An Australian mum has called for children to have one day off school a fortnight as ‘stress leave’.

Early childhood educator and mother, Clare Crew, said it’s alright for children to miss a day of school every now and then, even as much as one day a fortnight.

She believes children who are just starting at school or students who may be floating between mainstream and special education classes would be more inclined to take one day a fortnight.

The debate on Sunrise this morning

Sunrise commentator Ron Wilson said he “is against” having days off for this reason and that it “disrupts” the system.

“I think there is indeed an amount of comfort and security in structure and often at work you find people having a day off like ‘I’ll be at home if you need me’ and I think that’s disruptive to the workplace and I think this will be disruptive to the classroom,” he said.

“There’s enough disruption there already and I don’t see that this is going to help things for everyone at all.”

Susie O’Brien from the Herald Sun said she doesn’t think students “are as stressed as parents”.

“It used to be they went to school because it was a school day but now they’re so stressed because they don’t even know if they’re going to get a participation ribbon, and they’re worried they might get marked down because they didn’t have a good enough lunch box,” she said.

“I understand they are stressed but not as stressed as parents.”

Sunrise host Samantha Armytage agreed and said she feels it’s teaching children that “when the going gets tough, take a day off”.

Commenters on 7 News FB page are mainly against the idea

* “Children are coddled that much these days that when they get out in the real world the don’t know what to do. People that advocate for stuff like this are the people that believe in participation medals and safe spaces. You don’t get rewarded in life for showing up and you won’t always have a room to lay down and cuddle a stuffed animal in.”

* “They get 2 weeks at the end of every term. (though that is stress leave for the teachers) Also need to consider working parents. I am sure employers don’t want to give their employees extra leave.”

* “Perhaps if parents didn’t over-schedule their kids (dancing, sport, music)… every day after school and weekends… give them some time to potter around and play – use their imaginations, be bored. If kids are stressed I suspect the issues lie more outside than inside school.”

* “You have got to be kidding.”

* “Pampered generation much? …..get real, get your kids involved in team sports, best stress release available.”

* “That’s ridiculous! These kids wouldn’t be getting an education if this was how society behaved! How about dropping an after school activity and let them play like we did!”

* “What a load of rubbish! More mollycoddling will help them through their life….NOT! That’s what counsellors are for. Schools need to get tougher on bullying. That would be a start.”

We recently shared a post from a Mum who shared why she thinks it is important children are allowed a leave pass from school.   READ “Why a Pyjama therapy day is necessary for kids”.

Even our own Nikki Hills from Mouths of Mums has previously shared her families Pyjama therapy rules, check out her post HERE.

Do you ever give your kids a day off for no reason?

Share your comments below.

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  • oh please. If your child leads a life that is that stressful then you really need to calm things down at home and with the after school running around.


  • Days off are for when your child is actually sick. I certainly don’t agree with this


  • Hold the outrage! I agree there are enough school holidays that have to be managed by working parents etc. However, I also have a child who I have had to take out of school for his mental health eg. bullying, and other really tough issues that my son is dealing with. I am an absolute stickler for following the rules and my son going to school unless he’s really sick BUT as he has gone through High School it has been suggested to me, and I now understand why, that he takes a Mental Health Day when required. This is not done lightly, and sometimes done with a GP certificate. So I believe as a rule this should not be a standard day on the school calendar, but to manage kids mental health when things aren’t so normal at school.


  • lol isn’t this what the school holidays are for? teach your kids good ethics and the value of hard work and the rewards that come of that


  • I can see the reasoning in the suggestion


  • Can’t believe anyone would seriously consider this – to me it’s just pandering to children and they are pandered to quite enough.


  • Unless they’re sick themselves, they only get time off if (for example) another child needs to go interstate for a medical appointment.


  • No, I only keep them out of school when they’re sick.
    Although in the 7,5 years we live in Australia we took them once out of school a week before and a week after the winter holiday, to travel for 4 weeks to Europe.


  • interesting seeing other parents thoughts on this.
    I have taken my kids out of school for the day like 2-3 times a year when my husband goes away, i take my kids out of school and do something like visit the museum, the zoo, trampoline place or even have a pyjamas day. I make sure they do some reading, or an activity thats part of school so they are not completely missing out on school somehow. it doesnt hurt to have a day where you can just be with your children away from after school activities or tutoring. I know we have the weekend but we’re always rushing doing something. Sometimes we forget we need to breathe. Since my kids are in primary school i would only do it, but once they get the high school, it will be different. Different as i say is they will start to be independence, they will come to us when they want to, they are growing up so fast, school and homework will take over. There will be less time to spend with our children. We dont know what our future lays with our children. A stress-free day with your children doesnt hurt while they are young. We educate our children more at home that school doesnt teach, also teachers dont have time to teach children everything. We do need to teach them ourselves.


  • Every child should be taught a variety of coping mechanisms in order to build resilience. It will stand them in better stead for the future.


  • I can remember when I was sick and had to miss school just how much catch up I had to do when I returned. Seriously stress leave …lady it’s called the weekend.

    • Love this comment….the weekend! So very true too! :)


  • No – we have strategies for dealing with stress and avoidance is not one of these strategies. This rolls over to work later in life.


  • I did give one child time away from school but he was home schooled instead for a few months due to stress at school. He was much better for it, it was his choice to go back to school. As I worked from home it was not too much hassel. Otherwise have not kept a child home unless it was needed.


  • There is no need for schools to continuously give awards. If that is causing stress get rid of it. At primary school our awards were at the end of the year. Top of Class, 2nd in class and most improved (gap between the individual’s results at the beginning of the year to the end of the school year).


  • I never gave a day off from school to my daughter for no reason. What I would like to see is school and work just 4 days a week instead of 5. Sometimes we are just rushing through life instead of enjoying it.


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