» Thursday, March 4, 2004

Six-Term School Year

Asked if the Prime Minister was looking forward to a six-term school year, the PMOS said that he hadn’t heard the Prime Minister express a view on the matter. The Department for Education was continuing the debate. Put to him that the Education Secretary had said on the radio this morning that he had approved the idea and had told LEAs that they could go ahead with it, the PMOS pointed out that this did not automatically mean that all schools across the country would suddenly switch to six terms. Asked if Downing Street would like to see the scheme operate nationally, the PMOS said we believed that it was important to extend choice, but local decision-making was obviously essential in such matters.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. I am 14, and to hear this makes no sense. It would only be splitting half terms into full terms. I can see no bennifit, and no cause for it. Does it give students extra holidays of something. if anyone knows anymore please e-mail me at

    Comment by Antony — 4 Mar 2004 on 5:25 pm | Link
  2. With the government policy on improved educational services failing and employers legitimately bemoaning the dilution of A levels and other qualifications then "something must be done".
    If there is one thing that they can do without ‘cocking it up’ it must be to change the concept of three terms into six terms – probably named ‘term one’, ‘term two’ ……… ‘term six’ so that nobody has a clue what part of the year is being discussed when someone mentions ‘term four’.We can then all have meaningless discussions about "Year 6 term four".
    Please can I have the really well paid Job of implementing this challenging change?

    Comment by Roger Huffadine — 4 Mar 2004 on 6:12 pm | Link
  3. Clearly someone from CIPFA is behind this. Only an accountant could possibly come up with this idea. The fact that politicians are taken in shows that the sport of shifting deckchairs on the Titanic is alive and well,,,hopefully not for too much longer!

    Comment by Tony — 4 Mar 2004 on 11:56 pm | Link
  4. Hold on to me is seems a good idea. Consider that at the moment a school child is subjected to over 100 examinations between the ages of 5 and 18. They are obviously in desperate need of time to book appointments at the shrink.

    If their parents took them out during school time they would get fined.
    This clearly solves this awkward problem.

    WAKE UP!! Make the kids study fewer exams but of higher quality. Don’t break up the year with constant interuptions – no one learns anything like that. Fewer exams, higher quality and more sport – solves most problems.

    Comment by Daniel — 5 Mar 2004 on 12:32 am | Link
  5. I am a governor at a local large primary school.
    Our local education authority recently sent out a consultation on the 6 terms school year.
    The consultation was dropped – because firstly they were trying to rush it through, secondly, lack of response and thirdly there would be a potential loss of of pupils to neighbouring authorities who would not consider a six term year.
    A six term year would not be any more benefitial to the current 3 term year.
    Government should be looking at a 5 term year.
    A 5 term year is already in existence in a local City Technology College. This proves to be advantageous in pupil achievement. However, unless it is taken on nationally, local authorities would encounter difficulties in losses of pupil numbers to neighbouring authorities.

    Comment by Richard Thornton — 5 Mar 2004 on 1:22 pm | Link
  6. we have no idea what is happening
    we think that everything should be kept the same as it is.

    Comment by bec and ash — 8 Nov 2004 on 2:22 pm | Link
  7. I am 14 and think that this idea is ill thought out and pointless. I can\x92t see how it benefits anyone at all. I have asked around and no one seems in favour of the idea. Maybe it is because we are too \x91young\x92 to see the benefit for us, but the full time teacher I asked was completely against the idea as well. The school year would become less structured, and there would be no real gap in between school years, it would be like one continuous cycle. Maybe half terms are quite short, but I think pupils all over the country depend on the 6 week (varies) summer holidays. Have the government/LEAs thought about how summer holidays abroad would be disrupted?
    If anyone has any further details about the 6-term year (i.e. exactly how the year would be structured and how long the summer holidays would be, or the reasoning behind it), I would be very grateful to hear them, so I can check that my facts are right. Please reply on this page if you have any information about it.

    Comment by Georgia — 5 Mar 2005 on 5:43 pm | Link

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