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Holiday poopers

Readers will recall that the earth very nearly shook as Edinburgh councillors discussed the vexed question of school holidays - well, the city chambers chandeliers vibrated at least.

The main issue, of course, is not extra holidays but when they should be. A report from Fife indicates perfectly the complexities involved in satisfying all the interests.

The school board at Donibristle primary wanted the February break extended to one week, compensated for by surrendering the Monday holiday in June and taking two days from the summer break. Lochgelly High school board's priority was a brief October break from Monday to Friday, adding a single day to the summer holidays which would then commence on July 2, 1999.

And the head of Greyfriars primary requested the February break be changed from ThursdayFriday to FridayMonday or MondayTuesday - presumably nothing to do with desperation for a long weekend.

Fife's education department appeared to understand all this, got out its collective diary, and produced sound reasons why none of these suggestions was acceptable. We are sure they know what they are doing.

Then there is the question of the millennium. The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association wanted to know whether there were plans for special holidays to mark the occasion.

The Scottish Office appears to be on the job already and has decreed that December 31, 1999, will be the official holiday. Clearly another blow against teacher morale. For, as Fife so delicately put it, this date "is embraced within the Christmas school holiday period".

The crafty so-and-so's.

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