Educators call on Police Minister to waive vetting charge
21 March 2017
NZEI Te Riu Roa is calling on the Minister of Police to instruct her officials to abandon plans to charge schools and ECE services for safety vetting of adults who work around children.
From July, Police will charge schools and ECE centres nearly $10 for each vet they do of volunteers, parents and staff who work or help out around children, once more than 20 vets are needed. However, school principals and ECE services have said that, without any additional Government funding to meet the additional expense, it'll come at the cost of children's education.
"The safety of New Zealand's children should be a top priority for both the Government and for the police. The cost of vetting should be waived for education in the same way Cabinet has agreed to do for charities," NZEI president Lynda Stuart said.
"Schools and ECE services want to be absolutely certain that every adult who works or helps out around their children is safe. But asking us to pay hundreds of dollars for vetting, when our budgets have been frozen by the Government, will force us to find ways to cut costs elsewhere. Whenever cuts in education are made, children lose, and that's not right.
"We've been asking the Education Minister for months to reverse a freeze on schools' operations grant this year, and to reverse six years of cuts to ECE funding. Now we're asking the Police Minister not to add to the financial pressure schools and centres are under by forcing a new cost onto already stretched budgets.
"New Zealand can afford to give our kids the best and safest education in the world. Our kids are worth it," Mrs Stuart said.