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.