Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd January 1959.
asked the Minister of Education if his attention has been drawn to the discussion at the recent meeting of the Incorporated Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary Schools on the proposal that the academic year should be changed by introducing two school summer holidays and inaugurating a school year of four terms and if he will give consideration to such a plan and make a statement.
My right hon. Friend welcomes discussion of such a scheme but does not consider that its advantages are clear enough to justify him in calling for such a radical change in present arrangements.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the existing arrangements have many drawbacks, especially in respect of holidays and examinations arrangements, and while it is hardly appropriate to deploy all the arguments at Question Time, is it not a matter on which some long-term study might be made and parents, in particular, brought into consultation?
Authorities have discretion under the regulations to divide the school year into four terms if they think it desirable to do so, but to make this change generally would require a wide measure of agreement by all those who would be affected. That is why I said in the Answer that my right hon. Friend welcomes discussion of this topic.