Se­niors stay in school

Rodney Times - - OUT & ABOUT - DELWYN DICKEY

Con­cerns have been raised over par­ents tak­ing chil­dren out of schools dur­ing term for cheaper over­seas hol­i­days.

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.

While aware that it does hap­pen, some sec­ondary school prin­ci­pals on the Hibis­cus Coast and in Rod­ney don’t con­sider it a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

‘‘It is an is­sue rather than a prob­lem,’’ Orewa Col­lege prin­ci­pal Kate Shev­land said.

‘‘We don’t con­done it but ac­cept that it hap­pens.’’

Around four to five per cent of stu­dents would ask for ex­tended leave with over­seas trips the pre­dom­i­nant rea­son, she said.

Leisure hol­i­days tend to be for a week, in some cases two, and are of­ten taken ei­ther side of the end of term.

Par­ents are more likely to take younger chil­dren out of school - up to year nine or 10, but are gen­er­ally pretty re­spon­si­ble at NCEA level, Rod­ney Col­lege prin­ci­pal Irene Symes said.

Longer pe­ri­ods of three weeks or longer are more un­usual and tend to be vis­its to fam­ily in dis­tant places like Europe rather than for leisure, she said.

Par­ents gen­er­ally re­quest leave in ad­vance and schools make ar­range­ments to keep chil­dren upto-date with work while away.

Be­ing able to com­plete work and sub­mit as­sign­ments on­line is be­com­ing more com­mon and seen as ef­fec­tive to stop stu­dents fall­ing be­hind.

A quick tally of a two week trip to Fiji.

Fly­ing Air New Zealand over the hol­i­days at the end of the third term will set a fam­ily of four around $3772 re­turn. Ear­lier or later that, the price drops to $3212 re­turn.

Two weeks at an econ­omy ho­tel in Nadi would cost $1,945 dur­ing the hol­i­days and $1811 after.

A sav­ing of around $700 or 13 per cent for the fam­ily.

SUPPLIED

Dur­ing NCEA years par­ents are much less likely to see their chil­dren miss school.

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