Frank Leavers Wednesday article on possible changes to the school year hopes for a greater flexibility in summer holidays which might allow families to avoid exploitive high season rates.

Having had one foot in the tourist accommodation business for many years I couldn't agree more.
If I could have achieved summer occupancy levels in winter I could have offered off season rates all year round without a dint in the profits, I think most in the industry would agree.

Education Minister Michael Gove is not concerned with tourism but wants children to work more hours each day and more weeks each year.
Poorly educated teenagers leaving school are his target which logically more teaching would benefit.
The counter argument is of over working the youngster particularly in primary schools and restricting their childhood experience.
University students could not use this argument but are under worked. I did a 4 year course with three 10 week terms of study.
The breaks, 2 weeks at Xmas, 4 at Easter and almost 4 months at summer were not needed for recuperation nor for extra study. In fact to make ends meet you had to find work.

I'd deliver mail at Christmas, wait tables at Easter and wash dishes at Butlins during the summer. Even then it was not so easy to find employment 3 separate times a year but in today's crisis it may be impossible.

I benefited somewhat in life's experiences but really it was a big waste of my time. If the Varsity year had been expanded to 4 terms it would still have left a very generous 12 week break.

More importantly I would have graduated after 3 years, one year earlier; extended my career, bringing more income tax to the state not to mention more income to me when I most needed it.

I don't see the MPs in Westminster going for this as it would draw attention to their year which is very similar to the University one - in fact they luxuriate in 5 holidays a year not 3! Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma