Parents have been caught unawares by news Easter Tuesday is a holiday for all school children, with one mother saying it should have been communicated earlier by schools to avoid confusion.

According to the Ministry of Education website, Easter Tuesday is a school holiday by law for state and state integrated schools, outlined in the Education Act 1989. The last time Easter Tuesday fell during a school term was in 2008.

Mum of two, Jacky James, said she had no idea Tuesday was a day off for school children.

"We knew from the beginning of the year that there would be a teacher's only day [today] but nobody said anything about Tuesday being a holiday.

I'm not being critical of the school, I just think there would be a lot of parents in my situation that would have totally sent their kids to school.


"Earlier communication from the schools would have helped clear that confusion up.

"Parents of this generation of school children have never had an Easter Tuesday that fell outside the school holidays so many had no idea."

Some of the schools the Rotorua Daily Post spoke to confirmed parents had been questioning the day off.

Westbrook School principal Colin Watkins said the school had been "copping some flack" about the holiday.

"The last few years Easter has fallen within the school holidays so it hasn't been an issue but this year it doesn't and we are bound by legislation to follow it."

Mr Watkins said in an attempt to avoid confusion, it had been making the holiday very clear in newsletters.

"We have received some calls about it because it does inconvenience the parents. "

Lynmore Primary School principal Lorraine Taylor said all its parents had been understanding about the holiday.

"We made sure parents were aware of it in our newsletter last week and everyone has been really good about it."

Western Heights Primary School principal Brent Griffin said it had received around a dozen calls questioning the extra holiday.

"Those that have called just can't understand why it's a holiday. All we can tell them is that it is mandated by the Government and it's not our decision.

"It is difficult when holidays don't fit in line with working families who then have to organise additional childcare."

Mr Griffin said the school had been alerting families to the additional day off over the last eight weeks in the fortnightly school newsletter.