Union welcomes report that education officials have withdrawn plan to impose 5-term year, which had led to series of strikes by teachers in the city (pictured)
It has emerged that the council’s executive board is to consider new proposals next week which would see schools adopt a shorter summer holiday, but one which is ‘less different’ to that of neighbouring authorities.
Nottingham council head of children’s services, David Mellen says he now accepts the workforce was opposed to 5-term proposal from the outset, but denied the new plans are a ‘climbdown’.
The change of heart follows three days of strike action by NUT members in the spring and a possible threat of further action involving NASUWT and ATL members.
NUT general secretary, Christine Blower, said: “The City Council’s decision to positively respond to the views of the parents and teachers by moving away from plans to impose a five year term on Nottingham City schools is certainly a step in the right direction.
“The decision to start fresh consultations in the autumn term with teachers and the general public could mean that the NUT is one step nearer to resolving the dispute and avoiding further strike action.”
The Labour-controlled council argued that a shorter summer break would ease child-care pressure on low-earning families and improve learning for pupils.
However, teachers argued there was no evidence that shorter holidays helped pupils retain what they had learned.
Instead, the NUT said differences in school timetables would make recruitment and retention of teachers more difficult and cause widespread disruption to the families of teachers and pupils working at or attending schools outside the Nottingham city boundaries.
Says Christine Blower: “Teachers and pupils in England and Wales already spend longer hours in the classroom than those in most other countries and many countries also have longer summer holidays than the UK.
“It makes no sense whatsoever to have alternative holiday times in some parts of the county.
“This would create a situation where families could find themselves with children at different schools not being able to take their holidays at the same time”.
If the new proposals are agreed by the executive board, they will be put out to a new round of consultation in September.
You can watch a film report on the NUT’s campaign against the 5-term school year here:
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