Examples where schools | kura have opted-in-to the donations scheme

Below are examples showing what parents whose children attend schools | kura that have opted-in-to the donations scheme, can and cannot be asked for as either a donation or a payment.

Key  Description
X If the school has opted in to the donations scheme, parents cannot be asked for a donation, and don’t have to pay
$ Parents must pay for this if they have agreed to purchase

If the school has opted in to the donations scheme, parents can be asked for a donation, but don’t have to pay


Fees for enrolment are unlawful. As enrolment is free, there can be no charge for anything associated with the enrolment process.

Item Item Category Key
Application fee Other X
Enrolment fee Other X
Out-of-zone ballot fee  Other X
Bond Other X


Information and communication technologies (ICT) in schools and kura are a cost of delivering the curriculum. Students can be charged for non-curriculum use of ICT (including internet), but cannot be charged for curriculum-related use.

Schools and kura can ask students’ family/whānau to purchase a device for their student to use at school (BYOD). The family/whānau can choose to purchase or not (noting that many families/whānau may not be able to afford to purchase a device for their student).

Students must not be excluded from participating in courses or more general curriculum activity if their family/whānau is unwilling or unable to provide their own BYOD device.

All students must be allowed to use school or kura computers regardless of whether their families/whānau have contributed to the purchase and/or maintenance of the computers.

Enrolment in a computer studies course cannot be made conditional on family/whānau contributions.

Schools and kura may facilitate the purchase of non-compulsory hardware or software for families/whānau. This is a voluntary purchase of goods and services.

Item  Item Category Key
Access to school/kura network Curriculum  X
Use of school/kura hardware Curriculum  X
Contribution towards devices such as tablets, smartphones, netbooks, laptops, Chrome Books Curriculum  X
Requiring students/rangatahi to provide software or pay for software licenses Curriculum  X
Requiring students/rangatahi to provide calculators Curriculum  X
Purchase of non-compulsory hardware or software Goods and Services $

Programmes and Courses

Boards can purchase particular programmes for use in delivering the curriculum, but families and whānau cannot be made to pay for them.

Schools and kura are expected to cater for students’ specific learning needs and there should be no charge to cover the cost of tuition.

Boards may charge for optional programmes delivered during school/kura breaks or outside school/kura hours but cannot make families and whānau enrol their children/rangatahi in these programmes.

Programmes such as Mathletics can be purchased for home use (rather than the school or kura using it to deliver the curriculum) but families and whānau must be able to choose whether to purchase or not.

Where schools and kura purchase tertiary-level courses as part of the school/kura programme for senior students, families and whānau cannot be charged for these courses. Where the school or kura facilitates enrolment in a tertiary course for a student, the student will be subject to whatever fees are associated with the tertiary course.

Gifted Education programmes and out-of-school extra programmes (for example one-day schools) are optional – it should be made clear that participation is voluntary, and incurs a charge.

Item  Item Category Key
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum 


Reading recovery and Learning Support  Curriculum 


High school 'subject fees' Curriculum 


Specialist units (for example Montessori, Arrowsmith, Te Reo, Samoan Language) Curriculum 


Supplementary programmes (for example Mathletics, Education Perfect)  Curriculum 


STAR courses Curriculum 


Tertiary-level courses offered as part of the school programme  Curriculum  


Tertiary course (dual enrolment at tertiary institution)   Goods and Services


Gifted Education programmes  Goods and Services


Resources and Stationery

Students’ families and whānau are expected to supply stationery. If families/whānau choose to purchase stationery from the school or kura, then payment can be enforced – however, families/whānau are free to purchase stationery from any outlet – they cannot be compelled to buy stationery from the school or kura.

Schools are not expected to make significant profits from the sale of stationery. A small margin to cover the cost of sales is acceptable.

The per student payment received by schools and kura that opt in to the donations scheme can be used to pay for things like stationery for students whose families/whānau cannot afford to provide it.

Textbooks are part of the cost of curriculum delivery. Students cannot be made to purchase or hire textbooks, or pay a deposit to cover possible damage.

While textbooks should be provided free to students, students are expected to provide their own exercise books to work in. Workbooks can be sold but families and whānau cannot be made to buy them. If a workbook is made compulsory, then it must be provided by the school/kura.

Photocopying/printing that is associated with the delivery of the curriculum must be provided by the Board.

Item  Item Category Key
Textbooks Curriculum 


Workbooks (compulsory) Curriculum 


Workbooks (optional, when parents have agreed to purchase) Goods and Services


Photocopying/printing as part of core education programme (curriculum use) Curriculum 


Photocopying/printing (personal and not needed for core programme learning, extra-curricular use) Goods and Services


Stationery (if parents decide to buy from school/kura stationery shop)  Goods and Services



When a swimming session is part of the curriculum, students cannot be prevented from participating.

Item Item Category Key
Swimming as part of general curriculum (at school/kura or off-site)  Curriculum X
Swimming as voluntary activity (lunch time or after hours) Goods and Services $

Course Materials

Families/whānau cannot be charged for materials used in delivering the curriculum.

Families/whānau can be charged for the cost of materials when they have agreed that the item can be taken home.

Families/whānau should be informed of the choice to purchase so that they have notice of the likely cost. Schools and kura can require family/whānau to decide whether they want to purchase the take-home component when the student signs up for the course.

Food eaten as part of a food technology class is curriculum because students need to taste the food they prepare to ensure it is fit for consumption (sensory evaluation).

The arrangements between a Technology Centre school and a client school are formally agreed between the Boards. The agreement between the Boards should include details about how the cost of materials should be covered, including which Board will charge parents for any take home component they may voluntarily agree to purchase. Usually the client school will pay the Technology Centre school for the costs of delivering the technology curriculum, as the client school is funded (as part of its operations grant) to deliver the curriculum.

Item Item Category Key
Materials used as part of delivering core learning programme (curriculum)  Curriculum X
Take-home component where parents have agreed to purchase (for example a letterbox, an item of clothing) Goods and Services $


Itinerant Teachers of Music (ITMs) are paid for by the Ministry, so students taught by ITMs cannot be charged tuition fees.

Schools and kura may charge students for the hire of musical instruments used outside the delivery of the music curriculum, or for extra-curricular tuition it sources for its students.

Item Item Category Key
Tuition from Itinerant Teachers of Music N/A X
Tuition (course-related) Curriculum X
Tuition (optional outside of general education programme, extra-curricular) Goods and Services $
Instrument hire (course delivery) Curriculum X
Instrument hire (optional, extra-curricular) Goods and Services $

Optional Activities

Boards may charge for sports trips or activities that are outside the school curriculum. Participation in these activities is optional and schools can enforce payment in order for a child to participate.

Any change should be made clear in advance. It should also be made clear that participation in these types of activities is voluntary.

Students cannot be prevented from accessing optional activities because their family/whānau has not paid for other items (for example, schools/kura should not require whānau to pay for sports costs or a donation towards the school camp before they can buy a ticket to the school ball).

Item Item Category Key
Visiting drama or music groups (non-curriculum) Goods and Services $
Weekend sports teams Goods and Services $
After-hours/lunchtime culture activities Goods and Services $
After-hours/lunchtime sports activities Goods and Services $
School sports teams Goods and Services $
School Ball Goods and Services $

State-integrated Schools/Kura

State integrated schools and kura are subject to the same law on free enrolment and free education as non-integrated schools and kura.

Proprietors can charge attendance dues up to the maximum amount approved by the Minister of Education, and may ask for donations for any purpose including matters related to the special character of the school.

Boards of state integrated schools and kura that opt in to the donations scheme are subject to the same requirements as Boards of non-integrated schools and kura that have opted in to the scheme.

Item Item Category Key
Attendance dues – these are compulsory Compulsory $

School and Kura Uniforms

Schools and kura are able to require students to wear a uniform as part of school/kura rules around conduct and appearance.

Schools and kura are not expected to make significant profits from the sale of school uniforms. A small margin to cover the cost of sales is acceptable.

School and kura uniforms are a good/service that families and whānau can choose to buy from the school or kura or elsewhere. Even if the school or kura is the only seller of a new uniform, families and whānau still have the option to purchase a second-hand uniform from somewhere else.

Item Item Category Key
School/kura uniform from a school/kura uniform shop Goods and Services $

Further guidance on school uniforms — Commerce Commission(external link)

Camps, Trips and Outside Education

Boards of schools and kura who opt in to the scheme will still be able to ask parents and whānau for donations towards curriculum-related school/kura camps with an overnight component.

or the purposes of the donations scheme, a school camp is defined as any curriculum-related activity where students are expected to stay overnight as part of the activity.

Boards may seek donations towards the cost of these camps but cannot compel payment. Family/whānau can choose to pay the donation in full, in part, or not at all.

No student can be excluded from attending a camp or going on a trip that is part of curriculum delivery because of an inability or unwillingness to pay a donation toward the activity’s cost.

Item  Item Category Key
Overnight camp as part of specific course (for example Year 12 Outdoor Education)  Curriculum 


Overnight geography field trip  Curriculum


Trip/visit as part of general curriculum Curriculum


Charge/fee for an optional event (for example weekend ski trip, extra-curricular) Goods and Services


A forest hike as part of Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) Curriculum 


Multi-day tramp Curriculum 


Overnight camp as part of general education programme (curriculum) (for example Year 9 orientation camp, Year 7 EOTC camp)  Curriculum 


What is a school camp?


School magazines are an optional extra that students can choose to purchase if they wish to.

Boards cannot ask families/whānau for contributions to operational costs – these costs should be covered by the school’s operational funding.

Item  Item Category Key
Membership fees (for example parent organisations, ex-student organisations) Goods and Services $
School magazine Goods and Services $
Heating, lighting and water Operational X
Soap, hand sanitiser, tissues Operational X

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