When Do Private Schools Start in 2024?

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Every year as the start of school approaches, students all over the UK begin to anticipate the return. While the start of school is exciting for most students, there is always an undercurrent of anxiety. One of the main worries is about going back to school on the correct date, especially in private schools where it can be different from the rest of the UK. Many students even feel silly about this worry, as the information should be easily accessible, but school websites can be hard to understand. Therefore, in this article, we will help you understand when private schools start back in 2024, as well as how to find out about term dates in the future.

Private schools set their own term dates, so check with your individual school to find out the specific date. However, private schools typically go back on the first full week of September, which falls on the 2nd of September in 2024.

This short answer will have given you an overview of when private schools start back, but for more helpful information on term dates and how it works in the private system, please read on.

When do private schools go back?

As private schools have the ability to set their own term dates, they are difficult to generalise. Therefore, it is advisable to check with your individual school for accurate dates and times. The same is true for academies and other self-governed schools.

However, private schools usually coordinate at least in part with their catchment area state schools for term dates, including the return to school.

While state schools usually have around 6 weeks of summer holiday, private schools usually have a little longer, breaking up earlier in the summer as they usually have longer school days. However, most schools will go back at around the same time.

The most common start time for schools is in the first full week of September. In 2024, this starts on the 2nd. Some schools also have an induction day or a few days at the start for new pupils only, and then start later in the week such as on Wednesday. However, the most common start date in 2024 is Monday 2nd September.

Of course, some schools may start the week before, or after, so it is key to check with your school to ensure you know the exact date.

For more information on private schools and how much they cost, please check out this Think Student article.

What are the private school term dates?

As mentioned above, private schools in the UK tend to follow a similar pattern of term dates as state schools. However, they commonly have longer holidays than state schools, mostly due to their longer school days, or weekend school. Keep reading for more information about typical term dates in the academic year.

What are the typical term dates for private schools?

Private schools usually run from September to July, with a holiday at Christmas, Easter, and then a long break in the summer. There are also usually half-term breaks of one or two weeks 3 times a school year.

This is a table showing the most common term dates for private schools:

Term Approximate dates
Autumn term 1 1st week of September to 3rd week of October
Half term 1 2 weeks
Autumn term 2 1st week of November to 3rd week of December
Christmas Holiday 4 weeks
Spring term 1 2nd week of January to 3rd week of February
Half term 2 1 week
Spring term 2 1st week of March to 1st week of April
Easter holiday 3 weeks
Summer term 1 4th week of April to 4th week of May
Half term 3 1 week
Summer term 2 2nd week of June to 1st week of July
Summer holiday 7-8 weeks

Of course, some private schools also have entrance exams required to be able to attend. For more information on when these typically fall, check out this article from Think Student.

What are the term dates for 2023/24 academic year in private schools?

In 2023/24, the term dates are predicted to be as follows. Remember that these dates are estimates, so check with your school for specific dates. You can check out Hendon prep school for an example here.

Term Dates
Autumn term 1 5/09 – 14/10
Autumn term 2 31/10 – 16/12
Spring term 1 5/01 – 17/02
Spring term 2 27/02 – 31/03
Summer term 1 25/04 – 26/05
Summer term 2 05/06 – 07/08

How many days do private schools have?

Private schools usually have a weekly timetable of 6 days, which is more than the typical state school. This is because they often have Saturday school. This usually refers to a half day on Saturday to do sports or other extra-curriculars, but it can also be a full day of teaching, especially in boarding schools.

Private school students typically attend school for around 190 days per year. This is due to Government guidelines for state schools listing this as a minimum, even though these rules do not apply to private schools. Private schools typically have longer holidays, but still around the same number of hours spent in school due to longer days, even if they spend less than 190 days in school.

Religious private schools which follow religions other than Christianity may have a different pattern of holidays, or extra days off in order to celebrate religious events. This may mean that their days are structured differently too, as they may take part in prayers, or that they have a different weekly structure, having a day off on Friday instead of Sunday, or similar. For more information on faith schools, check out this Think Student article.

What time do private schools finish?

Most private schools start at around 8-9 am, and end at 3-5 pm. The reason for this variation is due to some being boarding schools, which tend to have much longer days. Therefore, it fully depends on the school what time they finish. More information on boarding schools can be found from Think Student here.

Some private schools are specifically for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). These schools sometimes only last until lunchtime, to best meet the needs of their students. These schools often operate on a caring basis, providing parents with after-school clubs so parents can work.

Private schools usually finish earlier than state schools for the summer, breaking up in early July rather than at the end of July.

Students typically leave the private school system at the age of 18, to go to university or an apprenticeship. However, they can also leave at 16 from high school, 13-15 from middle school, and 11 from primary school. Private schools are often all-through schools, so they have students from nursery through to sixth form.

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