7th May 1999

 

MAJOR CONFERENCE HOSTED

 

A prestigious London conference to open a national debate on the five-term school year is being organised by academics from the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.

 

Professors Trevor Kerry and Brent Davies were the first in the country to conduct research into introducing a new system nationally for the benefit pupils, teachers and parents.

 

Together they run the Schools for the Future research project at the university’s International Educational Leadership Centre. Through a growing body of research the academics have revealed the damage caused by long summer holidays to the education system.

 

On Wednesday (12th May) 100 delegates will attend a conference on enhancing learning performance by changing the school year to five terms instead of three.

Under the scheme, there would be five terms of 8 weeks with two weeks break in between and a four-week summer holiday to replace the current six.

 

“Our research demonstrates the significant learning loss of long breaks and the amount of time wasted through revising work and catching up,” said Prof Kerry. “Vulnerable children are the ones who suffer the most - children whose families may be less supportive of their education.”

 

Dr Charles Ballinger, the executive director of America’s National Association for Year Round Education, will be among the speakers. “This conference will put the research into the five-term year onto the map and open the debate nationally,” said Prof Kerry.

 

The idea of the five-term year is well understood in America, and interest in an alternative method of retaining what children learn over breaks is now developing in this country.

 

Professors Kerry and Davies have travelled Britain advocating the scheme and discussing the benefits with local people. Support is growing - education authorities in Aberdeen and East Sussex are now considering implementing the changes.

 

 Ends

 

Press Officer Sam Hendley tel: 01522 886042