Principals applaud school holiday decision

The dates of the end of Term 3 school holidays will remain unchanged, a move welcomed by many principals and teachers across the country.

Education minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement today that Auckland schools’ holidays will proceed as planned, despite five weeks of Level 4 lockdown having prompted suggestions they be brought forward to fit with next week’s tentative Level 3 move.

Hipkins said, “This wasn’t a straight forward decision. I acknowledge the added pressure currently on parents and families around Auckland but, as Education Minister, my primary concern has to be the effects on children’s education and wellbeing.

“Keeping the holidays as they are will avoid disrupting the plans already in place for students, families and educations, including curriculum and activity planning and families planning their holidays and will reduce anxiety.” 

The NZPF says it is pleased with today’s announcement that school holiday dates will start from Saturday 2 October as scheduled.

President of NZPF Perry Rush said today, “Young people thrive on certainty and the education workforce has worked hard to pivot to remote learning at level 4 and hybrid models down the levels. It makes good sense to avoid disrupting the systems, set up to date, to support students during the latest COVID crisis.”

NZPF President Perry Rush

“The impact of isolation on young people and growing mental health concerns underlines the importance of helping young people experience a holiday period where they can reconnect to their peers and family. Holding the school holidays to the anticipated date best enables this to occur.”

“There is no guarantee that the final term of the year will be without serious COVID challenges and the potential for further lockdowns. Holding to the current school holiday plan enables young people to be best prepared to cope with the uncertainty of what may lie ahead.” he said

Heather Barker Vermeer

Heather has worked as a journalist, writer and editor in England and Aotearoa New Zealand for over 20 years. She fell in love with words when she received a 'Speak & Spell' tech toy for Christmas in 1984.
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