School summer holidays: Why don't they all start at the same time?

Last updated at 11:29
Kids playing in swimming poolGetty Images

Why do the summer holidays start early in Scotland and Northern Ireland? Or maybe they start late in England and Wales?

Whichever way you look at it, schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland have broken up for the holidays - but England and Wales have to wait another few weeks.

So why is there a difference in start times?

Well, no one really knows for sure but there are a few theories.

One myth is that children used to have to help out on the land in rural communities, so they were given longer holidays to work with their families.

However, this theory doesn't necessarily hold up, as often the busiest time for farmers is the harvest - which comes later in the Autumn.

When many state schools started in the 19th century, they were set up with a city population in mind, rather than a rural one.

So the holidays might have been designed to give families a chance to escape from the polluted and hot cities.

Another theory is that school holidays were designed to mirror the holidays of other public institutions at the time - like universities and law courts.

So whether you've started your holidays already or you're looking forward to them in a few weeks - let us know what you'll be getting up to!


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  • Comment number 14. Posted by shimmering cosmic skater

    11 Jul 2018 16:30
    In less than 2 weeks time I am going to Mallorca.
  • Comment number 13. Posted by Bouncy Pizza Pup

    6 Jul 2018 17:06
    For The Day..........
    Happy Birthday!
  • Comment number 12. Posted by Bouncy Pizza Pup

    6 Jul 2018 17:05
    You're patient and full of energy, so gymnastics could be perfect for you. If you keep practising, you could have the perfect handstand or cartwheel by the time school rolls around. You also get to show off your new skills to all your mates in the park!

    Pup :)
  • Comment number 11. Posted by pink Unicorn

    3 Jul 2018 15:24
    Iโ€™m on holiday yayyy letโ€™s celebrate!
  • Comment number 10. Posted by ImaginePonies

    2 Jul 2018 19:30
    Im also gonna celebrate my birthday!
  • Comment number 9. Posted by ImaginePonies

    2 Jul 2018 19:29
    This comment was removed because it broke the rules. Explain
  • Comment number 8. Posted by sciencekid

    2 Jul 2018 18:55
    Wales for me
  • Comment number 7. Posted by U17042881

    2 Jul 2018 18:20
    i got art yahhhh :)
  • Comment number 6. Posted by cloudylove

    2 Jul 2018 17:33
    you think you've got it bad
    i've got to wait another 3 weeks AND half a day! :(
  • Comment number 5. Posted by wickedkoalalover

    2 Jul 2018 17:21
    Ooo now I should do art!๐ŸŽจ