Did you know there is a total of three months that kids don’t attend school? That’s a quarter of the year on holidays.
However, many parents still make the decision to take their children out of school during the term to for vacations. This happens for a number of reasons such as cheaper travel, work commitments and seasonal factors.
However, it does raise the question: Is it ok to take kids out of school for holidays?
The response is a mixed one.
Education in Australia is compulsory for children over the age of six. However, different states have slightly different policies on taking children out of school for holidays.
For example, Queensland strongly deters absenteeism through its “Every Day Counts” program. Children having more than 10 days away from school require an exemption from the Principal. Victoria and Western Australia work in pretty much the same way.
NSW also have an exception policy, however holidays and travel are specifically mentioned as not qualifying as an authorised absence.
Tasmania has recently changed its education act to reflect a similar stance. Sickness or incapacity are the only acceptable reasons for not attending school and holidays will be recorded as “unauthorised absences”. This will happen even if parents have communicated with the school.
Conversely, the Attendance at ACT Public Schools Procedure actually lists “sanctioned extended absence in relation to children of travelling families” as a reasonable excuse for child absence from school.
The Northern Territory also have an “Every Day Counts” strategy with a strong focus on encouraging attendance.
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