BBC education writer Mike Baker wonders why British schools are closed in August.

After all, he notes, UK weather is pretty lousy during that month and kids are much more likely to have sunshine in May, June or July.

So why do we mainly have school holidays in late July and August rather than in May, June and early July?

The answer, of course, is the harvest. School holidays are in August because that was when the Victorians wanted children in the fields to bring in the wheat.

That was already an out-dated idea as early as 1851, by which time more people were living in England’s cities and towns than in the countryside.

So why have we still not changed it now that hardly any child, even those living in the country, goes anywhere near a combine harvester?

Most American students have only seen pictures of farm equipment yet we still give them a long break during harvest season.

However, Baker is not calling for the elimination of an extended break from school.

He just wants to move it to months with nicer weather as a way to “cheer us all up” since “happier parents, students and teachers would surely mean an improvement in standards”.

Now that’s a school improvement proposal I’ve never heard before.