IT'S not often a Quango shines a ray of hope on our lives, but the Local Government Association's case for doubling the number of school terms to six a year does just that.

The structure of the academic year had a purpose 50 years ago. But it should be no surprise that the English haven't yet twigged that, at best, it's now illogical and, at worst, a hindrance. We're not very good at seeing what's in front of our noses.

Wherever you look in the LGA's recommendations, there's sound common sense, just as there was when teaching unions and local authorities supported the idea for a four-term year back in 1987.

Parents were blamed for resisting the switch, but it's not hard to wonder how much better our lives would have been if it had happened then.

There are likely grounds for opposition this time as well. In their envy, there are those in all walks of life who would have you believe that, in the age of Ofsted, SATs and league tables, teachers should be more appreciative of the privilege of a six-week summer break.

But that's missing a crucial point.

There are undoubtedly teachers who delight in luxuriating on a foreign beach, while the rest of us fight for a place on the August holiday rota.

But life in a modern classroom means the majority of children and adults need the long pause to recharge their batteries, gather their thoughts and prepare for another illogical year ahead.

Breaking the school year into smaller slices will provide more frequent rest breaks for them. Parents and businesses will also find it easier to schedule holidays away from the late-July and August bottleneck.

So we'll be taking a huge step forward soon then?

Don't hold your breath. The Government says it has no plans to back the proposals. Let's hope our MPs point out quickly how foolish and wasteful sticking to that line would be.