21 December, 2007 - School breaks for mid-term, Easter and Christmas fixed until 2011 - Minister Hanafin welcomes new agreement on standardised school year

As schools close today for Christmas holidays, Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin T.D., welcomed the new agreement that has been reached between the Department of Education and Science and the partners in education on the standardisation of the school year. "We are all aware of the benefits for families of being able to plan school holidays and mid-term breaks well in advance. This new agreement means that up as far as summer 2011 everyone knows when all recognised primary and post primary schools will be closed for midterm breaks and the holiday periods at Christmas and Easter."The standardised school year was first introduced as part of the modernisation programme in 2004. That agreement standardised the school year for the first time ever from October 2004 until Easter 2008. The new agreement covers the period from October 2008 until Easter 2011.The full details of the breaks and holidays during this period are set out in Circular 0107/2007 which is available on the Department's website at www.education.ie or can be downloaded below.
 
Schools throughout the country are obliged to be open for a minimum of 167 days at post-primary level and 183 days at primary level.Wishing students, teachers and their families a happy and safe Christmas break, Minister Hanafin said "nollaig shona agus athbhliain faoi shéan agus faoi mhaise daoibh go léir."Ends