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Volunteers asked to pilot five-term year

Groups of schools and their local authorities are being invited to pilot a five-term calendar by the Local Government Association. More than a dozen city technology colleges, including the Djanogly College in Nottingham, are already working with the new calendar.

Each term would be eight weeks long, with no half-term break but with two weeks' holiday between terms plus the familiar six weeks in the summer. Among the perceived advantages of this approach are the end of the back-breaking autumn term, and the "dilution" of end-of-term fever. It would also better suit modular courses. Schools would break for Christmas, but other links with the ecclesiastical calendar which forms the basis for the traditional school year could be lost.

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