What Families/Whānau Need To Know About School/Kura Donations

Although school donations are voluntary many families can feel under pressure to pay them and this can place pressure on household budgets. 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.

Information for Families/Whānau

  1. If your child attends a decile 1 to 7 school or kura, the school Board of Trustees needs to decide each year whether it should opt-in or not to the Government’s school donations scheme.
  2. The Government will pay your school or kura $150 per student per year if the school Board agrees to opt in to the scheme AND to not ask you for any donations (gifts/ koha), except for overnight camps.
  3. You can ask to attend the board meeting where they will discuss whether to opt-in or not.

School/Kura Donations Schemes

IF... THEN...
Your school/kura opts in to the donations scheme
  • The Board of Trustees cannot ask you to make a donation unless it is for an overnight school/kura camp – and then you can choose if you want to pay none, some or all of the donation
  • If you choose not to make a donation, your child cannot be stopped from attending a camp if it is part of the school’s core learning programme (curriculum)
  • You cannot be asked to make either a general or specific donation (for example a donation for a day trip to a museum or a field trip to a hiking track)
Your school/kura doesn’t opt in to the donations scheme
  • The school/kura will not receive additional funding, so they can ask you to make a donation. The Board of Trustees may seek donations toward the cost of the core learning programme (curriculum)
  • You can be asked to make either a general or specific donation (for example a donation for a day trip to a museum or a field trip to a hiking track). Donations are voluntary, and so you can choose if you want to pay none, some or all of the donation
  • If you choose not to make a donation, your child cannot be stopped from attending a camp or field trip if it is part of the core learning programme (curriculum)

Information for All Parents/Caregivers/Whānau Whether Your School/Kura Is In the Donations Scheme or Not

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.

Your school or kura cannot charge you for anything involved in the core learning programme (curriculum), including “subject fees.”

Your school or kura can ask you to pay for goods they provide that are optional (for example pens, lunches) but it is up to you whether you buy them from the school/kura or elsewhere.

If the school or kura has a uniform, you need to provide your child with one but you can choose to buy it from the school/kura or, if available, to buy a new or second hand uniform elsewhere.

You should not be pressured to buy goods or services from a school or kura but if you agree to buy a good or service, you must pay for it.

If your child is involved in weekend sports teams or after hours cultural activities (extra-curricular activities), these are optional. If you choose for your child to participate, you may be asked to cover the costs of these activities.

You can make a voluntary donation to your school or kura at any time and if you choose to do this, GST is not payable on the donation and you can claim a tax credit.

State Integrated Schools/Kura Attendance Dues

State integrated schools, and kura that are state integrated, have the same core learning programme as other schools and kura (the New Zealand Curriculum) but also their own special character (usually a philosophical or religious belief).

You must pay attendance dues to the proprietor of a state integrated school or kura to cover the cost of property-related matters – they are compulsory.
The maximum level of attendance dues cannot be increased without the approval of the Minister of Education.

Donations are voluntary, no matter who asks for them. The school donations scheme does not change the long-standing entitlement of students to a free education.
You never have to make a donation to your school or kura but you can give any size donation any time if you want to. If your school or kura decides to opt in to the donations scheme, it cannot ask you for any donations except for overnight camps.

If you have questions regarding payments contact your Board of Trustees or your local Ministry office.

You can also email any questions to school.donations@education.govt.nz

Futher information

Examples of what Families/Whānau Need To Know About School/Kura Donations

 

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