5th March 1999
SCHOOL DEBATE GOES NORTH OF THE BORDER
A professor from the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside who helped put the idea of the five-term school year on the national agenda whose research has taken the debate north of the border on a visit to Aberdeen.
Professors Brent Davies and Trevor Kerry from the International Educational Leadership Centre in Lincoln are advocates of a change in the school year following extensive research into its merits for children.
Aberdeen City Council invited Prof Kerry to lead discussions on the issue in its education department. As part of a two-day consultation he toured local schools, meeting pupils, staff and headteachers.
Fifty members of Aberdeen’s active Parents’ Forum turned up to discuss the benefits a five-term year could have for their children. This was then followed by a similar meeting with the children themselves.
“The Student Forum was the highlight of the trip,” said Prof Kerry. “Most of the youngsters, even in the primary schools, had read from our articles on the subject.”
Part of their discussion was filmed and shown later on Grampian Television.
According to Professors Kerry and Davies, one of the main problems with the current system is the loss of learning that results from the long summer break. Prof Kerry met with members of the Aberdeen psychological service to discuss this issue and was impressed by the high level of debate generally.
“We are hoping that contacts between Aberdeen and the university will continue, and there are some plans for joint investigation and collaboration,” he added.
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