THE principle of one of north Essex’s highest performing secondary schools described a move to a four-week summer break as “absurd”.

Nardeep Sharma, principal of Colne Community School and College, Brightlingsea, said: “The concept to reduce the six week break to four weeks seems absurd unless it is done across the whole country and the period regulated so that all schools did the same.

“It does not in any way take into account that children need to have a rest from their studies, spend real quality time with their friends and families and develop further those kind of social skills and qualities that are encouraged and promoted by parents and schools.

“A degree of caution is also required as a secondary school should try and do similar to its feeder schools - otherwise some secondary school children may be at school and younger children at home.

“The concept has not been thought through and I can't see many schools volunteering."