Children missing out on school if taken on holiday during term time
Thousands of parents who take 'cheaper' holidays during the school term time need to realise their kids are missing out on school, says Secondary Principals' Association president Mike Williams.
New research shows more than 36,000 children took a holiday during a single school term last year, Radio NZ reported.
Ministry of Education figures show 5.7 percent of the 630,000 students covered by its attendance survey last year missed an average of one week in the second school term last year.
Secondary Principals Association president Mike Williams told Radio NZ some trips were educational, but children were still missing out on school.
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"There's going to be a cost, and I suppose that's the point we have to make to parents. This might be an amazing educational experience for your kids but there will be a cost in terms of their learning in other areas," said Williams.
He said research showed attendance was strongly linked to achievement.
The Ministry has previously said it won't fine parents for doing so, but several parents have been prosecuted for "persistent truancy" after absences of longer than 20 consecutive days.
Ministry spokesperson Katrina Casey said in April that taking students out of school during term-time for holidays "isn't something we support, because it can affect how well they learn and progress".
"Prosecution through the courts for chronic or long-term truancy is always a last resort. It is more important to get a student back to school. Prosecution does not take place for occasional absences, such as a holiday."
- Audio courtesy of Radio NZ