School holidays and climate change...what do these two things have in common?

We seem to get rain every July, just as the school holidays get going.

Meanwhile, temperatures in southern Europe seem to get hotter and hotter every summer.

It appears that climate change is responsible for both.

As the heat in southern Europe rises, it feels particularly perverse that, here in Scotland, we seem to end up with a wetter climate.

This isn’t a column about tackling climate change – there aren’t enough words for that – but it is about school holidays and whether we should be looking at changing them.

Traditionally, we start our summer holidays in late June – in fact, just after Midsummer’s day.

There isn’t an obvious answer as to why that is but most theories start with the assumption it goes back to the introduction of universal education and children being needed to help with farming.

There is a hangover to that still, as kids in north-east Scotland get two weeks in October to help with the ‘tattie howking’, as a friend put it to me.

In recent years, May and June have been months of good weather. Indeed, June this year was generally lovely but many parents will have dreaded the end of term and the onset of those July downpours.

For those who could afford it, the escape from this involved a holiday in the Mediterranean but who wants to go on a holiday where the heat means having to stay indoors for most of the day and only go out first thing in the morning and late in the evening?

Who wants 40 degrees Celsius on the beach? Who wants to risk skin cancer?

In Spain, the schools break up in mid-June and don’t go back until mid-September. It’s roughly the same in Italy. Their school years aren’t any shorter, they’re just more concentrated.

If we shifted our school holidays to fit with English schools, we might avoid most of the July showers but those heading to southern Europe wouldn’t escape the heat.

Perhaps we should bring our holidays forward so they start in early June?

It is worth a thought, surely?