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State-Integrated schools charge $5000 fees

State schools struggle while State-Integrated schools charge $5000 fees

The revelation that many state integrated schools are asking parents to pay as much as $5800 in fees is an appalling abuse of the integration policy which requires urgent government intervention.

It has been a serious problem for many years but is now completely out of hand.

These schools are former private schools which have integrated into the state system and are fully funded by the government for teacher salaries and day to day operations. Despite this they are asking parents for thousands of dollars in fees with the clear expectation that these fees will be paid as a condition of attendance.

Hutt International Boys Schools for example was established as a private school in the 1990’s but failed to attract enough students when it opened. It was saved from an embarrassing closure when the National government allowed it to integrate into the state system. Now it is asking and expecting parents to pay $5800 per year to attend despite being fully funded by the government.

This is a private school in drag – using high fees to maintain a socially cleansed environment for the students of well-heeled parents.

This has gone on for many years with some of these schools. For example all the formerly private schools in Hawkes Bay have now become state-integrated – Woodford House, Lindisfarne and Iona College for example - but all maintain high fees which makes a mockery of their “integration”.

Across the board state schools are struggling with government under-funding while these private schools in drag are “creaming it” with taxpayer funding. This money should be available for the state system where it is needed most.

The government would be heading in the right direction if it –

• Prevented state schools from soliciting “donations” from parents

• Increased government funding for all state schools

• Shifted school operations grant funding from bulk funding to “needs-based funding”

John Minto

National Chairperson

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