Spanish school holidays are too long, say experts

Education experts claim the current three-month break means kids simply ‘forget how to study’

LAST UPDATED: 22 Aug, 2015 @ 10:25

SPANISH students currently enjoy the longest school holidays in Europe, going a whopping three months with no classes… but that might be about to change.

Not much time spent in the classroom
Not much time spent in the classroom

At the moment, children in Spain get a break from mid-June until mid-September.

However, a growing number of organisations are calling for schools to cut their summer break after Carlos Martinez, the head of the IMF’s business school, said it was affecting their development.

“There is evidence children simply forget how to study,” said Martinez.

“Long holidays also have an impact on working parents who are unable to take time off.

“It is not surprising that these groups are calling for change.”

As well as having the longest summer holidays, Spaniards also enjoy more bank holidays than anywhere else, with 10 national and two regional days off each year.

CEAPA, a parents representative group, has lined up a proposal to spread out holiday days more evenly throughout the year in line with our European neighbours who, on average, get more time off at Christmas and Easter.

Gib Rocks - the magazine for Gibraltar

Subscribe: Olive Press news to your inbox


  1. It certainly makes sense. In this modern age, of air conditioning, siestas are no longer a necessity, and children could school at sensible hours, for longer and cut back on holidays. As do nearly every other civilised country in the world. The children’s education is paramount, and should not be allowed to drift, and three months off each year in one big chunk is ludicrous.

  2. PJB
    Whilst noting the longer holidays in Spain….
    my daughter (16) starts school in Spain (not private) at 8am and finishes at 2.45pm – with no break for lunch – taken when she comes home. So that´s 6 hours 45 minutes of school.

    Her cousin in England (also not a private school) starts at 9am finishes at 3.30pm with an hour for lunch. That´s 5 hours and 30 minutes.

    So the Spanish school day is 1 hour and 15 minutes longer each day than the British. That´s Almost 2 lessons of 40 mins each a day more. No wonder her maths is so much more advanced than the equivalent level in England.

  3. I agree with the article. My kids go to school from 09.00 till 14.00, 5 hours with half an hour break. They get bombarded with soo much homework, often things we as parents have to explain to them, simply because there is no time enough in school to do it properly ( 4.5 hours to explain mates, lengua y conocimiento ). Then the bankholidays and the 3 month summer break. It makes my kids crazy. July is fun: swimmingpool, beach, friends coming over…half August is ok, but then you are simply tired of dealing with bored kids in the smoldering heat. Finally September has arrived, everyone is gone, back home and back into their daily routines, then you find yourself for another 10 long days, wrecking your brain what else to do to keep them entertained….The second week approaches and you think, ok, Monday they start again, but then the noticeboard says different, they only start again on THURSDAY, makes sense. They need their routine, they want to see their schoolfriends again and they simply turn into naughty bored monsters without any brain stimulation or sport….thankfully we have a good summerschool programme to keep them busy doing games and sports, but this costs a fortune. Spain should urgently revise their system.

  4. I have never had a problem with having my children at home, and I am sorry to see them go back at the end of a holiday. There is so much we do and share together. Naughty bored monsters without any brain stimulation they certainly never have been. I play computer games with them, go for walks with them, do hobby’s with them and so much more. Is that not what we have children for.

  5. JQ, there is nothing really more “advanced” in the Spanish system, it is just that there is a difference in what ages pupils from both countries learn the same concepts. I often hear from parents that their children seem to have “advanced” a year here. Conversely, children going back to UK schools often find the subject matter is a year behind. Spain gives reams of homework and children often learn less because they are overloaded and are not actually being properly taught the subject matter. International schools in Spain are the total opposite; the majority of work is done at school, a better method in my opinion. Many also use online learning tools for homework, but this is rare in the state system as they are so under-resourced and staff morale is often very low.

  6. @John Lightfoot…..of course we have our kids to do all kinds of things and activities with them, i have very active kids and love spending time with them, but 3 months in a row is just too much, especially if you have a busy business to look after aswell. After 3 months of playing computergames and walking and hobbies, are yours not eager to go back to school then ? Mine certainly are, i think that proves on how active they really like to be.

  7. Someone should tell John that Spain’s school holidays are much longer than in the UK. John, you live in the UK do you not? The perils of commenting on something when you don’t live in the country strikes again lol.

  8. I can read Fred and surprisingly I fully understand that 3 months is longer than 2 months. I know from their comments that they are not looking forward to returning to school and would prefer to be at home. The perils of commenting on something when you don’t know the facts strikes again lol

  9. Of course John, you know more facts about Spain than someone who actually lives in Spain and has used the school systems in Spain. I can tell you for a fact that most children can’t wait to get back to school after such a long holiday period – they are bored out of their minds by the third month. It’s amazing you don’t know any of this. Move to Spain and live here, and then comment, is my advice.

  10. OK I will apologise Fred. I can now see that your argument is that children in Spain get bored more then children in the UK. All you need to do now is to clarify why.

  11. John, no apology needed, or indeed requested. It’s just that you started out by telling us about how your experience was, but it was based on the UK, which has a totally different school system and school holiday period than Spain. Spain’s holidays are significantly longer, and the Spanish school holiday is the topic of this article. With respect, I do know the facts since I live here and have experience of the state and private school systems, and you do not. Anyway, any child would be bored after 3 months of holiday. School is, for most children, the best time of their lives, but they don’t know it, of course.