Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Are school holidays too long in Andalucía? Part 1

Studies say the number of class days does not influence academic achievement
ANDALUCÍA (uncovered while preparing 2013/2014 School Calendar) The answer to the headline question is 'not really'. An answer qualified by the fact that our regional holidays are about average in European terms. The difference, though, is that not every other country have them for such a long, concentrated period. Schools in Andalucía are on holiday for eleven and a half weeks, starting on June 21 for Infants and Primary, and ending on September 10. A study by a teachers' organization, Ancaba, says that>>>
the extensive summer holiday period puts Andalucía right in the middle of the average, from 10 to 12 weeks.

Children in Andalucía, then, are at the same level as their counterparts in Sweden, Finland, Romania, Iceland and Hungary.

The countries with shorter summer holidays include the UK (except Northern Ireland), Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Denmark, where the summer holidays last between six and seven weeks, starting at the beginning of July and ending mid-August - about a whole month before Andalucía.

Region and climate play a part
The extent of the summer holidays often depends on the region and climate, of course. In the UK, for instance, England and Wales begin their holidays in mid-Jukly but don't come back until September.

Then there are other places where the summer vacations are a little longer, between eight and nine weeks. France and Norway, for instance.

The longest, though, are also on the edge of the Mediterranean: Turkey, Greece and Italy take 12 or 13 weeks, about three months.

Climate, evidently, plays a part in the length of holidays, and in the distribution of other holidays throughout the year. Countries in Northern Europe -save Sweden and Ireland- and the Baltics return to school after the summer around the middle of August. A curious exception is Germany, where some regions start their summer vacations towards the end of May.

(Sources: PISA, Eurydice, Ancaba, and others)

Part 2 is scheduled for Saturday, July 27

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