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School’s out forever

Scrap long summer holidays

By Sonia Sodha   July 2012

Row after row of desks, classes of over 60 children, punishment by caning, the dunce’s cap; thankfully these are aspects of the Victorian education system long-abandoned by our modern school system. Many features of today’s classrooms would be unrecognisable to someone who went to school in the 1980s, let alone the 1880s. Yet, there is one feature that lives on: the long summer holiday. Is it time to change the structure of the school year?

The six-week summer break is a hangover from Victorian times. The introduction of compulsory schooling for children aged five to ten in 1880 was a…

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