Fees, charges and donations

Requirements and information for schools and parents about what schools can charge for and how schools can opt in to the donations scheme.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther

Required

  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Administrators

Where schools and kura request donations, it is their responsibility to ensure the voluntary nature of these requests is clear to their parent community. If your school chooses to opt-in to the donation scheme, you cannot ask for donations, with the exception of overnight camps. State schools and kura cannot charge domestic students a fee for enrolment or attendance or for delivery of the curriculum (eg subject fees).

Overview

There are three types of ‘payments’ related to schools:

  • donations
  • purchases of goods and services (e.g. pens, lunches)
  • attendance dues.

If you are a school board, this guidance will inform you of:

  • what you can charge for
  • the donations scheme.

If you are a parent/caregiver or whānau, here you will learn:

  • details about the three payment types
  • about the donations scheme
  • where to read specific guidance about your rights, obligations, and other important information regarding donations, fees and the donations scheme.

Payment types

The three types of payments include donations, purchases of goods and services, and attendance dues. 

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. This means that state schools cannot charge domestic students a fee for enrolment or attendance, or for the delivery of the curriculum.

Payment type Requirement Description
Donations

Voluntary

  • 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 choose 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.
Purchases of goods and services

Voluntary

  • Schools and kura can ask parents and whānau to pay for goods and services they provide that are optional (e.g. pens and lunches)
  • It is up to parents/whānau to decide whether to buy them from the school/kura or somewhere else
  • If a purchase is agreed, payment can be enforced
  • GST is chargeable and a tax credit cannot be claimed.
Attendance dues

Compulsory for state-integrated schools and kura

  • 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.

What is the donation scheme?

From the 2020 school year, Decile 1–7 state and state-integrated schools/kura are able to choose to receive a $150 per student, per year payment if they agree not to ask parents and caregivers for donations, except for overnight camps. This initiative is designed to alleviate that pressure and expectation.

How to opt-in

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).

How the scheme works

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.

For more, refer to our Donation scheme FAQs.

What can a school or kura charge for?

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

If you are family/whānau

Read our online guidance here What families/whānau need to know about school/kura donations and payment

Download these resources:

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

If you are a board from a decile 1–7 school/kura (opting in)

Read our online guidance here: Requirements for boards of decile 1–7 schools and kura choosing to opt in to the Donations Scheme

Download these resources: 

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

 

If you are school board from a decile 8–10 school or school/kura (not opting in)

Read our online guidance here Requirements for boards of decile 8–10 schools and kura and schools and kura choosing not to opt in to the Donations Scheme

Download these resources: 

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

Requirements about what schools can charge for in different languages

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.

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 parents/caregivers for donations in the 2021 school year.

How to apply

This is an annual process and has been completed for 2020. Further information can be found at Decile Review – Education Counts(external link)

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 parents/caregivers for donations in the 2021 school year.

Timeline

Boards who were granted eligibility for the Donations Scheme for 2021 have been advised.

  • You will have until 1 March 2021 to consult with your community
  • An online declaration form(external link) needs to be filled out and sent to the Ministry
  • Funding will arrive in your April 2021 Operational Funding Instalment
  • The funding will be calculated based on the previous year’s July roll return.

Breakdown of schools that have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021 by region, type and decile

School Type

Schools Opting In

Roll Count of Participating Schools

Funding Going to Schools in 2021

Total Eligible Schools

% Opting In

Composite

79

19,936

2,990,400

86

91.9%

Intermediate

87

39,542

5,931,300

90

96.7%

Kura

56

6,213

931,950

59

94.9%

Primary

1183

245,119

36,767,850

1218

97.1%

Secondary

199

135,241

20,286,150

245

81.2%

Specialist

35

3,570

535,500

36

97.2%

Other

34

460

69,000

38

89.5%

Total

1,673

450,081

67,512,150

1,772

94.4%

Education Region

Schools Opting In

Roll Count of Participating Schools

Funding Going to Schools in 2021

Average Roll Count

Average Amount Going to Schools in 2020

Total Eligible Schools

% Opting In

Tai Tokerau

139

28,138

4,220,700

202

30,365

142

97.9%

Auckland

321

137,695

20,654,250

429

64,343

357

89.9%

Waikato

215

49,689

7,453,350

231

34,667

227

94.7%

Bay of Plenty/Waiariki

157

47,271

7,090,650

301

45,163

163

96.3%

Hawke's Bay/Tairāwhiti

156

33,168

4,975,200

213

31,892

158

98.7%

Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu

178

37,144

5,571,600

209

31,301

187

95.2%

Wellington

169

39,917

5,987,550

236

35,429

175

96.6%

Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast

90

20,891

3,133,650

232

34,818

95

94.7%

Canterbury/Chatham Islands

141

39,707

5,956,050

282

42,241

145

97.2%

Otago/Southland

107

16,461

2,469,150

154

23,076

123

87.0%

Total

1,673

450,081

67,512,150

269

40,354

1,772

94.4%

 

Decile

Schools Opting In

Roll Count of Participating Schools

Funding Going to Schools in 2021

Total Eligible Schools

% Opting In

1

305

61,362

9,204,300

313

97.4%

2

248

54,691

8,203,650

255

97.3%

3

241

64,314

9,647,100

244

98.8%

4

233

68,454

10,268,100

239

97.5%

5

232

68,116

10,217,400

246

94.3%

6

205

67,151

10,072,650

229

89.5%

7

209

65,993

9,898,950

246

85.0%

Total

1,673

450,081

67,512,150

1,772

94.4%

 

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%

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%

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