Monday, April 23, 2007

Truancy and being out of school

I can't agree with this statement from Katherine Rich;

Mrs Rich said it did not matter if children missed two weeks from school to hang out in a mall or to go on a skiing holiday, the upshot was the same – it was time away from education.

Kids 'hanging out in a mall' are often bored, looking for action (trouble) and their parents may have no idea they are there.

Being on a skiing trip the child is occupied, getting exercise and spending what many might describe as 'quality time' with mum and dad. If they have travelled overseas than there is an additional educational factor which might be classified under geography. Schools often run camps revolving around a week skiing or mountain activities. They don't run school camps where kids pitch out at the local mall learning how to eyeball passersby and lift the latest fashion accessories.

Surely this is between the school and the parents. It seems to me there is a world of difference between the kind of regular truancy that leads to offending and being out of school in the supervision of parents.

National is showing its authoritarian, statist hue again.


Anonymous said...

National is showing its authoritarian, statist hue again.

Labour, National

Potayto, Patahto

Lindsay Mitchell said...


I have more time for Katherine than others. This is uncharacteristic. It wouldn't even play well to their own constituency. They must be reading an ultra-conservative mood out there? I remember Katherine lining up in a photo shoot with the ACT female MPs a couple of years back in an article about liberty belles (or some such thing). Like Chris Finlayson, if this is Liberal what the heck is Conservative??

Cactus Kate said...

Airfares/hotels are so bloody expensive around traditional holidays it is no wonder parents pull their kids from school.

I do not travel during school holidays if I can avoid it.

Anonymous said...

I disagree.

Kids should be in school during term-time. It teaches children that the rules don't apply to them when parents take them out of school for holidays. Don't we have enough trouble with children (and adults) choosing to exercise their 'rights' without meeting their responsibilities?

Allowing parents to get away with this kind of thing is just plain wrong. If you don't like the law, then campaign for it to be changed. Don't encourage parents to ignore it.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

As I said it is surely up to the school and the parents. A blanket rule that says all children must be in school all of the time is too prescriptive.

I've never taken my children out of school for a holiday. But intend to when we get around to taking them to Europe. The 8 year-old is already planning an itinerary and we have a map of Europe up in the main living area which she pores over. In terms of education, there is nothing like being there and doing it. We don't want to go to Europe in the middle of their winter and we don't want to go for just two weeks. Do they have to wait for their own OEs?

Anonymous said...

If you are going for an extended holiday - then maybe they could do correspondence school while they are away. Certainly they will learn heaps on the kind of trip you envision. But they will also miss out on things the other children will learn while they are away.

I expect Keisha Castle-Hughes did correspondence school or similar while she was away from school for the purpose of making a movie.

And what's wrong with waiting for their OE - or even a gap year between school and Uni?

Cactus Kate said...

While I have some sympathy with what Linda is saying, an OE is just a big booze up.

Family holidays (I hate to say it) are bonding time bla bla..and no doubt actually good for the family unit.

My parents had her attitude and while it cost them less while I was younger, it only suppressed my urges to travel so much that I now do not wish to go home.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Perhaps they knew what they were doing Cactus:-)

Cactus Kate said...

Alas Lindsay

The one slightly older and one slightly younger siblings are still bleedin' them dry at home.

Something went drastically wrong.

My family is a prime example of welfarism gone wrong.