Schoolies week has become a tradition in Australia and the norm for how Australian students reward themselves following months of studious diligence preparing for the HSC exams. Yet parents aren’t altogether convinced of how their young people are celebrating.

Nearly all Australian parents have some concern with how Schoolies is celebrated and a third would stop their children from participating. In fact, if parents were given the choice, less than 1 in 5 would suggest their child participate in Schoolies week as is traditionally celebrated, in a place like the Gold Coast or Bali.

‘In the span of a generation, celebrating the end of Year 12 by attending a Schoolies week has emerged as a rite of passage. However Australian parents have mixed views of how the celebration is played out and a third of parent’s state that they would not allow their child to participate in a “Gold Coast type Schoolies week”. – Mark McCrindle

McCrindle presents the latest research conducted with a survey of 1,008 Australians and 654 parents of school age children, analysing their attitude to Schoolies.

9 in 10 Australian parents uncomfortable with the way Schoolies is currently celebrated

97% of Australian parents express some level of concern with the way in which Year 12s currently celebrate their school-leaving. 1 in 3 have such concerns that they would not allow their child to participate, and a further third (33%) feel uncomfortable with their child participating.

Baby Boomer and Gen X parents express the most significant concern, with 71% Baby Boomer parents and 65% Gen X parents having concerns, compared to 49% of Gen Y parents.

Parents in NSW are the most likely to have concerns about their child’s participation in Schoolies. Close to half of NSW parents (47%) have a lot or some concerns, compared to 40% QLD and 41% VIC parents.

Just 1 in 11 parents (9%) have no concern at all about their child’s participation in conventional Schoolies.

‘And while more NSW parents are concerned about their children attending Schoolies than QLD parents, it is not the distance that is the key factor but what they will get up to. In fact, more parents would prefer their child head overseas for a volunteer experience in a developing country such as Indonesia or Thailand, than spend a week at Schoolies on the Gold Coast.’ – Mark McCrindle

1 in 2 parents would prefer their child participate in a volunteer experience than Schoolies week

When Australian parents are asked what form of Schoolies they would like their child to participate in, just 13% chose the traditional Schoolies week on the Gold Coast as their preferred option. The most preferred option is for their children to book a holiday house with friends somewhere in Australia (34%). This in only just ahead of engaging in a local volunteer experience (33%).

One in two parents would prefer their school-leaving child to participate in a volunteer experience (47%), and a third (33%) would prefer this experienced to be a local rather than overseas experience, such as assisting in a remote community or working with homeless youth.

Just 1 in 20 parents (5%) showed a preference for an overseas Schoolies week in Bali or Phuket.

‘It is not about helicopter parenting but risk mitigating that is driving the concern. Parents are not wanting their child to feature in the evening news or social media feeds and the binge drinking, risk behaviours and worries about older “predators” fuel their concerns. Parents are aware of the increased support services in place from local authorities to volunteers such as Red Frogs, and properly organised Schoolies agencies, but most still worry about their child’s participation.’ – Mark McCrindle.

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