OPINION: I’m going to pull my kids out of school for family holidays

Not the author's actual family.
Not the author's actual family.

The Education Department has criticised parents who pull their kids out of school and take them to Bali.

I am one of these parents – and I’ll probably do it again.

MORE: Education Department reminds parents it’s against the law to take kids out of school for a Bali holiday 

Myself (working in media) and my husband (working in hospitality) find it impossible to have time off that coincides with school holidays.

With this in mind, once a year we book time off during the school semester and take our kids out of school.

It’s the only time we can go on holiday together as a family.

What about long weekends, you ask?

Well, my husband works weekends – for pubs, this is the busiest time of the week.

A quick whip around the office proved it was not uncommon to pull the kids out of school for a holiday.

One colleague said she was pulling her children out in a few weeks to go overseas.

Another said they took their child to Europe for four weeks.

One knew a school teacher who took his son out of school to visit Europe.

Someone else pointed out (fairly) that accommodation and flights cost double during the school holidays, which might make others less likely to travel then.

Life, our jobs and the family unit are changing.

While my husband’s industry will never be family friendly, the rise of FIFO means more people are working in jobs where set holidays that fit in with the school year are becoming rare.

Suggestions that people change jobs that suit family life when the cost of living keeps rising are ludicrous.

So for now, we’ll continue taking the kids out of school for a week a year and suffer the wrath of the Education Department.

And I hope that years from now my kids will benefit from their cultural education as much as their classroom-based education.