Children being taken out of school by families to go on holiday account for 10 per cent of all time students are truant from school.

The information has been gathered for the first time after the Ministry of Education last year introduced a system to record holidays during term time, which is considered an unjustifiable absence.

Previously, New Zealand schools could record holidays during term as justified or unjustified.

Principals say both rich and poor families pull their children from school for travel, which has been termed "parent-condoned truancy".

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It is an international issue - a September 2013 change in Britain has seen parents facing a fine if they let children skip school in term time.

More than 50,000 tickets were issued in the UK in 2014/15. In May, a father who refused to pay a fine for taking his daughter out of school for a trip to Florida won a ruling in his favour at the High Court.

In New Zealand, holidays in term time last year accounted for 10.2 per cent of time unjustifiably absent, the latest school attendance report outlines.

The report collated attendance returns from 1887 state and state-integrated schools, accounting for about 634,000 students.'

Principals say both rich and poor families pull their children from school for travel. Photo / Thinkstock
Principals say both rich and poor families pull their children from school for travel. Photo / Thinkstock