Letter: Five terms at school

Sir: I have just heard that a primary school is about to change to a five term year with its longest holiday being four weeks in the summer.

While this may have the support of parents and staff and is claimed to be of educational benefit, has anyone stopped to ask when the school buildings will be maintained and repaired or when any new building work or alterations could take place?

As an architect, I have just reached the end of another frantic seven- week holiday period, completing alterations to school buildings. It is only too clear that any reduction in the length of the summer holiday will render it impossible to undertake anything but the simplest work without causing major disruption to a school.

Have school authorities considered the costs involved in hiring and fitting out temporary accommodation (assuming that there is space in which to put it) whilst building work is carried out, or considered the effects of noisy building work on the ability of pupils and staff to concentrate?

The backlog of major repairs to school buildings after years of underfunding is of major concern and seems certain to be further frustrated if schools go down the road of shorter holiday periods.

This appears to be another case of lack of "joined up thinking".

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