Recently while on Holiday in a very sunny spot, without children of my own, several sets of parents explained to me that although they had taken the children out of school, it was a good opportunity for the children to experience a different way of life.
That these parents were in the 5 star Sofitel Hotel, on the luxurious man-made island of Denarau in Fiji, where staff are paid approximately $80 a week to serve children gaining this “experience” of ” a different way of life”, seemed lost on these parents.
Some parents do it. Take their children out of school to go holidaying in the middle of winter to somewhere warmer and without the extra costs of school holiday airfares and accommodation.
But is swimming all day in a pool at the luxurious Denarau suite of high class hotels a learning experience? Spending days in water parks in Queensland life expanding?
Some of these same people bemoan children staying home to nurse younger siblings in our poorer areas and castigate their parents notwithstanding the parents may both have to be at work to make their S14.50 per hour work for the family. Those they say, are bad parents.
Is there a giant double standard here? The Law is only for the bad parents, and those taking winter holidays to the sun with their children can’t be bad parents. Can they? Have they obtained the necessary exemption from the school Principal?
27 Principal may exempt from attendance for short period
(1)If satisfied that a student’s absence was or will be justified, the principal of the school may exempt the student from attending the school for a period of no more than 5 school days.
(2)The parent of a student exempted under subsection (1) is not subject to section 25 in respect of the student for the period to which the exemption relates.
(3)In the absence of evidence to the contrary, a certificate from the principal of a school that—
(a) a student was absent from the school for any period; and
(b)the principal is not satisfied that the absence was justified,—
is proof that the student was absent for that period without being exempted under subsection (1).
(4)For the purposes of subsection (3), judicial notice shall be taken of the appointment and signature of every principal.
s27 Education Act 1989
Read the stuff.co.nz opinion piece which caught my eye this morning here which also discusses the UK context and how they respond.