News: Such short summer holidays

Our children have the shortest summer holidays in the European Union. So say the BBC.

Whilst our children have about 6 weeks holiday some schools on the continent shut for up to 16 weeks! Add this to the fact that our children start school at a much younger age than most Europeans the question must be asked: do our children get too much school? This becomes even more important when it has been shown that the countries with the lowest teaching hours have the most successful systems.

England, Wales: 6 weeks
Germany: 6 weeks
Scotland: 7 weeks
Austria: 9 weeks
Sweden: 10 weeks
Finland: 11 weeks
Italy: 12 weeks
Portugal: 12 weeks
Bulgaria: 16 weeks

Could it be that we value our schools more as very cheap baby sitting services than as places to go to learn? I believe that many parents can provide a much better education for their children than a school – just take the National Trust gardens I visited this morning, with many parents taking their children to enjoy the gardens and flowers.

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