Government introduces donations scheme for Decile 1-7 schools

A Budget 19 initiative will see Decile 1-7 state and state integrated Boards of Trustees able to choose to receive a $150 per student, per year payment instead of seeking donations from parents.

Around 1,700 schools will be eligible to join the scheme.

Although donations to schools are voluntary, families can feel under pressure to pay them and this can place pressure on household budgets. This initiative is designed to alleviate that pressure and expectation. It also recognises that Decile 1-7 schools can find it difficult to raise funds from their communities.

The initiative will see schools receive their additional funding in January 2020, alongside their regular operational funding, if the Boards agree not to ask parents and caregivers to pay donations.

Boards of Trustees will need to opt-in to the scheme by 14 November 2019 and we will provide more information in August about the process for this and about the scheme.

Boards of Trustees are encouraged to consult with their school communities and reflect their views when making decisions about whether to opt-in to the scheme or not, and to let your parent communities know your final decision.

Boards of Trustees that opt-in to the donations scheme will still be able to ask parents and guardians for payments related to optional activities outside the curriculum, for example optional after-school sports.

Examples of what schools currently can and can’t ask parents and caregivers to pay for can be viewed below. This chart will be updated in due course.

Payments by Parents [PDF, 167 KB]

The Ministry will monitor schools that opt-in to ensure they do not continue to seek donations. Legislation was introduced on Budget Day to allow us to make the payments and recover funding paid to schools that do not comply with the scheme’s conditions. You can find more information about the proposed legislation below.

Education (School Donations) Amendment Bill (external link)

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