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Why six terms are better than three

Doug McAvoy's claim that having six even terms would increase stress for teachers cannot be a serious response by the National Union of Teachers to a proposal supported by more than 60 per of teachers responding to the consultation on the six-term year. The idea of a two-week break in October had more than 80 per cent support and that is already happening in parts of Scotland.

Change is difficult to achieve in the educational world but having two seven-week blocks followed by four of six weeks has to be better than the present long terms of uneven length, which mean students and staff become over-tired.

Issues such s the date of exams are separate, but moving them from the hay-fever season can only help thousands of candidates. Having the results at the end of term in July is preferable to issuing them in the middle of August.

Local government does believe that the structure of the school year can reduce stress and help to raise standards. The present proposed changes are hardly revolutionary and certainly will not increase stress on staff.

Graham Lane

Chair, Education and Lifelong Learning Executive

Local Government Association,

Local Government House

Smith Square, London SW1

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