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 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

How will the funding be calculated?

The donations scheme funding will be calculated at $150 (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.

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 next school year.

How to apply

Each year, schools can apply for a decile review. Further information about the application process 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 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(external link) and send to the Ministry
  • 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

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
Tai Tokerau 138 28,482  4,272,300 206  30,959  144  95.8% 
Auckland 322  138,955  20,843,250 432  64,731  360  89.4%
Waikato 215 50,205  7,530,750  234 35,027  226  95.1% 
Bay of Plenty/Waiariki 149  46,182  6,927,300  310  46,492  165  90.3% 
Hawke's Bay/Tairāwhiti 153  33,206  4,980,900  217  32,555  158  96.8% 
Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu 176  37,233  5,584,950  212  31,733  187  94.1%
Wellington 164  39,973  5,995,950  244  36,561  175  93.7% 
Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast 92  21,239  3,185,850  231  34,629  96  95.8% 
Canterbury/Chatham Islands 137 39,749  5,962,350   290  43,521  145  94.5% 
Otago/Southland 107  16,313  2,446,950  152  22,869  123  87.0% 
Total 1,653 451,537 67,730,550 273  40,974  1,779  92.9%
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%
Intermediate 87 39,397 5,909,550 90 96.7% 
Kura 104 11,653  1,747,950 121 86.0%
Primary 1153 241,816 36,272,400 1193 96.6%
Secondary 197 137,172 20,575,800 240 82.1% 
Specialist 31 3,523 528,450 36  86.1% 
Other 21 296 44,400 38 55.3%
Total 1,653 451,537 67,730,550 1,779  92.9%
Decile Schools Opting In Roll Count of Participating Schools Funding Going to Schools in 2022 Total Eligible Schools % Opting In
1 281 61,189 9,178,350 314 89.5%
2 250 55,113 8,266,950 258 96.9%
3 241 64,149 9,622,350 247 97.6%
4 234 68,660 10,299,000 239 97.9%
5 229 67,614 10,142,100 243 94.2%
6 211 68,852 10,327,800 232 90.9%
7 207 65,960 9,894,000 246 84.1%
Total 1,653 451,537 67,730,550 1,779 92.9%

 

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
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 178 37,144 5,571,600 209 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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