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Abolish 'set' school holidays
Let families choose when to take their kids out of school

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55 replies to this topic

#1 Snot stew

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

I heard this on the radio recently, proposed by someone (yes, I was listening very well - and I can't find info on it on Google).

The idea would be that schools would operate year-round, and parents would nominate when they wanted to take their kids out of school for holidays.  

WDYT?  Would you support this idea?

#2 cinnabubble

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:45 AM

Not unless there were spectacularly good and very affordable year-round school holiday programs.

#3 PixieVee

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:46 AM

It doesn't really sounds practical at all to me.

#4 unicorn

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:47 AM

For our family it would work,  would be a bit if a logistical challenge for schools though.

#5 Lagom

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:47 AM

And what about missed curriculum?  Or are schools going to teach differently too?

#6 Peppery

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

Wouldn't it be a nightmare for teachers??!

#7 niggles

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:50 AM

Sounds completely loony. What do the students do when the teacher takes their holidays? How does the teacher plan with no idea or influence over which students will be present when?

#8 Mpjp is feral

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:52 AM

Eltham College melbourne campus does exactly this (I think the school is called something else now).

My DS went to their ELC and we looked very closely at the school for that reason, and that reason alone!!! Pity we didnt warm to teh staff or Principal....maybe its because they hate their working rosters!

#9 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:52 AM

I have a friend who works in the English education system where individual schools can program their own holidays. My friend and her husband teach in secondary schools  and both have different holidays to each other and their primary school aged daughter. For cases like this the pick-your-own-holiday could work but it just seems too disruptive to me.

#10 Julie3Girls

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

I'd imagine in most cases it would be very disruptive to learning. While most schools will say that they plan to the individual children, fact is, the majority of work is taught to the class as a whole, with then additional allowances/effort/teaching to meet the needs of the individuals.

If you had kids dropping out any time during the year, it would mean the teacher who have to be tracking and repeating a lot of work.

Also, have you seen kids at the end of term?  A lot of kids get ratty, you can tell when the term is a long one, you can see that some of the kids simply need a break.
By letting parents simply pick and choose, you are taking away that even spacing of breaks that currently exist.  And what about parents who can't be bothered to sort out holidays.

Vacation care would be impossible, because it runs based on numbers, often in the school grounds. Working parents only get 4 weeks a year, what should they do the rest of the time?

Basically, not practical in my opinion.

#11 steppy

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

No. Too hard on the teachers and the kids. Lots of parents would never give their kids a break.

#12 steppy

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:04 PM

Plus which, you can do this anyway as long as you're prepared to help the kids catch up.

#13 Jane Jetson

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:26 PM

I'd be concerned about vacation care accessibility, and about what the kids would miss during their chosen holidays - this way, everybody would miss *something*.

#14 ComradeBob

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

Have I dropped into a time warp and woken up to discover it's actually April 1?  unsure.gif

Because that's were that loopy idea belongs....

#15 LambChop

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:34 PM

It depends on the teaching approach doesn't it, I mean, it would be fine for the most part in the Montessori School my children attend.

Where the approach is lesson plans and a consistent lesson for all children at the same time, then this would be trickier to juggle.

#16 KT1978

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:34 PM

I don't think that would work.  Possibly for senior students where you can work on a segment/module method, where they have several classes for each HSC unit, it could be a viable option.

ie everyone needs to study A, B and C in maths.  We are running these in Week 1, 5, 7. YOu must nominate the one you will attend... and so on.... so that the senior students can work to the pace that suits them (they already have free periods and time off before exams anyway).

It might also be good if schools/school districts could set their holidays, if they wanted to have them slightly different to the rest of the state.  Some areas have extreme heat, snow, harvest and other seasonal factors that might be unique to their area and being able to move holidays might be a good thing.  I'm not sure if some religious schools already do this for religious events?

#17 opethmum

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

I think it will complicate a number of things,

Teachers and allowing times to programme their classes, pressure to not take holidays and placing them on contracts and rosters that make their family life suffer. Also if their children have different holidays additional economic burden to find care and programmes or the school not approving leave to take their child on holidays.

Children not getting breaks because their parents can't afford holidays normally and creating an us and them mentality in the school.

Creating a budgeting nightmare and could possibly create problems in funding school programmes and placing more stringent conditions on the money e.g. bums on seats rules etc and possibly state governments could use this an an excuse to strip away funding from schools.

#18 BadCat

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:55 PM

It's a stupid idea.

#19 Sif

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

And what about missed curriculum? Or are schools going to teach differently too?

At my son's high school, they are implementing a curriculum where the students have online units they work through at home, and then in class they do collaborative work based on those units. Students have the opportunity to work 'ahead' if they wish and even do VCE from year 8 onwards if they are up to the challenge, they can also repeat units they want to improve their marks on.

This could be extended to primary school levels, I'm sure!

There was a school in Melbourne's CBD which runs year round so parents can take their children out to suit their work holidays.  It started this program maybe 2-3 years ago (I saw it on the news and thought it was quite innovative). I'm not sure if the school is still operating in this fashion or not, maybe an EB member has a child there and can let us know?

ETA: This would be the place I heard about... http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-06-16/new-...ar-long/2472528

Edited by Sif, 13 February 2013 - 01:03 PM.

#20 vintage.blue

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:04 PM

I don't think it's a good idea.

#21 cward

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:07 PM

There was a school in Melbourne's CBD which runs year round so parents can take their children out to suit their work holidays. It started this program maybe 2-3 years ago (I saw it on the news and thought it was quite innovative). I'm not sure if the school is still operating in this fashion or not, maybe an EB member has a child there and can let us know?
  i would imagine in this scenario that teachers would be working on some sort of roster system and only taking 4 weeks annual leave so that would enable the school to be open all the time.  

I personally don't think it would work but my youngest DD would love it as she doesnt think there should be school holidays anyway, she wants to go to school all the time!

#22 FeralZombieMum

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:08 PM

Whoever suggested it is obviously lacking in the ability to think about the consequences that would occur if this was ever implemented.

There are just so many things that would be affected.

#23 Sif

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:17 PM

There are just so many things that would be affected.

Okay, like what? You have obviously thought about it, so tells us what would be affected.

This discussion is quite important because the current education system is not particularly user-friendly, and it is not efficiently use the technological innovations which are available to us. It's a 150 year old system working in time which has far removed from it's origins.

The current school system is not keeping up with the life style demands of families with working parents (being they sole parent families or dual employment families).

So, why not try to find a better way instead of just accepting the status quo - with have the tools to have a far more flexible education system, but we are not employing those tools.

#24 Bluenomi

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:21 PM

If you want to pick when your child has school holidays, home school them. Otherwise just deal with the holidays set by the schools and government.

It would be a nightmare if they allowed. Can you imagine how many parents who end up suing school because little Johnny failed because of the parents stuffing around with holidays and missing school?

#25 Heather11

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

In effect a teacher could be teaching a class of 5 kids if all the others decide to take holidays at the same time.

Do you have to have your holidays approved? Do they have to be evenly spread?

What happens if I decide to take my kids out for 12 weeks at the end of the year?  

Vacation care would be a nightmare as it would have to be constantly being run.  It would have operate totally separate to the school and more like a daycare centre.

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