Council has agreed to reconsider plans to impose new school timetable and scrap traditional summer holidays

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Nottingham city council appears to be seeking a dignified exit from its plan to impose a 5-term school year across the city.

(Pictured: NUT strike rally, 29 March)

The council has agreed to hold talks over ‘alternative models of terms and holidays’ with all the school unions.

It follows convened by Acas between the NUT and Nottingham City Council.

The union took three days of strike action in March and April against the proposal. It has agreed to suspend further industrial action pending the outcome of the talks.

In a joint statement, the two sides said: “Following constructive discussions, under the auspices of Acas, over proposed changes to school terms and holidays pattern, it has been agreed that a further meeting will be called with all of the schools trade unions to look at alternative models of terms and holidays.”

It is known that other local authority and education unions in the city are all opposed to the 5-term year plans, so it seems likely that the original proposal will no longer be an option.

The council claimed the 5-term year term would mean better continuity for pupils. The NUT said there was no evidence for this and the plans would conflict with the school timetables of every other local authority in England.

Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said: “I am pleased that the NUT has reached agreement which provides for all options to be considered, to form part of constructive negotiations which will now involve all unions representing school staff.”

The Acas statement says the outcome of the all-union talks will then by considered by Nottingham City Executive Councillors.

Cllr David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services in Nottingham, said: “I am pleased that progress has been made in our aim to best meet the needs of our City children in the way our terms and holidays are arranged.”

Jim Kerr, Senior Conciliator from Acas, said: “This is a complex and challenging issue and we are grateful to the parties for their commitment and constructive efforts in the talks. This has enabled an agreed way forward which Acas is happy to continue to support.”


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