Six-term school year begins

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The first radical shake-up of the school calendar for more than a century will see nearly 450,000 pupils moving to a new six-term year from this week.

The first radical shake-up of the school calendar for more than a century will see nearly 450,000 pupils moving to a new six-term year from this week.

More than 1,500 schools in at least a dozen education authorities are introducing the timetable from the beginning of this term. Around 80 of the 150 authorities in England are expected to have started it by September next year, and local authority leaders say every school could be on the timetable by September 2006.

Under the shake-up, the year will be broken into six terms of roughly equal length. Some authorities are planning a longer than usual half-term break in October so pupils and teachers can refresh themselves for the run-up to Christmas. There will also be a fixed two-week break in April.

Supporters of the six-term year say it will relieve teachers' stress and improve pupil behaviour. They are holding discussions with Mike Tomlinson, the former chief schools inspector who is heading a government inquiry into exam reform, to see if A-levels and GCSEs could be brought forward. This would allow students to apply to university after they have received their A-levels rather than scramble for places if they fail to get the grades they need for provisional offers.

Comments