Charles Nolda, director of employment affairs at the Local Government Management Board, said: 'We are ending the 20th century with a school year based on an agrarian society. A more logical arrangement for the school year is not radical; it's common sense. No well-managed organisation outside education would still be operating on working time that was 300 years out of date.'
Graham Lane, chair of the National Employers' Organisation for School Teachers, said city technology colleges which ran five-term years had found that they were very successful in reducing teacher stress.
The employers' blueprint, which was sent to ministers last night, includes a proposal to cut teachers' holidays from 13 to eight weeks in return for a substantial pay rise.
'There is plenty of evidence that teachers' pay and conditions of service are not attractive to young graduates,' he said.