Extended summer breaks leave pupils "sluggish and forgetful", it has been claimed.
Guy Hutchence, principal at East Manchester Academy, believes the traditional summer holiday enjoyed by children in primary and secondary schools across the country is detrimental to their development.
As a result, he has moved to remodel the academic year at the newly-opened academy on the American system of five terms of equal length with a shorter vacation separating each.
According to Mr Hutchence, the English term structure is outdated and in need of an overhaul.
"The traditional school year is based on the old agricultural cycle, when children were needed to help with harvest," he commented.
"It is based on a way of life that doesn't exist in urban Manchester."
The move follows a similar recommendation from Frank Field, the government's poverty advisor, who told the Times that shorter holidays would benefit children who do not receive support at home.
Posted by Theo Foulds