Mixed feelings over latest plan for school term shake-up
PARENTS have expressed mixed feelings over planned changes to school holidays.
Nottingham City Council, which was previously looking at introducing a five-term year, is now planning to stick to the three-term year – but reducing the six-week summer holiday by a week.
The new school year would also have a two-week break in October and a fixed spring break.
As the Post reported earlier this month, National Union of Teachers members in the city will be balloted about whether to strike over the proposals.
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The council is set to decide whether to adopt the latest proposals or the five-term year as originally proposed on Tuesday, November 20.
Diane Pastore, 43, of Wollaton, has a nine-year-old daughter at Fernwood Federation and a son in Year 7 at Fernwood School.
Her children would have different school holidays because Fernwood Federation is council-run but Fernwood School is an academy.
Mrs Pastore said: "Nadia may not go to the same school as her brother because of her special needs so it may cause a problem. We all had six weeks holiday off when we were kids and it's something you looked forward to. You've got other countries that have much longer off."
However, Nicola Warden, of Snape Wood, who has children aged four and six at Cantrell Primary School in Bulwell, said: "I've got no personal problem with it. I know most kids are bored by the end of the six weeks' holiday and start to misbehave – although I do enjoy them being off for a big chunk of the summer."
The council says the plans are only opposed by three of the eight teaching unions – the NUT, the NASUWT and the ALT.
Bernie Pardon, Nottingham national executive member of NASUWT, said the union could not "rule anything out" when asked if would also strike.
He added: "Our position is we don't consider that the council, or the authority, has produced any evidence to demonstrate that the current pattern of school year terms doesn't work.
"Equally we don't feel there's been any evidence presented to demonstrate that the proposals for change will benefit children and young people's education."
However, Councillor David Mellen, portfolio holder for children's services, said that 70 per cent of parents that responded to initial plans for a five-term year were supportive.
He added: "I think we've demonstrated as a council that we're prepared to listen to our customers, the parents, and our workforce and so that five of the eight unions say this is reasonable."
What do you think about the new proposal? E-mail Education Correspondent Marcus Boocock at email@example.com.