CHANGING the structure of school holidays has the potential to disrupt vital learning, but the ultimate decision on when to take kids out of school and on vacation is up to parents.
Bletchington Public School principle Craig Booth expressed his thoughts on North Sydney councillor Mary Ann Beregi’s proposal to make school holidays more flexible for the average family and, more importantly, the hip pocket.
Dubbed a holiday revolution, Cr Beregi, a mother of three and a qualified maths teacher, said the scheduled school holiday period was just too expensive for mums and dads.
So much so, she said it was now easier for parents to take kids on holidays during school terms.
While agreeing holiday periods had become increasingly expensive, Mr Booth said it was beneficial for students and teachers to make the most of the school term.
But ultimately, it’s the parents’ decision.
“We can’t dictate when parents take their holidays,” Mr Booth said.
“For one reason or another, some people can’t afford to take time out during school term and others can’t afford it in peak times during school holidays.
“It’s important to have a good relationship with the parent body, and certainly we’ve got that here.
“You have to take each case on its merits.”
Mr Booth said it was possible for schools to grant students exemptions if they were going on an extended holiday overseas.
The exemption ensures attendance records aren’t tarnished.
He said learning programs for children on holidays during school terms were also available.
A Department of Education and Communities spokesperson added to Mr Booth’s sentiment.
“The school holidays and school term dates gazetted by the NSW government are published well in advanced to allow parents to plan vacations that will not disrupt their children’s learning,” the spokesperson said.
“It is well recognised that when students are absent from school - regardless of the reason - they miss out on vital learning, their learning routines are disrupted and it can impact on relationships with other students.”