Six term year set for schools

A SIX-term school year branded as a big mistake by teachers' unions, has been approved in Suffolk.County councillors today backed proposals to restructure the school year, including shortening the summer break.

By Tracey Sparling

A SIX-term school year branded as a big mistake by teachers' unions, has been approved in Suffolk.

County councillors today backed proposals to restructure the school year, including shortening the summer break.

Unions representing more than 4,000 of the county's teachers have voiced their disapproval at the national plans, and disputed whether such proposals would raise standards in schools.

The National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) has joined the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in criticising the proposed move to six terms.

The changes which were proposed by the Local Government Association (LGA), include six equal terms with a fixed date for the Easter break and an earlier start for the summer break.

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The new system could be in place by 2004.

Earlier this week, NASUWT, which represents 1,700 of the county's teachers, called the current six-week summer break adequate and believes there are "no educational advantages" of starting the school year in August.

The NUT suggested the council would be making "a big mistake" if it supported the proposals and criticised consultation - carried out with interested parties - as "flawed".

The NUT, with 2,500 members in Suffolk, has called for a "gradual and cautious" approach to change.

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