LETTERSFrom Cllr Chris Whitehouse, Newport:
Thank you County Press for the reports of the initiatives the interim administration of the IW Council is taking further to drive up education outcomes on the Island in the interests of all our children and the Island’s economy as a whole (CP, 10-02-17).

There was one additional point I made at the recent meeting of the children’s committee, namely that I consider our teachers are overworked, underpaid and under appreciated.
While it is not within our gift to put all that right locally, what we can do is to ensure we never fail to put on record our acknowledgement of all the hard work so many teachers and support staff are putting in to improve school performance and student achievement. The Island should be grateful to them.
On the point about consultation on school term dates, this will be a real consultation exploring all the options between, on one hand, no change at all, through to a change to four terms.
If we can achieve the same result, namely better education outcomes and more flexibility with holiday dates for parents, by smaller changes on this scale, then so be it if that is the consensus. One option, already put forward, for example, is simply to shift around the dates of one or two of our holidays, making the long summer break shorter, perhaps, and adding a week to another holiday earlier or later in the year; and/or by grouping inset days onto one of the half-term holidays. All these options will be considered.
If there is a strong consensus for change, we’ll make it; if there is no strong consensus, we’ll leave things as they are.