It was back to school for 14'339 pupils and back to work for 7'681 teachers in the Balearics yesterday as the winter term got underway. With the police out on the streets in force as part of the back to school operation, controlling traffic and parking, the Balearic Minister for Education and Culture, Damia Pons, said that the new term started “with absolute normality” in comparison to previous back to school operations. Pons said that the main reason was because a great deal of time and effort has been channelled into ensuring that yesterday passed off as smoothly as possible. There were plenty of tears at school gates with 24'568 children starting infant school, but for the remainder, there was nothing but smiles as students were pleased to see their school mates again and end their long summer break. This term, while on thmainland there has been a decline in the number of pupils, in the Balearics, numbers have risen with the immigrant population continuing to balloon. Pons yesterday used the start of the new term to advise students against leaving school at 16 and going straight into employment.