Monday 14 October 2019

School's out as we have one of the shortest terms in EU

Children get a lot of time off. Stock picture
Children get a lot of time off. Stock picture

Lynne Kelleher

Ireland has one of the shortest school terms in Europe, according to a new report.

Secondary school children in this country have more breaks than almost every other country in Europe with the exception of France, Cyprus and Greece.

With only 167 days in the classroom, post-primary children spend less time in the classroom than their counterparts in 34 other European countries, according to the European Commission Report.

"The number of school days varies between 162 days in France and 200 days in Denmark and Italy," it said. "In around half the countries, it is between 170 and 180 days. In 15 countries, the number varies between 181 and 190 days."

It revealed German children can go back to school as early as the start of August, while those in Malta don't return until the end of September.

The report on education in 38 countries in Europe reveals that Ireland is one of only a handful of countries with fewer school days in secondary education than in primary education, along with Greece, Cyprus and the Netherlands. It also reveals that Irish children fare much better than many of their European counterparts - and especially their nearest neighbours in Britain - when it comes to summer holidays.

"The length of the summer holidays varies significantly between countries from six weeks in some German (states), the Netherlands, the UK and up to 13 weeks in Latvia, Portugal and Turkey."

Italian children can have 14 weeks out from school, while the Bulgarians top the table with 15 weeks for primary school children.

"Some countries show differences in the length of summer holidays depending on the level of education. In secondary education in Ireland, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland, students start the summer holidays earlier than in primary education."

Irish Independent

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