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Why do private schools have longer holidays?


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#1 melburnian

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:23 AM

Looking at my kid's school term dates next year (starting Prep) and noticed that their terms are shorter by 1 week compared to public schools.

They start a day or two late and finish a week early. Why is that? For the fee we're paying, surely we don't want less school days! :huh:

#2 seayork2002

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:26 AM

But is it more over the whole year?

#3 Mands09

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:28 AM

Around here the private school day is 30 minutes longer than the public school day so they have more holidays.

#4 Fourteenyears

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:30 AM

That is very typical,

A couple of thoughts - some private schools start a little earlier or finish a little later than public schools, which adds up over a year.

And, the school my daughter’s friends go to has compulsory Saturday sport (although possibly not in prep!)  So instead of losing one afternoon of school time every week for sport, they keep that time for classes and the kids do sport on Saturday. That adds up over the course of a year too.

Edited by Fourteenyears, 18 September 2019 - 11:31 AM.


#5 Gumbette

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:30 AM

Our actual school day is longer though.  Most public schools in our area start between 9 - 9.30 am whereas our private school starts at 8.20 am each day finishing at 3.00 pm.

#6 Nasty Butterfly

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:33 AM

 Mands09, on 18 September 2019 - 11:28 AM, said:

Around here the private school day is 30 minutes longer than the public school day so they have more holidays.

I've always assumed this is why.

Prep DD's hours were 30 minutes longer, now in high school it is more like an hour compared to some of the other state schools.

#7 melburnian

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:36 AM

Interesting. I'd rather have longer term than 30min longer days, from a working parent's perspective...

For the fee though, can't they do 30 min longer day and the same number of weeks? hahah a wishful thinking. :pray:

My kid is in APS school in Melbourne so Saturday sports is compulsory but not until Grad 5.

Edited by melburnian, 18 September 2019 - 11:37 AM.


#8 annodam

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:37 AM

Start at 8:30am - finish at 3:30pm.
We're already on Holidays, finished last week, we have 3wks off.

#9 melburnian

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:39 AM

 annodam, on 18 September 2019 - 11:37 AM, said:

Start at 8:30am - finish at 3:30pm.
We're already on Holidays, finished last week, we have 3wks off.

How do people manage this with work commitment if there are no help around? (ie grandparents etc).. Vacation care? And how much would that cost?

#10 ~J_F~

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:42 AM

It because private schools generally have longer schools days and the breaks during the day are shorter, so it’s exactly the same amount of time over the whole year.

Our private high school finishes a week earlier than the private primary because they do longer days again.

For instance our primary school starts at 8.20, the high school is at 8.15, the state school start at 8.50.

Parents manage with vacation care or taking their holidays.

Vacation care near us is $60ish a day but most people get some rebate.

Edited by ~J_F~, 18 September 2019 - 11:50 AM.


#11 born.a.girl

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:43 AM

Daughter's started at 8:30 and finished at 3:30.


The school was fantastic for her (nothing to do with academics) but the nature of my work meant three weeks of holidays after term three was a pain.

#12 Pocket...

Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:48 AM

My local primaries start and finish at the same time and have mostly the same length holidays except for an extra week in summer holidays at the private one. I was told it was because they have smaller class sizes, except they actually have larger class sizes.

The local high school works well though. They finish 30 minutes before the wider primary schools which means that pupils can get to the primary schools in time to collect younger siblings. The private schools don't seem to do this.

#13 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:03 PM

all of the private schools i know of (inner sydney) start earlier - around 8.30 am and finish at around 3.20, 3.30...as opposed to the public schools which (again, the ones i know of) are 9 - 3 - so it probably all equals out in the end (haven’t done the maths though...)


#14 It's Percy

Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:20 PM

Its the longer school hours. Local high school hours are 8.50 to 2.50. My daughter's private school is 8.30 to 3.30. She also went back a week earlier - ie started 27 Jan instead of 4 Feb - and so had three weeks off in July.

#15 SallyJay

Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:20 PM

Yeah they do longer days at DD's school so they get more holidays (almost an additional 2 weeks at Xmas alone). Its great! Once she's there she might as well dig in and then she gets a lot more solid holiday breaks. It works out really well OP.

#16 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:20 PM

Some schools do IB have different term dates to match the Northern hemisphere's assessment schedule.

#17 MarigoldMadge

Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:28 PM

There are so many kids away at DD’s Primary School this week - mainly with older siblings at high schools where they get 3 weeks for September school holidays..



#18 suzyr

Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:36 PM

The private school my daughter attends start at 8.35am and finishes at 3.20pm.  That is why they are able to have three weeks holiday in the September holidays.  Their hours are that bit longer than the state schools.  Also, the teachers and Year 12 students only get 2 weeks in September not three and the teachers go back earlier in the January holidays.

#19 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:36 PM

the dec/jan holidays would be the killer for me..i have colleagues whose kids are breaking up on the 6th of December....not back till after australia day ...my kids get most of jan off (back after Australia day as well) which is hard enough to cater for, but don’t break up until around the 20th of december. the reason it would be tricky is that most of these colleagues tell me that there is no vac care until January...

Edited by Lucrezia Borgia, 18 September 2019 - 12:41 PM.


#20 Gumbette

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:13 PM

^^ Yep - we finish on 5 December this year.  Thank goodness for grandparents.

#21 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:24 PM

View Postmelburnian, on 18 September 2019 - 11:23 AM, said:

Looking at my kid's school term dates next year (starting Prep) and noticed that their terms are shorter by 1 week compared to public schools.

They start a day or two late and finish a week early. Why is that? For the fee we're paying, surely we don't want less school days! :huh:
Quite a few of the private schools I know about (due to friends) have longer school days (30-45 minutes longer). It's one of the bug bears with the parents I know as they have to find care for longer periods of holidays.

#22 Gumbette

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:26 PM

Upside is no BSC - I drop off at 8 am :tongue:

#23 Prancer is coming

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:31 PM

It is the longer school days.  I actually thought shorter school days would be better, especially for younger kids.  But I am also wondering if longer holidays mean it is easier to accommodate overseas holidays and students taking less days off for these holidays?

Edited by Prancer is coming, 18 September 2019 - 01:31 PM.


#24 mayahlb

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:35 PM

Most often it’s the longer school days.

The local catholic school here breaks up a week earlier then the state schools because they do all the professional development for their teachers that last week of term 4, rather then the day here and there as pupil free days throughout the other terms.

I always thought it was a crappy for them to have longer days. My kids would hate the extra school holidays... last years 7 week summer break was pushing it nevermind the 9 week break friends with kids in private schools interstate have.

Edited by mayahlb, 18 September 2019 - 01:36 PM.


#25 ekbaby

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:40 PM

So that they have more time for skiing and trips to Europe 😛




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