School holidays Ireland

Are you looking for the date of a specific school holiday in Ireland? On you will find the school holidays in primary and general secondary education for the 2011/2012 school year.

School holidays Ireland 2011-2012

School holiday Primary education General secondary education
Starting date of students’ school year First week of September 2011 (1) Circa 30 August 2011
End of students’ school year End of June 2012 (2) End of State Examinations in
June 2012
Autumn holidays 1 week
31 October – 4 November 2011
1 week
31 October – 4 November 2011
Christmas/New Year 2 weeks
23 December 2011 –
6 January 2012 (inclusive)
2 weeks
23 December 2011 –
6 January 2012 (inclusive)
Winter/Carnival 2 days
16 & 17 February 2012 (3)
1 week
13 – 17 February 2012 (inclusive)
Spring/Easter 2 weeks
2 – 13 April 2012 (inclusive)
2 weeks
2 – 13 April 2012 (inclusive)
Third term - -
Summer About 9 weeks
End of June until week of
1 September 2012
About 12 weeks
June, July and most of
August 2012
Public/religious holidays 19 March 2012
7 May 2012
4 June 2012
and some religious holidays
19 March 2012
7 May 2012
4 June 2012
and some religious holidays
Starting date of teachers’
school year
1 September 2011 1 September 2011
End of teachers’ school year Not 31 August 2012 31 August 2012

Additional notes:
Primary Education
(1) In order to meet the overall requirement of 183 days at primary level, the school year will normally commence in the
week that the 1st September falls. The exact date is determined locally at Board of Management level.
(2) School may use their own discretion to determine the precise ending of the school year in June, providing it has met the overall requirement of 183 days.
(3) Primary school may use 3 discretionary days to extend their Winter/Carnival break to an alternative option of a 5 day break.
Circular 0034/2011 sets out the standardised school breaks at primary level for the school years 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14.

The arrangements for standardised closure at primary level (Circular 0034/2011) are agreed without prejudice to closure on specific days, within the overall requirement of 183 days at primary level, dictated by religious observance that is
required in schools under patronage of different denominations or faiths. In the absence of an adequate number of
discretionary days a school authority may choose to utilise a religious observation day for non-tuition purpose when
planning the school year. The existing arrangements for school breaks may provide some limited flexibility to schools on certain other days outside
of the defined periods. The scheduling of such days must not be used to extend or modify the period set out above in
respect of mid-term, Christmas and Easter breaks save where religious observance requirements of a school under a
particular patronage makes this necessary. It was not a requirement of this agreement that the commencement or end of the school year either at primary or post primary level should be standardised.

General Secondary
In accordance with Circular M29/95, the minimum number of teaching days per post-primary school will be 167. In addition, in accordance with Circular 0034/2011, holiday periods during the school year have been standardised, i.e. midterm breaks, Christmas and Easter holidays. Traditionally, formal instruction ends in post-primary schools on the
Friday preceding the June bank holiday weekend. State examinations normally commence the following Wednesday. In
order for schools to meet their requirement to be open for 167 days during 2011/12 school year, it is expected that postprimary schools will be open circa 30 August 2011.

The above holidays are standardised in accordance with Circular 0034/2011. The school year at post-primary level is
very tight and does not allow for any additional holidays, as schools must comply with the minimum number of 167 days. In fact, in recent years, since the standardised school calendar, many schools which would have traditionally opened on 1 September are now opening in late August in order to meet their full complement of days. There is more flexibility at
primary school level, as they are not restricted by the end of year State exams.

Source: Eurydice