Don't you think Scottish school term dates are better?

(26 Posts)
Kmski Mon 25-Aug-14 11:32:57

I recently posted this on a different forum but I think mumsnet is more suitable.
I am just wondering - since England is not really an agrarian society any more why do we still have such odd dates for summer holidays. It was 6 C one morning a few days ago. I do realise that the weather is variable and every year is different but overall starting holidays on say: 1st July would probably be better for most people. If holidays were to start earlier than the half term in June could be scrapped (as holidays would be just around the corner) and an extra week added to the summer holidays. I can see several advantages of doing it this way.
Weather is usually much better in the first two weeks of July than last two weeks of August. More fun if for whatever reason you spend your holidays in UK.
Heatwaves, if we ever get them, are usually in the first half of July - not great for sitting in the classroom but fantastic for splashing in the sea. At the same time cooler mid August is better for learning.
Scrapping the break in June would help parents who have no relatives nearby able to help with childcare. I could then find a student or an au pair for the summer if school clubs are too expensive.
Also an extra week in the summer would help employers with sorting out annual leave in that popular period.
1st July - mid August - any thoughts?

mrz Mon 25-Aug-14 12:23:14

Scrapping the summer half term (usually in May not June) would mean summer term would run from Easter until summer (as Easter can fall in March this is a long time without a break if you are just 5 years old).

weegiemum Mon 25-Aug-14 12:27:18

We were 24th June to 13th August in Glasgow this year.

Please don't change it in England. Our holiday cottage in early July in Cornwall was £650 cheaper than when the English schools came off.

SirChenjin Mon 25-Aug-14 12:27:59

Not always ideal - and don't forget, holidays up here can vary from region to region (no idea why, a throwback to the Victorian days of farming or mining, probably). Have to say though, I like our earlier summer holidays as we get to enjoy holidays in England in relative peace grin

I like the holidays we have up here and we did definitely get the best of the weather it's still nice now but much cooler than the late June early July we were enjoying some Scottish beaches.
It does work both ways though there have been summers that I have said that if we were off the same time as England we would have got the best of the weather.

The term between Easter and summer can seem long but I do like it better our way and the term ending in June rather than another half term holiday.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 25-Aug-14 13:33:38

But Scotland has it's Bank Holiday at the beginning of August that's why it works for them.
You would also have to alter the exam system here as you would be starting school before GCSE results were out.

SirChenjin Mon 25-Aug-14 13:40:13

It's a bank holiday but not a public holiday in August

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 25-Aug-14 13:42:37

Even more reason why it wouldn't work here yet another public holiday in term time.

LemonBreeland Mon 25-Aug-14 13:46:50

I like the Scottish holidays apart from the long term from Easter to Summer starting. mrz our easter holidays are always the first two weeks of April no matter when Easter falls, however it is still a long term.

weatherall Mon 25-Aug-14 13:47:57

I prefer the Scottish holidays but would limit the summer break to just July. A week at the end of May/start June. A week at the end of September instead of the weekend. Plus give us the week in feb rather than 1 day-the winter is so long!

Bilberry Mon 25-Aug-14 13:56:45

Public holidays vary round Scotland - there are no August public holidays round here! I like the summer holidays starting earlier but remember between the beginning of January and end of June there are just TWO weeks holiday (plus a day on Feb and another in May). All the rest of the holidays fall in the second half of the year. I would much rather have only one week in October but get another full week in the spring when the weather was better so you could actually do something.

306235388 Mon 25-Aug-14 14:02:35

I grew up in England but my kids are growing up in Scotland. The Scotland summer hols are SO much better timed ime, it actually feels like summer grin

That said its a hard slog between jan - Easter and then Easter - summer with no half terms

I do agree, OP. English (& Welsh?) school holiday dates are illogical and late June/early July generally has better weather (as well as longer days & fewer annoying bugs grin)

When Easter falls very early or very late it plays havoc with term lengths. One year quite recently many LEAs fixed their 'Easter' break away from the Easter weekend, & those schools also closed over Easter weekend, but I think it was only once, & not all LEAs did it.

If schools finished for summer at the end of June there could be a fixed 2-week break in late March/early April, which would often include Easter anyway.

NormHonal Mon 25-Aug-14 14:07:41

I'm with you, OP, for the weather this year it would have been ideal. However last year we did still have some scorching weather in those first few days of Sept. Perhaps the best is yet to come weather-wise <doubtful>.

Bilberry, some areas do only get 1 week in October (my kids only get 1 week).

our schools went back on 18th August
we have an in-service day and long weekend in September
1 week in october (called the October week!)
in-service day in November
off from 24th december and go back 5th January
have 2 days holiday plus an in-service day in February (3 days in a row)
Easter break starts 3rd April for 2 weeks
1 day at the start of May, an in-service day and long weekend at the end of May
finish for summer on 25 June

You cant change the English school holidays as we always go away before they break up so that our holiday is a lot cheaper!!

Kmski Mon 25-Aug-14 15:23:15

A few comments from Scotland to say that you want the sunniest part of the summer in Britain to yourselves. Not sure...
How about we swap the dates?

AuntieStella Mon 25-Aug-14 15:41:17

Sods laws will mean that the sun is always out for the last couple of weeks of the summer term, and the first weeks back of the autumn one, irrespective of whether you fiddle with the dates.

Euphemia Mon 25-Aug-14 18:12:56

I would like a week's half-term holiday in February and May. We had a 13-week term this year from Jan-Apr with only two days off in Feb - it was a bloody long haul!

Apr-Jun was ten weeks long with one day off - a week would be lovely!

In my part of Scotland we don't get a September weekend, but we do get two weeks' holidays in October, for going to Florida picking the potatoes. smile

Kmski Mon 25-Aug-14 18:39:13

Thanks for your comments. I am not too fussed about May half term - I understand that some people would prefer to have this extra break which is fine. However, the prospect of being stuck at home at the beginning of July for x number of years is killing me. I might need wine

BackforGood Mon 25-Aug-14 18:45:20

Unless I'm missing something....?

I REALLY wouldn't want an 18 week term, from mid-Aug until Christmas though.

You can really "feel" it in English schools when the terms get stretched beyond 14 weeks... - 12 is better, but 17 or 18 sounds horrific shock

Euphemia Mon 25-Aug-14 18:51:28

We view that period as two terms. Term One, Aug-Oct, is eight weeks, then two weeks off, then the ten weeks until Christmas = Term Two.

cloutiedumpling Mon 25-Aug-14 18:56:22

Most Scottish schools take at least one week off in October though so it doesn't feel too bad. Our local area also takes one week in February. I think our school holidays are much more sensible. We often get our best weather in June/ early July and it is really quite autumnal already. If anything, I'd move our summer holidays so that they were even earlier.

mrz Mon 25-Aug-14 19:32:40

most English schools have a week in October plus a week in Feruary and another in May.

We break up mid July so moving that forward a week or two to early July and returning mid August wouldn't be a huge shift but losing half term weeks for a longer summer break would be a bad move IMHO.

hiccupgirl Mon 25-Aug-14 21:52:05

I wouldn't want to change it, I think it works fine as it is tbh.

I know we don't need to go back at the end of the summer anymore but it just feels right to go back to school as the days start getting noticably shorter and the weather starts to turn. And the thought of having a term from mid August to Christmas is just horrific! It would def need a 2 week break in the middle.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 25-Aug-14 22:22:10

I wouldn't want to lose the half terms, I think they are very valuable for the children (and teachers) to recharge their batteries. Personally I don't mind the rough plan as it is but I would LIKE another week in the summer so it is 6.5 weeks not less than 6 like it seems to be nowadays.

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