As part of a UK school website development, we would by default integrate a UK public holiday calendar .ics feed into the events management and calendaring system. This would then automate the creation and display of these events and prevent the school web managers having to manually add them each year. A nice touch you will no doubt agree. Recently however, we had a school website client raise their concern over the website calendar feed that we normally integrate.

St. Patricks Day Confusion

The school reported several parents keeping their children at home on ‘St. Patricks Day’ as the school website was displaying it as a ‘Public Holiday’. This was down to the UK holiday calendar feed being from Google, who had started including non-public (non-bank holiday) memorial days such as the Queen’s Birthday, St. Georges Day, Mothering Sunday and Public Holidays specific to Scotland and Ireland (e.g. St. Patricks Day).

To avoid this situation ever arising again, we’ve now replaced the ‘Google UK Holiday’ calendar feed on all our client’s school websites with one provided by the UK Government that only displays Public/bank holidays for England and Wales. You can view the dates at https://www.gov.uk/bank-holidays

For those interested, the two .ics feeds in question are as follows:

Before:
Google UK Holidays

After:
UK Government – England & Wales Bank Holidays Save