Sunday 11 December 2016

Planning your next holiday? Christmas is over but Easter is coming 'early'

Published 03/01/2016 | 17:11

Easter falls particularly early this year and children will finish school on Wednesday, March 16 and will not return to the classroom until Monday, April 4.
Easter falls particularly early this year and children will finish school on Wednesday, March 16 and will not return to the classroom until Monday, April 4.

Irish parents are preparing to pack the children off to school this week as Christmas officially draws to a close but they can look forward to an Easter break that spans almost three weeks this March.

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Easter falls particularly early this year and it will tie in with the St Patrick's Day bank holiday.

The national bank holiday will effectively extend into Easter as just one school day (Friday, March 18) separates St Patrick’s Day and the beginning of the Easter holidays. To avoid bringing children back for just one day, The Department of Education has awarded a bonus day to bring the two holidays together, but this day will have to be made up during the year.

Annual school holidays are now organised in three yearly cycles, through what is known as the Standardised Year.

Discussions take place between the Department of Education, school management authorities and teachers' unions to settle the dates of the mid-term breaks and Christmas and Easter holidays.

Children will be off school from Wednesday, March 16 and will not return to the classroom until Monday, April 4. So they will be off for 19 days in total.

Those who aren’t looking forward to packing their little ones off to school this Wednesday can also look forward to the annual mid-term break in February which can range from two days to five days depending on whether a school needs to make up time.

This year, Easter falls on March 27 and will have special significance as Ireland celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

Under Department of Education rules, primary schools are obliged to open for 183 days, while at second level, it is 167 days.

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