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Why do private schools have longer holidays?

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#26 Gumbette

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:53 PM

View Postekbaby, on 18 September 2019 - 01:40 PM, said:

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

Don't laugh.  DD has a friend who go overseas every break, and twice during Christmas.  To Europe to ski in early Dec, then back for Christmas with the family before flying to Fiji to warm up for 2 weeks mid Jan.  If they weren't such lovely people you'd hate them.

#27 *Ker*

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:54 PM

My son's high school starts at 8.35 and finishes at 3.25. Same break times as his sister's public primary. He gets 2 weeks Sept holidays though. This term he had 2 pupil free days though. He finishes 10 days earlier than his sister too.

#28 annodam

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:55 PM

View Postmelburnian, on 18 September 2019 - 11:39 AM, said:

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?

I don't know, I've always been a SAHP.
My Yr 12 DD has officially finished as of last Thursday, she is required back for a couple of classes in a fortnights time & her Exams are at the end of next month.
The rest of the School (PP - Yr 11) goes back Oct. 7th for the start of Term 4.
Nov. 30th is the last day of Term 4 & Feb. 4th next year is the first day back.

ETA:  I love the long Holidays!

Edited by annodam, 18 September 2019 - 01:56 PM.

#29 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:57 PM

View PostJBH, on 18 September 2019 - 01:47 PM, said:

I’ve always thought the year is structured as longer days/longer holidays as early private schools were quite focused on country boarders who travelled home to the farm for holidays.

The boarding schools near us run even different hours and holiday periods to cater for boarders.

#30 seayork2002

Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:59 PM

The closest private to me is
Term 1 Wednesday 30 January to Thursday 11 April
Camps Week: Friday 5 April – Thursday 11 April
Easter: Good Friday 19 April – Easter Sunday 21 April
Anzac Day: Thursday 25 April Term 2 Tuesday 30 April to Friday 28 June
Pupil free days: Thursday 6 June and Friday 7 June Term 3 Tuesday 23 July to Friday 27 September Term 4 Tuesday 15 October to Thursday 5 December

#31 Mumsyto2

Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:05 PM

I have had kids in both systems and really noticed the difference at start up, particularly in primary.

The public primary we attended would have 2 weeks at beginning of each year where 1-6 would stay in last years class. Supposedly they couldn’t have classes done any earlier as they ‘were not sure on numbers’ and teacher number entitlement. So 2 weeks of being babysat by a teacher, find a words, colouring in, playing on play equipment, outdoor games. Then got put into new classes and had a settling in period being handed out new books, doing title pages etc. That’s 3 weeks of no work really. Another friend, not in our school area had 3 weeks as standard until new classes were composed so that’s a month lost there. Not sure if this is standard for all public schools but was our experience.

The private primary had first day of handing out all books, a few get to know you games, class rules and then straight into it complete with homework on day 2.

Our experience of public and private high schools were similar at start up in that classes had been organised straight away for first day but there seemed to be a slow start with public as to content being covered whereas in private there was a full on start at day 1 complete with homework and assignments being issued. Not sure if just our experience?

Our days at private school were longer, 8.20-3.20 but they also had religious subject on top of standard curriculum. Not sure that took an hour a day but maybe that’s why it was longer?

#32 PrincessPeach

Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:07 PM

the couple near us have longer days, but both have onsite ohsc & vacation care for the kids.

High school i guess they assume the kids are old enough to stay home by themselves.

#33 CrankyM

Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:34 PM

Mumsyto2 that’s likely just your experience. My kids school was right into it academically from the first week of prep. Not necessarily homework but lot of learning, it sure wasn’t “babysitting”.

Oh and on the boarding school thing, my neighbours kids attend boarding school and their holidays are exactly the same as it state school except for finishing the year a week earlier. This is WA though, so that could be part of it. I don’t think the private schools in WA, from those few I know with kids in them, have widely different holidays to the state system.

#34 SallyJay

Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:55 PM

The boarders often have a long way to travel so the extra length in the holidays is good for them but my city kid loves the extra weeks too.
Her school offers winter boarding for city kids so you can leave them there and go off to the European summer without the kids having to miss school.

#35 annodam

Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:35 PM

View Postmayahlb, on 18 September 2019 - 02:34 PM, said:

Mumsyto2 that’s likely just your experience. My kids school was right into it academically from the first week of prep. Not necessarily homework but lot of learning, it sure wasn’t “babysitting”.

Same with our School, right in the deep end from day 1.
Including Homework!
Never has our School had "activities" in the last week/s leading into Holidays.
I read it on here a lot, oh we're taking a Holiday as the last/first week of Term is usually nothing but "activities" ahh yeah, nah not here...

#36 Wahwah

Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:39 PM

My mum always said 'private school, pay more, get less'.

I think she was just annoyed that it meant extra time for my brother to be off school and getting up to no good somewhere around town.

#37 annodam

Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:49 PM

^   Yeah I tend to rattle that off a bit too.

#38 Gumbette

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:00 PM

"The more you pay the less they go".

#39 Freddie'sMum

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:09 PM

Not that it's a problem for us - but friends whose kids go to private schools esp the Christmas / January break really struggle to find care for their kids over this time, simply because they finish so early in December.  

My friend's kids would finish school on, say, 6 December whereas our kids go to the local primary / high school and the kids finish around 20 December.  It makes a huge difference if the holiday care programs are not yet running in early December.

Not that we can afford it anyway ....

#40 Caribou

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:18 PM

View Postekbaby, on 18 September 2019 - 01:40 PM, said:

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

I’m so tired of this joke. We don’t even do skiing and neither do any of DDs cohort. European holidays hardly even happen over Christmas too pricey!!

DDs private school has vacation care for the three weeks schools finished for the year before public. Pay $60 a day. Same for extra weeks break in June. They’re fully aware how outdated the holiday break system is. Unfortunately they can’t change it as it’s not up to the individual school.

#41 Fourteenyears

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:19 PM

View Postmayahlb, on 18 September 2019 - 02:34 PM, said:

Mumsyto2 that’s likely just your experience. My kids school was right into it academically from the first week of prep. Not necessarily homework but lot of learning, it sure wasn’t “babysitting”.

Alas no.  My kids’ public primary school also takes up to two weeks of the new year to place kids in classes.  And until they do it is relief teachers and makework.  Drives me crazy.

I am envious of private school holidays here, but my kids are old enough so that holiday care isn’t an issue.     If we had more money, I’d be tempted by private schools just for the holidays!

#42 AdelTwins

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:24 PM

Our private school (SA) has the roughly the same number of holidays. They do have a 3 week break in winter. Terms are 11wks, 9wks, 10wks, 10wks. Slightly longer days than surrounding public schools.

#43 Clementinerose

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:34 PM

Our private school has 1 pupil free day, and then longer holidays. The public school seems to have every long weekend as a 4 day holiday

#44 JRA

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:35 PM

View Postannodam, 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.

Yep, same here. the local state secondary starts at 9 and finishes at 3 ish.

For me, it seems they also have less days off randomly during the year, as such.

#45 JoanJett

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:44 PM

I have one child in each system.

The private school has longer days, shorter breaks and the pace of work is noticeably more intense than the public school (disclaimer:  for the comparison of our two schools).  The private school also uses before and after school time for many compulsory activities that happen during school time at the public school (eg preparation for athletics carnivals).  

The main difference is the end of the year, when they finish 2 weeks earlier.  They essentially work and have assessments until the last day and stop, and the teachers have that 2 weeks for reporting, professional education and planning the year ahead.

The school dates are released at least a year in advance and there are plenty of holiday programmes based at school and in our area that cater to the kids finishing the year early.  We also try to organise work schedules/play date swaps between friends (kids and parents) to help each other out.

#46 SeaPrincess

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:49 PM

My friend has 2 children in private schools and a niece living with her who attends the local public school. They (the children) sat down and worked out to the minute that they all attend school the same amount of time. The private schools start earlier, finish later and have shorter breaks when they are there.

#47 JRA

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:50 PM


The main difference is the end of the year, when they finish 2 weeks earlier.  They essentially work and have assessments until the last day and stop, and the teachers have that 2 weeks for reporting, professional education and planning the year ahead.

That is a really good point. I read often here on EB nothing happening in the last couple of weeks of school, I have never seen that with DS.

#48 aluminium

Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:57 PM

As long as the school meets the NESA (in NSW) mandated course hours, they can do whatever they like.

Independent school teachers will often work the week before students return, and the week after they finish.

#49 Ivy Ivy

Posted 18 September 2019 - 05:08 PM

I think it must be really unsettling for kids at a primary school level, to start the new school year all excited and raring to go, then sit around not being in their actual class, at their actual desk, with their actual teacher (as untethered as workplace 'hotdesking' is for adults, but worse, more unknowns) while teacher and class numbers are being sorted.  All the momentum to learn at the start of the school year lost.

There must be a lot of uncertainty in both the student and teacher sides for public schools to do this.  I'd love to hear from teachers on EB the inside story on this.

My kids both have basically the whole of Dec and Jan off, 3 weeks during July winter hols, and sometimes a few extra days for each other term hols, c.w. the public schools.  In total about 5 extra weeks a year on holidays c.w. public school kids.  Early starts (8.15 and 8.30, primary school level) during term time make the time up as the enterprising kids above calculated!

#50 eliza_non

Posted 18 September 2019 - 05:09 PM

No idea why they have longer holidays. It’s the reason I sent my kids to public school though as the logistics of dealing with 14 weeks of holidays rather than 12 was unworkable around my employment. Actually, I would pay to send my kid to a school with less school holidays, say only 8-10 weeks a year.

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