School terms in primary and post-primary school

When does the school year start and end?

The dates for the start and the end of the school year are not the same for all schools. Schools can decide when students start school in the autumn, and when they finish school in the summer.

The school year normally starts in the week in which 1 September falls.

Post-primary schools usually close before the June public holiday (the first Monday in June) due to the start of State exams in June. Primary schools usually close in the last week of June.

All schools are closed for July and most (or all) of August.

School holidays

Every school year, primary and post-primary schools also close for:

  • Autumn mid-term break
  • Christmas
  • February mid-term break
  • Easter

These holidays are standardised. The dates are set by the Department of Education. See dates for the 'School year 2023-2024' below.

At the start of the school year, you will get 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.

Discretionary days

Every school must be open for a minimum number of days:

  • Primary schools - 183 days
  • Post-primary schools - 167 days

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 the discretionary 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, it can choose not to have classes on that day.

Some schools use their discretionary days to extend bank holiday weekends and others extend the May bank holiday break to a full week. You should check with your school for details of the school holidays and any other planned closures..

School year 2023-2024

October 2023 mid-term break

All schools close from Monday, 30 October 2023, to Friday, 3 November 2023 inclusive.

Christmas 2023

All schools close on Friday, 22 December 2023, which is the final day of the school term. All schools re-open on Monday, 8 January 2024.

February 2024 mid-term break

All primary schools close on Thursday, 15 February 2024, and Friday, 16 February 2024. Primary schools can use 3 discretionary days to extend this to a 5-day break starting on Monday, 12 February 2024 unless they need these days to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures.

Unforeseen school closures might happen, for example, due to bad weather.

Post-primary schools close for a week, from Monday, 12 February 2024, to Friday, 16 February 2024 inclusive, unless changes are needed to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures.

If a post-primary school needs to make up such time, it can shorten the mid-term break by staying open, up to and including Wednesday, 14 February 2024.

Easter 2024

All schools close on Friday, 22 March 2024, which is the final day of the school term, unless changes are needed to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures. If a school needs to make up such time, it can shorten the Easter break by staying open, up to and including Wednesday, 27 March 2024.

All schools re-open on Monday, 8 April 2024.

School year 2024-2025

October 2024 mid-term break

All schools close from Monday, 28 October 2024, to Friday, 1 November 2024 inclusive.

Christmas 2024

All schools close on Friday, 20 December 2024 which is the final day of the school term. All schools re-open on Monday, 6 January 2025.

February 2025 mid-term break

All primary schools close on Thursday, 20 February 2025, and Friday, 21 February 2025. Primary schools can use 3 discretionary days to extend this to a 5-day break starting on Monday, 17 February 2025 unless they need these days to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures.

Unforeseen school closures might happen, for example, due to bad weather.

Post-primary schools close for a week, from Monday, 17 February 2025, to Friday, 21 February 2025 inclusive, unless changes are needed to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures.

If a post-primary school needs to make up such time, it can shorten the mid-term break by staying open, up to and including Wednesday, 19 February 2025.

Easter 2025

All schools close on Friday, 11 April 2025, which is the final day of the school term, unless changes are needed to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures. If a school needs to make up such time, it can shorten the Easter break by staying open, up to and including Wednesday, 16 April 2025.

All schools re-open on Monday, 28 April 2025.

Page edited: 2 January 2024