Media Release 7 April 2017
Family First is rubbishing suggestions that families pulling their children out of school for family holidays is a form of truancy and will challenge any moves by Education officials in NZ to follow the UK precedent.
“Education happens in the family setting as well – even on holidays. Families experience different cultures, learn about other countries, and visit places of national significance such as museums and historic places. Busy families also get the rare opportunity of relaxing together,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
A 2016 study in the U.K. showed that 78.7 per cent of those in the classroom every day reached the expected academic level by the end of primary school, but this was fewer than the 82.2 per cent of those who took between one and 20 days of authorised holiday.
“Families who are in the middle to lower income may not be able to afford holidays during the peak periods but are able to take advantage of cheaper flights and available accommodation during off-peak periods, and at a time when all of the family is available to travel. Holidays will become only available for the rich if restrictions are put in place.”
“There is a huge difference between a family holidaying together for a short period as a one-off as opposed to the ongoing issue of truancy where the ongoing absence is with the knowledge of the parents, which indicates far greater issues of family dysfunction and an increased likelihood of at-risk behaviour by both the child and the family. This is where the focus should be.”
“A family holiday can be a hugely positive thing in the life of a child bringing great memories. A family that holidays together is more likely to stay together!”