On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

1st March 2013 at 00:00

This week: school holiday deniers

Being a teacher is tough: the long hours, the stress, the badly behaved pupils (and colleagues), the never-ending reforms from government. You know how it goes.

So it is a good job that the holidays are long, right? Sure, they drive your friends who work in the private sector mad with envy, but you need them (even if they are spent catching up on work). And let's be honest: you enjoy your mates' jealousy.

Thirteen weeks a year and a lovely six weeks off in the summer. Well deserved, we at TES say. But there is a creeping notion that your long summer breaks are a bad idea. Heresy!

Last year, Nottingham City Council attempted to reform holidays and introduce five terms a year, prompting an outcry from teachers. And now even the French, those bastions of European socialism, are at it. The country's education minister, Vincent Peillon, has proposed that summer holidays be cut from eight weeks to six. Barely enough time to bake a baguette.

So, while the government over here wants you to contribute more to your pensions at the same time as freezing your pay, it's time to take a stand for what you believe in.

Yes, there's the stuff about changing young people's lives and inspiring a love of learning, but there is also the right to enjoy a good bit of feet-up time in between. So, to all those who want to lay their hands on teachers' holidays, it is off to the naughty step with you, where you can have a nice sit down and a think about the importance of rest.

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