COVID-19: Parents and schools at loggerheads over moving upcoming school holidays

Parents and schools are at loggerheads over moving the upcoming school holidays.

If things go as planned, Auckland could come out of COVID-19 alert level 3 and students be able to go back to school the same week the holidays are set to start. 

It's been four weeks of lockdown in Auckland and to say Tāmaki Makaurau parents are at their wit's end would be an understatement.

Many are calling for the school holidays to be brought forward, but the teachers' unions and principals' associations are strongly opposed.

"COVID has already brought around a huge amount of uncertainty - people have already made plans for the timeline ahead of us - and making last-minute changes isn't for the benefit of anybody," said NZ Education Institute president Liam Rutherford.

Auckland's Primary Principals' Association says 93 percent of Tāmaki Makaurau primary and intermediate Schools want the holidays to stay where they are.

"It's a challenging time for people to juggle things at such short notice," association president Stephen Lethbridge told Newshub.

"Our kids deserve to start the term energised and ready - and have a really good end to their year."

If approved it would see the holidays start on Monday and one option being worked though would be to shift them for the entire country, not just Auckland. That's something that didn't go down well among Christchurch parents.

"I think it's a little bit short notice, to be honest," one parent told Newshub.

"It would be good if it stayed the same," another said.

But many Auckland parents are simply burnt out. 

"It's a huge challenge being home especially as working with young children - and then trying to manage Zoom school [and] household chores," Auckland mum Ingrid Borkin said. "It's a huge challenge."  

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said he was keenly aware of family and work pressure but knows any change will create whole new challenges for schools. He'll make a decision on either Wednesday or Thursday.