "The children know exactly how long they get and can set their own learning targets for each term.

"The two-week holidays give them a real breather and I've never heard them complain that they wished the four-week summer was longer.

"I also like the fact that the school is actually open when the exam results come out."

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