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 compliance Main audience Other

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 is eligible and chooses to opt-in to the Donations 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
  • Schools and kura with an EQI number of 432 and above who opt-in to the donations scheme will receive $154.13 per student payment for that year in exchange for not asking for donations — with the exception of donations for school camps
  • Schools and kura with an EQI below 431, 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?

State and state-integrated schools with an EQI of 432 or higher will be able to choose to receive a payment of $154.13 per student, per year if they agree not to ask parents and caregivers for donations, except for overnight camps. Note, previously this was using the decile system, whereby schools with a decile of 1-7 were eligible.

This initiative is designed to alleviate  pressure and expectations on households surrounding donation payments.

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.

School Donations Opt-in form(external link)

For the 2023 year, schools who are currently eligible and still wish to be part of the Donations Scheme should opt-in as normal as part of their 1 July Roll returns.

We'll provide a late opt-in process for school's whose eligibility will change, so they have time to consult with their community about opting-in or out of the scheme. The due date for opt-ins is November 14. You can opt in at Donations Scheme Opt-in Form Survey (surveymonkey.com)(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

If you are a board from a school/kura with an EQI of 432 or higher (eligible and choosing to opt in)

Read our online guidance at Schools and kura with an EQI of 432 and below choosing to opt-in to the donations scheme

If you are school board from a school or school/kura with an EQI of 431 and below (ineligible to or not choosing to opt in)

Read our online guidance at Schools/Kura with an EQI below 431 and Schools/Kura Not Opting In to the Donations Scheme

How will the funding be calculated?

The donations scheme funding will be calculated at $154.13 (GST exclusive) per student, based off the July roll. The July roll is the most recent confirmed roll. For most schools, it is also the most favourable roll to use.

If a school experiences a growth in their roll between the July roll and the following March roll, they will automatically receive additional donations scheme funding for the increase. This funding will be paid as part of the July Operational Funding instalment.

Timeline

Boards who become eligible for the Donations Scheme will be advised that:

  • they will have until 1 March of the next year to consult with their communities
  • they need to complete an online declaration form and send to the Ministry
    School Donations Opt-in form(external link)
  • funding will be paid as part of their April 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 2022 by region, type and decile*

*Note that 2023 data will be updated in 2023.

Education Region Schools Opting In Roll Count of Participating Schools Funding Going to Schools in 2022 Average Roll Count Average Amount Going to Schools in 2022 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In
Te Tai Tokerau 142 28,697 4,304,550 202 30,314 144  98.6%
Auckland 327 139,457 20,918,550 426 63,971 360  90.8%
Waikato 217 50,628 7,594,200 233 34,996 226  96.0%
Bay of Plenty/Waiariki 157 46,595 6,989,250 297  44,518 165  95.2%
Hawke's Bay/Tairāwhiti 158 33,196 4,979,400 210 31,515 158  100.0%
Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu 179 37,381 5,607,150 209 31,325 189 94.7%
Wellington 169 40,056 6,008,400 237 35,553 175  96.6%
Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast 93 21,242 3,186,300 228  34,261 96  96.9% 
Canterbury/Chatham Islands 140 39,869 5,980,350 285 42,717 145  96.6%
Otago/Southland 110 16,890 2,533,500 154 23, 032 123  89.4%
Total 1,692 454,011 68,101,650 268 40,249 1,781  95.0%
School Type Schools Opting In Roll Count of Participating Schools Funding Going to Schools in 2022 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In
Composite 60 17,680 2,652,000 61 98.4%
Correspondence 0         -                   - 0   0.0%
Intermediate 87 39,397 5,909,550 90 96.7% 
Kura 114 12,733  1,909,950 121 94.2%
Primary 1163 242,273 36,340,950 1195 97.3%
Secondary 198 137,722 20,658,300 240 82.5% 
Specialist 35 3,719 557,850 36  97.2%
Other 35 487 73,050 38 92.1%
Total 1,692 454,011 68,101,650 1,781  95.0%
Decile Schools Opting In Roll Count of Participating Schools Funding Going to Schools in 2022 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In
1 312 62,231 9,334,650 318 98.1%
2 254 55,681 8,352,150 258 98.4%
3 244 64,449 9,667,350 247 98.8%
4 237 69,362 10,404,300 242 97.9%
5 226 66,957 10,043,550 240 94.2%
6 212 69,240 10,386,000 231 91.8%
7 207 66,091 9,913,650 245 84.5%
Total 1,692 454,011 68,101,650 1,781 95.0%

 

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

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 2021 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In
Te Tai Tokerau 141 28,338 4,250,700 201 30,147 142 99.3%
Auckland 322 137,819 20,672,850 428 64,201 359 89.7%
Waikato 218 50,167 7,525,050 230 34,519 227 96.0%

Bay of Plenty/Waiariki

158 46,566 6,984,900 295 44,208 164 96.3%
Hawke's Bay/Tairāwhiti 158 33,228 4,984,200 210 31,546 158 100.0%
Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu 179 37,381 5,607,150 209 31,301 187 95.2%
Wellington 169 39,916 5,987,400 236 35,428 175 96.6%
Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast 90 20,891 3,133,650 232 34,818 96 93.8%
Canterbury/Chatham Islands 140 39,680 5,952,000 283 42,514 145 96.6%
Otago/Southland 108 16,503 2,475,450 153 22,921 123 87.8%
Total 1,682 450,252 67,537,800 268 40,153 1,776 94.7%
School Type Schools Opting In Roll Count of Participating Schools Funding Going to Schools in 2021 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In
Composite 82 20,257 3,038,550 87 94.3%
Intermediate 87 39,542 5,931,300 90 96.7%
Kura 56 6,213 931,950 59 94.9%
Primary 1189 245,463 36,819,450 1221 97.4%
Secondary 199 134,750 20,212,500 245 81.2%
Specialist 35 3,570 535,500 36 97.2%
Other 34 457 68,550 38 89.5%
Total 1,682 450,252 67,537,800 1,776 94.7%
Decile Schools Opting In Roll Count of Participating Schools Funding Going to Schools in 2021 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In
1 306 61,449 9,217,350 313 97.8%
2 250 54,812 8,221,800 255 98.0%
3 242 64,436 9,665,400 245 98.8%
4 235 68,901 10,335,150 240 97.9%
5 232 67,335 10,100,250 247 93.9%
6 207 67,310 10,096,500 229 90.4%
7 210 66,009 9,901,350 247 85.0%
Total 1,682 450,252 67,537,800 1,776 94.7%

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