What the Teachers Say..about the school year

3rd March 2000 at 00:00
Eric Melvin, headteacher of Currie community high school in Edinburgh, said he was in favour of changing to a four-term school year.

"I would be in favour of four terms of roughly equal length," he said. "The very long summer holiday does disadvantage some children and the first term back is often a long haul for teachers."

Marjorie Condon from

Kilburn Park primary school in Kilburn, north London, agreed that a four-term year would be beneficial.

"Educationally, economically and socially it has benefits," she said. "Teaching is a hard job and it makes sense for staff to have more regular breaks. By recharging their batteries more often standards can only improve. "Socially, children and parents often find it hard to cope with the long summer break. The kids are often away from their friends and spend a lot of time inside because they have little else to do. "Economically, childcare can be expensive and hard to find for working parents over the summer."

Phil Davison teaches history at Christchurch C of E school, North Finchle, London.

" The pay is so poor and the job so stressful that you need good, long, extended holidays to recover. The summer holiday is also a rite of passage for children and it is important that they too recuperate and recharge their batteries. We must not let education become seamless without any psychological progression."

Mike Williams, deputy headteacher, Rhyl high school, Denbighshire, said: "About 90 per cent of the staff at our school are against the proposed changes. They feel the 10-week terms would be too long for both teachers and pupils and are happy to keep the present situation with the half-terms.

"Although it wouldn't suit us we do appreciate that some schools would benefit, depending on their catchment area."

Charlottte Paine, deputy headteacher of Willesborough infant school in Ashford, Kent, says: "By the time you get to the end of the summer term both the the children and teachers really need some revitalisation. I think it will create some problems because non-teaching staff might have other jobs."

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