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Five terms will not cure all ills

YOUR report on Caroline Sharp's re-assessment of learning gains in the five-term year (TES, March 24) misses a vital point.

As far as this country goes, schools with five-term years are successful, but the roots of their success are not solely planted in calendar systems.

My research over the past three years for the International Education Leadership Centre has shown that the debate about calendar structures has become polarised, since no one calendar system is a panacea for improving learning quality in every circumstance.

The point is rather that schools tha have adopted five-term calendars have done so because they have open attitudes to management innovation. Good management systems, combined with improved use of school time generally, contribute to their success.

In May, the IELC is hosting a visit by educators from the Socorro school district (a year-round education district) in the USA, and a number of events are planned. Anyone who wants to become involved should contact me (

Trevor Kerry

Visiting professor


University of Lincolnshire and

Humberside, Lincoln

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