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Minister reminds schools about fee issue

13 September 2000 Media Statement

Minister reminds schools about fee issue

Education Minister Trevor Mallard used Parliament's question time today to remind schools of the 'voluntary' nature of school donations.

Trevor Mallard raised the matter after he saw a copy of a letter sent out by one Auckland School advising they must deliver a fee of $500 to confirm their child's enrolment at the school. The letter said:

"It would be appreciated if you could bring the school fee of $500.00 at this time to confirm acceptance of the place offered. If you have any queries regarding this please contact the school accountant . . . "

"This is totally unacceptable," Trevor Mallard said.

"State schools should be free schools. Compulsory attendance fees have no place in the state education system.

"State schools cannot charge compulsory fees. They may seek a voluntary donation from parents, however schools must not make payment of that donation compulsory or imply it is a condition of enrolment.

"The school in question has been cautioned both verbally and in writing. I have requested advice from the Ministry regarding steps that can be taken to rectify the information that has been forwarded to parents.

"I will also be asking the Ministry to print a prominent notice in the Education Gazette to remind all schools about the voluntary nature of donations," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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