Councillors in Nottingham are today expected to give final approval to controversial changes to the school year in the city. The city council's ruling Executive Board is set to reduce the summer holiday from six weeks to five.
The new-look model would see an academic year made up of three terms, with a two-week break in October and a fixed spring break. The move is a compromise from the council's initial plans to introduce a five-term year.
Councillor David Mellen, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said:
Five of the eight unions affected by the changes are supporting the new model.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has rejected the proposals even before they have been approved. It says staff and pupils need the six-week summer holiday to be fresh for the new year. Yesterday it announced the result of a ballot of its members in Nottingham. Seventy-three percent opposed the changes.
Nearly 70% said they were prepared to take strike action over the issue. Earlier this year, the NUT staged a series of strikes over the council's original plans for a five-term year. The union suspended the action to enter into talks with the council and the conciliation service ACAS.
Ian Stevenson, NUT Regional Secretary, said:
If approved, the new-look school year will be introduced in September 2013.