When is October half-term 2021? Date of the next school holidays around UK explained

Asia's Tech News Daily

Schools are now open again across the UK. Pupils in Scotland returned to the classroom in August, those in Northern Ireland went back a few weeks later, and now students in England and Wales have joined them.

Pupils and parents alike will be hoping for a far more normal school year, relatively unaffected by Covid restrictions.

If all goes to plan then the next time most pupils will be off school will be in October.

Exact dates vary across the UK, and also by local council. Here’s how it breaks down.

England and Wales

Most schools will break up for half-term on Friday 22 October, and will have 25-29 October off, before pupils return to class on 1 November.

Terms dates will vary by council, so to check the exact dates for your area head here.

A senior Government scientist has told i the Government has drawn up contingency plans for an October “firebreak” lockdown should hospitalisations continue at their current level and threaten to overload the NHS.

This could see schools closed for two weeks rather than one over half-term.

The Department for Education has denied these plans. However, a Government spokesperson said it “retains contingency plans as part of responsible planning for a range of scenarios, but such measures would only be re-introduced as a last resort to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS”.


Many Scottish schools have a mid-term holiday over the weekend of 24-27 September, although other councils have a day off on 20 September or an inset day a week earlier.

Schools then have a holiday in October, which for many students falls between Monday 11 and Friday 22, although some areas only have a single week.

Dates will vary by council – to check yours head to the Scottish Government website here.

Northern Ireland

Students in Northern Ireland do not get as much time off during the autumn term as the rest of the UK.

They will have a long weekend break from Thursday 28 October until Monday 1 November, before breaking up for Christmas on Thursday 23 December.

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