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More money to go to schools, taking pressure off family

Around 1700 schools will soon be able to opt in to receive additional funding, with information on the school donations scheme released today to provide certainty for parents and schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“We’re taking significant financial pressure off many Kiwi families by taking care of school donations, with Decile 1-7 schools able to opt in to receive $150 per student every school year,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We know how difficult it is for parents to afford the donations that schools request, and the pressure it places on parents who aren’t able to afford them. Many students will now be able to get the education they need with less financial pressure on their parents.

“The release of requirements for schools today clarify for Decile 1-7 school boards what they need to consider before deciding whether or not to opt in to the scheme.

“Guidance for families, also released today, will help them understand what they can be asked to pay for, and what is simply voluntary.”

The Government heard from some schools that $150 per student funding wouldn’t be always enough to cover school camps, Chris Hipkins said.

“I’ve responded to school feedback by proposing an exception so that schools that opt in will still be able to ask for donations towards school camps and other overnight curriculum trips, as long as it is clear they are voluntary.”

Schools have until November 14 to decide whether or not to opt in to the scheme and those who sign up will receive their funding in early 2020.

The Ministry of Education will monitor schools that opt in to ensure they do not continue to seek donations from parents.

“I have introduced legislation so that funding paid to schools that do not comply with the scheme’s conditions can be recovered,” Chris Hipkins said.

Schools will be contacted about any changes to the information as the legislation progresses.

Chris Hipkins said the policy is one part of the Government’s plan to improve our schools and make education more affordable.

“We’ve also scrapped NCEA fees, delivered the largest pay increase for teachers and principals in over a decade and a made $1.2 billion investment to build new schools and classrooms over the next three to four years.”

The donations information for parents is attached.

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