Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Minister investigating school over "charges"

Minister investigating school over irregular "charges"

Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope has launched an investigation into a Bay of Plenty high school for the way it appears to be misrepresenting optional donations as compulsory fees.

Mr Benson-Pope announced earlier this year that he is examining the issue of how much, and by what methods, some schools are requesting school donations.

Mr Benson-Pope says the need for this review is highlighted by the case of an Otumoetai College parent Ian Mason being taken to court for unpaid "fees", which was brought to his attention by TVNZ's Close-up programme last evening.

"I have asked the Ministry of Education to investigate Otumoetai College further because it appears this school is acting in a highly irregular manner," said Mr Benson-Pope. "I hope to have the results of that investigation next week. If they do indeed show this school is not acting appropriately I will take action.

"On seeing Mr Mason's invoices the Ministry of Education today wrote to the Otumoetai College Board of Trustees requesting that they do not proceed with any debt recovery in the courts next week.

"The Ministry has told the board that the items being invoiced need to be individually examined to see if they are legitimate charges before any such debt recovery action is contemplated."

The government funds schools to deliver the core curriculum. Spending on schools has increased by $1billion from $3.5billion to $4.5billion since 1999. The operations grant and other in-kind resources for schools have together increased by 18.5 per cent in real terms since 1999.

"Many schools ask for modest donations from parents in addition to government funding. Here, it appears, we have a case of a school asking for more than other schools and it would seem in clear breach of well-publicised rules that govern this situation.

"Most parents, if able, are happy to donate something to their children's school for extras but they rely on schools to follow the rules. This doesn't appear to have happened in this instance," said Mr Benson-Pope.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news