Debate Magazine

Lockdown is a Golden Opportunity to Realign the Academic Year with the Calendar Year

Posted on the 28 June 2020 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

My daughter, who is in her first year of doing A-levels came up with this plan, which I thought was pretty good:
1. Schools and universities all start again in September with the syllabus they were supposed to cover in the summer term.
2. Pupils and students who should have taken exams this summer just take them in December instead, when everything is hopefully nearly back to normal.
3. The academic year now ends in December with a few weeks off for Xmas before the next academic year starts. Hooray, lazing around and partying without anything to revise and no homework to do!
4. Bonus #1 is that people will get real GSCEs or A-Levels in December 2020, instead of notional GSCEs or A-Levels awarded by their teachers. Surely a real B grade is better than a notional A grade?
5. Bonus #2 is that the anachronistic and nonsensically long summer holiday would be a thing of the past, each school just pencils in a few shorter holidays of two or three weeks* scattered through the year, which would reduce the price differential between 'summer season' and 'rest of year'.
* So they can have holidays to coincide with European Cup, World Cup, Olympics, Wimbledon (for the posh schools) etc and kids and teachers can enjoy them in full. A level pupils get a few weeks off during festival season. And so on.

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