7th May 1999
PORTUGUESE TRIP FOR PROFESSOR
An academic from the Lincoln-based International Educational Leadership Centre has visited Portugal to study an education system very different to our own.
Prof Trevor Kerry, an advocate of the five-term school year, is a research fellow at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside and has travelled Europe to further his research into its benefits.
Portuguese children have 10 to 11-week summer break which Prof Kerry
and fellow academic Prof Brent Davies believe can cause significant learning loss in schools.
Prof Kerry was joined on the trip to Sesimbra in Portugal by his wife Carolle, a freelance author and former vice-chairman of governors at Lincoln’s Fosse Way school.
Together they visited three schools, a special educational needs unit, a vocational training centre and the local education Ministry.
The programme was very demanding. “We wanted to make every second count,” said Prof Kerry. “Some of the facilities visited were of a very high standard but one impression was of the very poor conditions of service that Portuguese teachers have to endure.”
Many teachers do not have permanent contracts and many have to re-apply for a post every year. They can be re-deployed anywhere in the country at three days’ notice.
“This makes teachers very insecure and prevents long-term planning in schools,” said Prof Kerry.
Professors Kerry and Davies are hoping that the university will host a visit from Sesimbra’s educators later this year.
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