School Holidays in Ireland are a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. They usually last for two weeks, and during that time, most students are out of school. There are usually a lot of fun activities to do, and it’s a great chance to relax and enjoy some time off.
In order to meet the overall requirement of 183 days at the primary level, the school year will normally commence in the week that the 1st of September falls. This will allow for a total of three weeks for mid-term break, two weeks for the Christmas holidays, and two weeks for the Easter holidays. The exact date is determined locally at the Board of Management level.
This means that while the official start and end dates of the school year are set in stone, individual schools are allowed to make some adjustments as needed as long as they still meet the required 183 days. This can be helpful for families who might have a different summer break than the standard two weeks.
For example, primary schools in Ireland are allowed to use 3 discretionary days to extend their Winter/Carnival break to an alternative option of a 5 daybreak.
The arrangements for standardized closure at the primary level (Circular 0034/2011) have been resolved without prejudice to the requirement of 183 days at the primary level, within the overall target of 435 days. A school year may be structured in accordance with the religious obligation that is required of students by different denominations or faiths. When deciding the school year, a school authority may elect to use a religious observation day for non-tuition activities if there are not enough free days. Existing arrangements for school holidays may provide some limited freedom to schools on other days during the specified periods. Where religious obligations of a school under particular patronage make it necessary, such days must not be used to extend or alter the time limits specified above in respect of mid-term, Christmas, and Easter breaks. It wasn’t necessary for the terms of this agreement to be standardized at either the primary or post-primary level.
According to Circular M29/95, the minimal number of teaching days per post-primary school will be 167. Furthermore, in accordance with Circular 0034/2011, midterm breaks, Christmas, and Easter holidays have been standardized. In previous years, formal instruction ended for post-primary schools at the end of June.
The June bank holiday is always the first Monday after the third Friday of April. State examinations generally begin on the following Wednesday.
It is expected that primary schools will be open for approximately 30 days more during the 2011/12 school year to fulfill their obligation to remain open for 167 days.
The following holidays are defined in accordance with Circular 0034/2011:
The school year in the United States is particularly tight, with no more than 167 days allowed for each student. In fact, many schools that would have traditionally opened on September 1 are now opening in late August to meet their full number of days. At the primary school level, there is more freedom since they are not hampered by the end-of-year State examinations.