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Queen's day leads to holiday havoc

TEACHERS could lose a bank holiday and local authorities be forced to change term dates under government proposals for the Queen's Jubilee.

The extra bank holiday to celebrate the Golden Jubilee is scheduled for June 2, 2002. It has not yet been confirmed but plans, now out to consultation, would also see the usual spring bank holiday move from the last Monday in May to Tuesday, June 3.

Half-term would normally run the week before these dates and some authorities have already set their holiday patterns for 2002.

But the Government wants to shift the 2002 summer half-term forward to coincide with the week of the Jubilee bank holiday, meaning teachers and pupils would miss out on an extr day off.

The National Union of Teachers opposes the move, saying: "It is inappropriate ... that teachers lose the benefit of an additional bank holiday. It is also inappropriate to alter long-established arrangements for the summer half term."

Consultation on the arrangements, carried out by the Department of Trade and Industry, was not extended to teachers' organisations, the union claims.

If the half-term holiday ran the week before the two bank holidays, teachers' working year of 195 days would have to be reduced to 194.

The Government would also have to amend regulations for 2001-02, to reduce the number of days schools are required to be open from 190 to 189 days.

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