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