School term dates 2019: When is October half term and is it the same for all UK schools?

OCTOBER half term is nearly here after kids have been back in the classroom for weeks.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the autumn half term break, and how school term dates differ around the UK.

When are the school holiday dates for the academic year 2019/20?

School holiday and term time dates can vary depending on which part of the country you live in.

Most children will return to school at the beginning of September, though some go back in the middle of August.

The next break is the autumn half term in October when most children across the UK finish school on Friday, October 18, and return on Monday, October 28.

The dates below are just a rough guide, but check your local council website for the exact term times.

  • Autumn term: Monday, September 2 – Friday, October 18, 2019
  • October half term: Monday, October 21 – Friday, October 25, 2019
  • Autumn term: Monday, October 28 – Friday, December 20, 2019
  • Christmas Holidays 2019: Monday, December 23, 2019 – Thursday, January 2, 2020
  • Spring term: Monday, January 6 – Friday, February 14, 2020
  • Spring half term: Monday, February 17 – Friday, February 21, 2020
  • Spring term: Monday, February 24 – Friday, April 3, 2020
  • Easter holidays: Monday, April 6, 2020 – Friday, April 17, 2020
  • Summer term: Monday, April 20 – Friday, May 22, 2020
  • May half term: Monday, May 25 – Friday, May 29, 2020
  • Summer term: Monday, June 1 – Friday, July 17, 2020

Why are holidays so much more expensive during the school holidays?

Hotels, airlines and tour operators know that more people will want to jet off during school holidays, so many hike up their prices.

Recent research has revealed that some holidays are nine times more expensive when schools are off when compared to term time.

Now there are growing calls for the government to intervene and force tour operators to lower their prices during the holidays so fewer children are taken out of school during term time.

Is it illegal to take your children on holiday during term time?

Parents are only allowed to let their children miss school if they are sick or have been given permission.

According to the government website you can get permission for your child to take time off school by making an application to the head teacher in advance or if there are exceptional circumstances.

It's up to the head teacher to decide if leave can be granted and for how long.

It's been revealed that almost 20,000 people were taken to court in 2015 after their children missed school without permission – an increase of more than a fifth.

Those who take their kids out of school will be slapped with a £60 fine which rises to £120 if not paid after 21 days.

The BBC revealed that penalty notices rose by 93 per cent in 2017-2018 to 223,000.

They said that in the academic year family holidays accounted for 85 per cent of fines issued, but fines were also issued for pupils arriving late to school.

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