To Skive or Not to Skive? Kids, School and Cruising…


Last year, NSW empowered schools with the sway to come down hard on parents whisking kids away from school during term. The new updated attendance ruled that the majority of ‘term time’ trips would now be categorised as ‘unjustified absences’ and noted on a child’s permanent record. Needless to say, it sparked its fair share of controversy.

There’s a side to both stories, and we’re exploring both in a bid to determine whether or not it’s OK to skip school for the sake of a cruise.

The Pros

  • Plain and simple, holidaying is much cheaper outside of school breaks. From major holidays such as Christmas and Easter to smaller mid-semester breaks, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that prices just seem to skyrocket. And fair enough, it is a supply/demand situation. As a result, taking trips during term time or kicking them off before school holidays officially star can result in significant savings.
  • On the upside, travelling can dramatically enrich a child’s learning experience. For example, why not encourage a little one to complete a project on marine conservation while on a cruise holiday? Or teach them new words and phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting? They’ll get first hand insight into their chosen topics, and hopefully the chance to enjoy immersive experienced. You can also create themed content, like: “How many kilometres will the cruise ship cover in an hour if it maintains a speed of 20 knots?


The Cons

  • First and foremost, the education of a child is at stake when they miss school. There’s a big grey area here, as the impact depends on a child’s performance, ability to catch up and the number of days they’ll be absent.
  • Thanks to new laws, pulling kids out of school often requires filling out a mountain of forms. Or at the very least, dealing with disapproving principals, teachers and office staff.
  • As you’re travelling outside of school term, there may not be as many fellow playmates for your child to engage with. Depending on how noisy you like your holidays, this could be a good or bad thing.


Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to skive during school term is up to you, as a parent. Weigh up the pros and cons, and how much value you place on each, then make a decision based on your results.

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