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Why do kids get so much time off from school?!

(100 Posts)
LadyCafe Fri 22-Sep-17 20:00:17

Hello,
We send our children to an independent school in London. The children have a 2 week half term in October! They are off for 3 weeks during Christmas. There is February half term for one week. Then Spring term ends on March 24 and Summer term begins April 16th! Half term at the end of May for 1 week. Summer term ends on July 5th.

What is astonishing, there are a few mums complaining that the Christmas break is too short!.. and that the children should have 4 full weeks off!!

We're paying for our children's education and they get so much time off. And now a few mums want to go to the head teacher to ask for more time off so they can travel to their home country! Well, poor you! Some of us have to work and can't take 3-4 weeks off at a time! confused

What do you think? Is this the norm?

applespearsbears Fri 22-Sep-17 20:04:22

Yes sounds pretty standard for the independent schools round here too (not London). As to why sorry I can't help.

LadyCafe Fri 22-Sep-17 20:05:22

Why do the kids need so much time off?

Sirzy Fri 22-Sep-17 20:06:56

Because not all learning happens in school.

Because they are only little and the School term can be pretty intensive so they need time to recharge their batteries.

Because families like to spend time together

ScarletSienna Fri 22-Sep-17 20:07:31

Is it boarding?

Ambonsai Fri 22-Sep-17 20:08:25

What are their school hours?

LadyCafe Fri 22-Sep-17 20:11:22

You're joking? They have off for 3 weeks over Xmas, 2 weeks here and there, another 3 weeks during the spring...
What do the parents do who work? Camps and extra classes are expensive. Not everyone can travel every single break.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 22-Sep-17 20:11:46

Traditionally because ex pats sent their children home to England to be educated in the days before flying was accessible so they would sail back.

However if you look at state secondaries that seem to end their teaching days at around 3 or 3.15 and start at 9 and independents which around my way start at 8.30 and end at 4.15/4.30 or 4.45. Thus they have longer working days. If you add up those extra hours it evens out with state schools pretty much.

Also most of the school trips that my DS's school offers are during the holidays whereas my friends with kids in state school have their trips during term time.

LadyCafe Fri 22-Sep-17 20:11:54

School hrs are 8:45 - 3:30pm which is average and totally fine.

Wolfiefan Fri 22-Sep-17 20:12:02

You're paying for education not childcare.

Sirzy Fri 22-Sep-17 20:12:43

Well when budgeting to pay for their education you need to budget for the childcare too don’t you!

BIWI Fri 22-Sep-17 20:13:39

Send them to a state school. Chances are they'll get a better, all-round education anyway. Unless you don't want them mixing with hoi polloi?

ScarletSienna Fri 22-Sep-17 20:13:42

If there are boarders from overseas then that'll be one reason.

Smaller class sizes can mean more intensive learning so cover more in less time.

LadyCafe Fri 22-Sep-17 20:14:33

Yes, exactly we're paying for the education. Most other nations, don't have this many breaks. And children don't need 4 weeks off for Christmas!

Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 22-Sep-17 20:17:05

It's because they are at an independent school. States get 38 weeks.

HeadDreamer Fri 22-Sep-17 20:17:14

Independent schools have better results so all these holidays must be helping with their education.

As for cost. Well you are going independent. Just pay for holiday childcare?

MarthasHarbour Fri 22-Sep-17 20:18:09

What BIWI said.

Surely you knew this before you started paying the eye watering fees for something you can get for free hmm

LIZS Fri 22-Sep-17 20:18:48

Other countries do have as many breaks and random bank/religious holidays thrown in. Independent schools typically do 34/35 weeks a year whereas LA schools do 39. You may well find your teaching day is up to 45 mins longer. Your choice to buy into this though.

NoSquirrels Fri 22-Sep-17 20:19:24

So send them to a state school then. Not sure why you're surprised, OP - didn't you read the prospectus/look on the website/attend the open days etc?

The school offers those terms (which is standard for U.K.) and you agreed to send them on those terms rhmm

HeadDreamer Fri 22-Sep-17 20:19:32

You can always go to a state school. All half terms are 1 week. 2 weeks for Easter and Christmas, and 6 weeks for summer. There you go, problem solved.

leccybill Fri 22-Sep-17 20:20:11

In Europe, they have 10 weeks off for summer.

I don't know any state secondaries that start at 9 and I've worked in loads! Mine is 8.35 - 3.20.

LadyLovelace Fri 22-Sep-17 20:22:01

I'm a bit hmm at your post. You know the deal, including the long holidays, when you sign up. It's a pain but it's hardly been sprung on you.
The reason I'm hmm is that as a few paying parents with children at 3 different independent schools I can say that those parents who want longer off at Christmas just jolly we'll take longer off at Christmas. Likewise, if our Feb half term falls in line with the state schools, oodles of children with be off school during some other week in Feb or early March. No fines, no begging. You just tell School they won't be in.

LadyLovelace Fri 22-Sep-17 20:23:06

Sorry, fee paying parent

missyB1 Fri 22-Sep-17 20:23:35

It's standard for independent schools, my ds has the same holidays as you have described. It's partly because these schools often have boarders, and also in recognition of the extra hours / work / sports commitments. My ds school day is 8.15 - 4.35 and often has matches later than that and most Saturday mornings too. He bloody needs the long holidays!

LadyLovelace Fri 22-Sep-17 20:24:21

Sorry the February comment was in line with skiing but not wishing to pay half term prices.

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