Nottm Post: Terms and conditions still pending in school battle

From Nottingham Post

THE city council firmly believes changes are necessary to school terms to drive up standards.

But it has faced a major backlash from unions, teachers and parents over its five-term year plans. In spite of this, the authority has continued to insist this is the best way forward.

But today changes are announced to those plans.

The council has agreed to look at two models, one being the five-term year and the other similar to the current three-term structure, proposed by the City of Nottingham Governors’ Association.

It would see the six-week summer break cut to five weeks, a two-week holiday in October instead of the current one-week half-term and a fixed two-week holiday at the end of the spring term, regardless of when Easter falls.

The authority is seeking agreement with unions before consulting on the plans in September, with a final decision between the two models due to be made by the executive board in October.

However, reaching an agreement with unions may still prove tricky. The NASUWT is adamant it wants to have the six-week summer holiday maintained on the calendar, with members possibly prepared to take industrial action at the beginning of the next academic year.

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Pics from Parents Against 5 Term Year lobby

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Five-term experiment will damage education in city

Carol O’Connor’s column in today’s Nottingham Post

NASUWT is the largest teaching union in Nottingham and has consistently opposed a 5 term year. We see no educational benefit to the change and foresee many problems.

Nottingham will be the only area in the UK to adopt this change. This is an experiment, and one which the NASUWT believes will damage education in the city.

There is no evidence for increased learning. In fact 8-9 week terms without a break will exhaust children, particularly infants.

The evidence for ‘summer learning loss’ provided by the City Council comes from the USA, where summer holidays are 10-12 weeks long.

County schools, and a number of academies in the city, have already said they will remain on the three term year. This will lead to chaos for parents who have children in secondary and primary, or who live near the city boundary.

Different term times at different schools will lead to increased absence rates.

At, Djanogly Academy, the only Nottingham school to use the 5 term year, OFSTED reported that ‘…attendance levels over each year remain low. Partly, this is because of holidays taken by families during term time.’

Differing term times at local schools will lead to increased absence as employees take time off to look after their children. Summer holidays will have to be taken in a shorter period leading to staffing shortages.

Where there is a proven educational benefit the NASUWT will embrace changes to the education system. The 5 term year has not been shown to have any educational benefit.

A 5 term year will lead to higher absenteeism in Nottingham schools, difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers, and will be damaging to local business.

We will lobby Council Leader Jon Collins at Loxley House on 16 May at 5pm, and encourage all who are concerned about the 5 term year to join us.

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Protest song against the Five Term Year!

Briefing for NASUWT reps
Wednesday 9 May, 5.30pm
NASUWT East Midlands Regional Centre
Colliers Way, Phoenix Park

If your school does not have a rep please select someone (or a few if you’d like) to attend the briefing and report back to members at your school.

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Join NASUWT to lobby Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council, against the five term year  – Wednesday 16 May, 5pm

Download the poster and flyer using links below:
No 5 term year (2xA5)
No 5 term year (A3)

City Council Office
Loxley House
Station Street

Teachers in Nottingham are rightly outraged at the prospect of a five term year. It would be chaotic and disruptive for teachers, parents and pupils.

There is no proven educational benefit to a five term year. Evidence produced by the City Council in favour of the change is from theUnited States, where summer holidays last 10-12 weeks. No other council in the country has decided to adopt the five term year. This will make recruitment and retention in the city difficult.

Find out why we are against the five term year

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