The news Easter Tuesday is a holiday for schools around the country has come as a surprise to some Rotorua parents, but one principal says it's nothing new.

Linda Hayward only found out about the holiday this week after receiving an alert from her son's school. She was shocked at the news.

"I was thinking hold on, Tuesday? Is that a public holiday?"

Hayward said she was lucky she wasn't currently working so could stay home with her 7-year-old.

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"Last year it was in the school holidays and he was at a holiday programme. If I was working what was I supposed to do?" Hayward said.

"Now I've got my son for five days. It's hard enough to entertain him for four days at the moment."

Hayward said other parents she'd spoken to hadn't realised either and she'd offered to help out some of them out.

She suggested a fixed date for Easter, in the school holidays, would help parents plan.

Fran Vooght also just found out and said it seemed her teenagers were at home more than they were at school at the moment.

While Vooght's two children were old enough to stay at home alone, she said the holiday could pose a problem for parents with younger children.

She said if she had known earlier, she may have taken the day off work.

According to the Ministry of Education website, Easter Tuesday is a school holiday by law for state and state integrated schools, in accordance with the Education Act 1989.

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However Easter often falls in the school holidays.

Rotokawa School principal Briar Stewart said many parents were surprised, but they shouldn't have been.

"What amazes me is parents have experienced this in their school life, so I'm surprised they are surprised about it."

Stewart said parents had been notified about the holiday through the school Facebook page and newsletter and the school had offered care through its after school care programme.

She said another day off school shouldn't be a concern, it should be an opportunity.

"Families have all these working days and not many days off to just be parents to their kids," she said.

"It's a day parents should spend with their kids because the next holiday is June. For working parents there's a long time between them."

John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said while students saw the extra day off "as a bonus" it did cause some issues when it fell during term time.

"We do have a lot of interruptions in term one. It's tight getting through the syllabus," he said.

"It's putting the pressure on to get more work done during the year so while students might see it as a bonus, it does create pressures."

The school had also used the newsletter to notify parents of the holiday.

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