Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th May 1959.
asked the Minister of Education how many local education authorities have introduced a four-term school year; and to what extent such an arrangement requires his approval.
None, as far as my right hon. Friend knows, but, since such an arrangement does not require his approval, there may be one or two which have done so.
Does not the Parliamentary Secretary think it is about time that we stopped tying our school children to the church calendar, with the moving Easter? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this year same grammar schools have five weeks' holiday at Easter? In the highly competitive, harsh world in which we live today, can the hon. Gentleman justify five weeks holiday for 18-year-olds at Easter?
I think that my right hon. Friend would become rather unpopular if he started dogmatising too much about the length of holidays. Authorities have discretion to divide the school year into four terms if they think it desirable. My right hon. Friend does not think that the advantages are clear enough to justify him calling for a radical change of this kind. I agree that holidays should be reasonable in length and that there is no harm in hard work in any kind of secondary school.