Teach in the UK• 3 Min read

8th November 2018

UK school holidays: the key dates

All teachers know that maintaining a good work-life balance is crucial to success in their role. For this reason it’s helpful to know the key dates of UK school holidays, so that you can schedule in some much-needed time off.

UK school holidays: what are they?

The academic year in England and Wales consists of six UK school holidays – Christmas, Easter and Summer, along with a half term holiday per term.

The dates to these are standardised and adhered to by all state schools and those who work in teaching jobs in London and the rest of the UK.

UK schools also acknowledge seven of the eight bank holidays celebrated in England and Wales and days off are taken on these days. The only bank holiday that teachers can disregard is Late Summer, which falls on Monday 26th August and as such already falls within the set school summer holiday.

Teachers in Scotland and Northern Ireland also take additional bank holidays and omit some of the holidays taken by England and Wales. If you are teaching in Scotland or Northern Island, be aware that your bank holiday dates will differ from standard UK bank holiday dates.


UK school holidays: term dates 2018-2019

  • The autumn term begins on Tuesday 4th September 2018 and ends on Wednesday 19th December 2018. The autumn term is the longest in the UK academic year and consists of 72 days


  • The autumn half term holiday runs from Monday 22th October to Friday 26th October. The Christmas holiday is from Thursday 20th December 2018 to Wednesday 2nd January 2019 and incorporates three bank holidays – Christmas Day (Tuesday 25th December), Boxing Day (Wednesday 26th December) and New Year (Tuesday 1st January)


  • The spring term begins on Thursday 3rd January 2019 and ends on Friday 5th April 2019. The spring term is 62 days long


  • The spring half term holiday runs from Monday 18th February to Friday 22nd February. The Easter holiday is from Monday 8th April to Tuesday 23rd April and incorporates two bank holidays. These are Good Friday (Friday 19th February) and Easter Monday (Monday 22nd February)


  • The summer term begins on Tuesday 23rd April 2019 and ends on Wednesday 24th July 2019. In the UK the summer term is usually roughly equivalent in length to the spring term and this year is 61 days long.


  • The summer half term holiday runs from Monday 27th May 2019 to Friday 31st May 2019. Bank holidays during the summer term include May Day (Monday 6th May) and Spring Bank Holiday (Monday 27th May). The summer holiday is from Thursday 25th July 2019 until Friday 30th August 2019.


UK school holidays: state schools and private schools

When researching the key dates of UK school holidays, bear in mind that the holidays for state schools are not the same as for independent schools.

Private schools tend to break up earlier and resume later than state schools – sometimes with a difference of a couple of weeks.

Even among private schools the dates of UK school holidays can vary. In order to ensure that you are aware of the correct holiday dates of a private school in the UK, check their website or ask within the institution.

In order to check the exact dates of a state school’s holiday, you can also visit their website but you also have the option of visiting the website of their local council, where the dates of the state schools within the area are listed.

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