More About School Holidays
School holidays in the UK vary depending on area and which type of school a child attends. For example, state comprehensive schools may have different holiday dates to private schools, while there are also differing bank holiday dates in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which can affect term times.
Generally though, school holidays in the UK are broken up into three end-of-term holiday period falling over the Christmas period, Easter and during the summer. In addition, half-term holidays take place during each term and usually last for a week in October, February and May or June. The exact dates of holidays are decided by local authorities and can vary in different parts of the country.
The summer holiday is the longest of the three main school holiday periods, usually lasting for around six weeks. At Christmas and Easter the holidays will usually be around two-weeks long. For pupils at private schools the holidays can often last longer, with an extra two weeks off during each break.
The summer holiday marks the end of the academic year coming after the third term, with pupils usually moving up to another year or to another school when the new academic year starts again in September.
School Holidays History Lesson
School holidays in the UK are often dictated by the dates of major Christian celebrations, specifically Christmas for the December-January holiday and Easter for the spring holiday. Whitsun, a Christian festival of Pentecost, was also traditionally the time when the May half term holiday took place, although the dates of this have varied during recent times.
A number of bank holidays, or public holidays, on which workplaces are traditionally closed, have also been set into law, some of which are the result of religious celebrations, which help to shape the timescales of school holidays.
Both Christmas Day and Boxing Day are public holidays, as is New Year’s Day, or if any of those days fall on the weekend, then the next working day is declared a public holiday. The new term after a Christmas break will not start until after the New Year’s Day bank holiday.
There are two bank holidays during Easter, Good Friday and Easter Monday, while a summer bank holiday also takes place at the end of August during the summer school break.