East Sussex County Council declared an early move to a five-term year to be its "preferred option" and embarked on a consultation exercise to sound out the public's view.
Every school in the county was provided with a video setting out the perceived advantages of such a change. Information, also favouring the proposal, was sent to parents, governors and teachers. The exercise was certainly successful: 23,000 people made their views known, the largest ever response to a county council matter. The result was equally impressive: 73 per cent of respondents rejected the idea of the five-term year. This was on top of huge mail bags of protest to county councillors and local MPs.
The result: it will not be happening in the foreseeable future. It would be nice to think that other authorities, currently trying to seduce their parents, pupils and teachers into embracing this alleged panacea, would take note of the carefully considered verdict of the people of East Sussex. It would be hard to imagine a more complete refutation of any proposal.
Chair of governors
Plumpton primary school
Lewes, East Sussex