Fees, charges and donations

This page sets out the requirements and information for schools and parents about what schools can charge for and how schools can opt in to the donations scheme. It also provides information on those schools that have opted in to the scheme.

Schools and kura cannot charge domestic students a fee for enrolment or attendance or for delivery of the curriculum (eg subject fees). There are however some situations where parents, caregivers and whānau might want to make a payment.

Payment types

Section 33 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) states that every person who is not an international student is entitled to free enrolment and free education at any state school during the period beginning on the person’s fifth birthday and ending on 1 January after the person’s 19th birthday. 

These three types of payments include:

Payment type Description
Donations
  • These are voluntary payments, no matter who asks for them. Parents can pay them in part, in full or not at all.
  • They can be for general purposes, or for a specific purpose.
  • Anyone can chose to make a donation to a school or kura at any time. GST is not payable. Donation tax credits can be claimed.
  • Decile 1-7 schools and kura who opt in to the donations scheme will receive $150 per student payment for that year in exchange for not asking for donations- with the exception of donations for school camps.
  • Decile 8 -10 schools and those who chose not to opt-in can still ask for donations but payment cannot be compelled or enforced. Parents can choose to pay a donation in full, in part, or not at all.
Purchases of goods and services
  • Schools and kura can ask parents and whānau to pay for goods and services they provide that are optional (eg pens and lunches) but it is up to parents/whānau to decide whether to buy them from the school/kura or somewhere else.
  • All purchases/signups are voluntary and cannot be enforced.
  • If a purchase is agreed, payment can be enforced.
  • GST is chargeable and a tax credit cannot be claimed.
Attendance dues
  • These are compulsory for students attending state-integrated schools and kura, regardless of whether the school or kura has opted in to the donations scheme.
  • Payment can be enforced and GST is payable. A tax credit cannot be claimed.
  • State integrated schools and kura cannot increase attendance dues without the approval of the Minister of Education.

Requirements about what schools can charge for

We have developed guidance which makes it clear what schools can charge for and what parents need to pay for.

What families/whānau need to know about school/kura donations and payments

What families/whānau need to know about school/kura donations and payment

What families/whānau need to know about school/kura donations and payment (A3 poster) [PDF, 684 KB]

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

Requirements for boards of trustees of decile 1-7 schools and kura and schools and kura choosing to opt in to the Donations Scheme

Requirements for boards of trustees of decile 1-7 schools and kura choosing to opt in to the Donations Scheme

Requirements for boards of trustees of decile 1-7 schools and kura choosing to opt in to the Donations Scheme (A3 poster) [PDF, 1 MB]

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

 

Requirements for boards of trustees of decile 8-10 schools and kura and schools and kura choosing not to opt in to the Donations Scheme

Requirements for boards of trustees of decile 8-10 schools and kura and schools and kura choosing not to opt in to the Donations Scheme

Requirements for boards of trustees of decile 8-10 schools and kura and schools and kura choosing not to opt in to the Donations Scheme (A3 Poster) [PDF, 1 MB]

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

Requirements about what schools can charge for in different languages

Opting in to the donations scheme

Schools are to opt-in to the donations scheme as part of the July roll return process. For more detail refer to the School Roll Return Guidelines(external link).

Activity Centres and Attached units that do not submit a roll return can opt-in to the scheme by completing the Donations Scheme Opt-in form(external link).

Schools that opt-in to the scheme will receive their donations payment as part of their January operational funding instalment. The donations payment will be calculated based on the previous year’s July roll.

Decile reviews

Decile 8-10 schools that believe there has been a significant change in their school's roll profile since deciles were last recalculated in 2014 and want to opt in to the donations scheme can apply for a decile review.

Applications for the 2020 Decile Review open on Monday 20 July 2020 and must be returned to the Ministry before 5.00pm Monday 21 September 2020. Further information can be found here Decile Review – Education Counts(external link).

Cabinet has agreed that deciles will not be recalculated using the 2018 census information. Schools can still seek a decile review until deciles are replaced but this will be based on 2013 census information.

If a board successfully applies for a decile review that results in them gaining eligibility for the Donations Scheme, they will be advised before the start of the 2021 school year.

Boards of Trustees will have until 1 March 2021 to consult with their communities and let us know their decision by filling in the online declaration form

They will receive their funding in their April 2021 Operational Funding Instalment. The funding will be calculated based on the previous year’s July roll return.

If a school applies for a decile review and anticipates that they will be eligible to opt in to the scheme, they must not ask families for donations in the 2021 school year.

Breakdown of schools that have opted in to the donations scheme for 2020 by region, type and decile

Education Region

Schools Opting In Roll Count of Participating Schools Funding Going to Schools in 2020 Average Roll Count Average Amount Going to Schools in 2020 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In

Tai Tokerau

138

27,434

$4,115,100

199

$29,820

140

98.6%

Auckland

314

131,795

$19,769,250

420

$62,959

358

87.7%

Waikato

208

48,381

$7,257,150

233

$34,890

224

92.9%

Bay of Plenty / Waiariki

150

44,572

$6,685,800

297

$44,572

163

92.0%

Hawke's Bay / Tairawhiti

148

32,587

$4,888,050

220

$33,027

155

95.5%

Taranaki / Whanganui / Manawatu

176

36,395

$5,459,250

207

$31,018

187

94.1%

Wellington

166

38,518

$5,777,700

232

$34,805

176

94.63

Nelson / Marlborough / West Coast

89

19,910

$2,986,500

224

$33,556

95

93.7%

Canterbury / Chatham Islands

132

36,282

$5,442,300

275

$41,230

144

91.7%

Otago / Southland

105

16,099

$2,414,850

153

$22,999

123

85.4%

Total

1,626

431,973

$64,795,950

266

$39,850

1,765

92.1%

 

Decile

Schools Opting In Roll Count of Participating Schools Funding Going to Schools in 2020 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In

1

300

61,109

$9,166,350

312

96.2%

2

234

52,763

$7,914,450

250

93.6%

3

239

62,496

$9,374,400

246

97.2%

4

226

66,531

$9,979,650

235

96.2%

5

231

65,993

$9,898,950

248

93.1%

6

195

60,517

$9,077,550

228

85.5%

7

201

62,564

$9,384,600

246

81.7%

Total

1,626

431,973

$64,795,950

1,765

92.1%

 

School Type

Schools Opting In

Roll Count of Participating Schools

Funding Going to Schools in 2020

Total Eligible Schools

% Opting In

Composite

73

18,712

$2,806,800

85

85.9%

Correspondence

0

-

$-

-

0.0%

Intermediate

85

37,818

$5,672,700

90

94.4%

Kura

53

5,533

$829,950

59

89.8%

Primary

1163

242,911

$36,436,650

1,212

96.0%

Secondary

185

123,161

$18,474,150

244

75.8%

Specialist

33

3,424

$513,600

34

97.1%

Other

34

414

$62,100

41

82.9%

Total

1,626

431,973

$64,795,950

1,765

92.1%

Further Information

Donations scheme FAQs

Schools that have opted in to the donations scheme in 2020 [XLSX, 79 KB]

Policy documentation on the donations scheme

 

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