Primary schools in Ireland are obliged to open for 183 days per year. In 2004 school terms countrywide were standardised under the terms of the national agreement ‘Sustaining Progress.  The agreement was made between representatives from schools, teachers unions, parents’ organisations and other relevant bodies. This agreement will be reviewed in order to decide future arrangements.

The dates for the start and the end of the school year are not standardised so schools have some discretion about when students finish school in the summer and when they start school in the autumn. All schools are closed in July and August. The dates for the Christmas, Easter and mid-term breaks are standardised.

At the start of the school year, you will be given a list of days that the school will be closed during the year, including holidays and training days for teachers. If there are other unexpected closures the school will let you know in advance.


Start and end of the school year

The dates for the start and the end of the school year at both primary and post-primary level are not fixed. The school year generally starts in the week that 1 September falls every year.

Discretionary days

Every school must be open for tuition for a minimum of 183 days at primary level. Schools can use any remaining days at their discretion to extend the summer holiday period or to close on religious or other holidays.

However, schools cannot use these days to extend the Christmas, Easter or mid term breaks (unless a religious observance day(s) falls at that time for schools of a particular denomination or faith). If a school does not have enough discretionary days left for a religious holiday schools can denote that day a non-tuition day.