Fees, charges and donations

Requirements and information for schools and parents about what schools can charge for and how schools can opt in to the donations scheme.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther

Required

  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Administrators

Where schools and kura request donations, it is their responsibility to ensure the voluntary nature of these requests is clear to their parent community. If your school chooses to opt-in to the donation scheme, you cannot ask for donations, with the exception of overnight camps. State schools and kura cannot charge domestic students a fee for enrolment or attendance or for delivery of the curriculum (eg subject fees).

Overview

There are three types of ‘payments’ related to schools:

  • donations
  • purchases of goods and services (e.g. pens, lunches)
  • attendance dues.

If you are a school board, this guidance will inform you of:

  • what you can charge for
  • the donations scheme.

If you are a parent/caregiver or whānau, here you will learn:

  • details about the three payment types
  • about the donations scheme
  • where to read specific guidance about your rights, obligations, and other important information regarding donations, fees and the donations scheme.

Payment types

The three types of payments include donations, purchases of goods and services, and attendance dues.

Section 33 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) states that every person who is not an international student is entitled to free enrolment and free education at any state school during the period beginning on the person’s fifth birthday and ending on 1 January after the person’s 19th birthday. This means that state schools cannot charge domestic students a fee for enrolment or attendance, or for the delivery of the curriculum.

Payment typeRequirementDescription
Donations Voluntary
  • Parents can pay them in part, in full or not at all
  • They can be for general purposes, or for a specific purpose
  • Anyone can choose to make a donation to a school or kura at any time
  • GST is not payable, donation tax credits can be claimed
  • Decile 1–7 schools and kura who opt-in to the donations scheme will receive $150 per student payment for that year in exchange for not asking for donations- with the exception of donations for school camps
  • Decile 8–10 schools and those who chose not to opt-in can still ask for donations, but payment cannot be compelled or enforced.
Purchases of goods and services

Voluntary

  • Schools and kura can ask parents and whānau to pay for goods and services they provide that are optional (e.g. pens and lunches)
  • It is up to parents/whānau to decide whether to buy them from the school/kura or somewhere else
  • If a purchase is agreed, payment can be enforced
  • GST is chargeable and a tax credit cannot be claimed.
Attendance dues

Compulsory for state-integrated schools and kura

  • Payment can be enforced and GST is payable, a tax credit cannot be claimed
  • State-integrated schools and kura cannot increase attendance dues without the approval of the Minister of Education.

What is the donation scheme?

From the 2020 school year, Decile 1–7 state and state-integrated schools/kura are able to choose to receive a $150 per student, per year payment if they agree not to ask parents and caregivers for donations, except for overnight camps. This initiative is designed to alleviate that pressure and expectation.

How to opt-in

Schools are to opt-in to the donations scheme as part of the July roll return process. For more detail refer to the School Roll Return Guidelines(external link). Activity Centres and Attached units that do not submit a roll return can opt-in to the scheme by completing the Donations Scheme Opt-in form(external link).

How the scheme works

Schools that opt-in to the scheme will receive their donations payment as part of their January operational funding instalment. The donations payment will be calculated based on the previous year’s July roll.

For more, refer to our Donation scheme FAQs.

What can a school or kura charge for?

We have developed guidance which makes it clear what schools can charge for and what parents need to pay for.

If you are family/whānau

Read our online guidance here What families/whānau need to know about school/kura donations and payment

Download these resources:

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

If you are a board from a decile 1–7 school/kura (opting in)

Read our online guidance here: Requirements for boards of decile 1–7 schools and kura choosing to opt in to the Donations Scheme

Download these resources:

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

 

If you are school board from a decile 8–10 school or school/kura (not opting in)

Read our online guidance here Requirements for boards of decile 8–10 schools and kura and schools and kura choosing not to opt in to the Donations Scheme

Download these resources:

New Zealand Sign Language video version:

Requirements about what schools can charge for in different languages

Decile reviews

Decile 8–10 schools that believe there has been a significant change in their school's roll profile since deciles were last recalculated in 2014 and want to opt in to the donations scheme can apply for a decile review.

If a school applies for a decile review and anticipates that they will be eligible to opt-in to the scheme, they must not ask parents/caregivers for donations in the 2021 school year.

How to apply

This is an annual process and has been completed for 2020. Further information can be found at Decile Review – Education Counts(external link).

If a school applies for a decile review and anticipates that they will be eligible to opt-in to the scheme, they must not ask parents/caregivers for donations in the 2021 school year.

Timeline

Boards who were granted eligibility for the Donations Scheme for 2021 have been advised.

  • You will have until 1 March 2021 to consult with your community
  • An online declaration form(external link) needs to be filled out and sent to the Ministry
  • Funding will arrive in your April 2021 Operational Funding Instalment
  • The funding will be calculated based on the previous year’s July roll return.

Breakdown of schools that have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021 by region, type and decile

DecileSchools Opting InRoll Count of Participating SchoolsFunding Going to Schools in 2021Total Eligible Schools% Opting In
Decile 1 305 61,433 9,214,950 313 97.4%
Decile 2 250 54,812 8,221,800 255 98.0%
Decile 3 242 64,436 9,665,400 245 98.8%
Decile 4 232 68,203 10,230,450 240 96.7%
Decile 5 231 66,580 9,987,000 247 93.5%
Decile 6 207 67,310 10,096,500 229 90.4%
Decile 7 209 64,697 9,704,550 247 84.6%
Total 1,676 447,471 67,120,650 1,776 94.4%

 

Education RegionSchools Opting InRoll Count of Participating SchoolsFunding Going to Schools in 2021Average Roll CountAverage Amount Going to Schools in 2021Total Eligible Schools% Opting In
Tai Tokerau 141 28,338 4,250,700 201 30,147 142 99.3%
Auckland 322 137,819 20,672,850 428 64,201 359 89.7%
Waikato 217 50,000 7,500,000 230 34,562 227 95.6%

Bay of Plenty/Waiariki

158 46,566 6,984,900 295 44,208 164 96.3%
Hawke's Bay/Tairāwhiti 158 33,228 4,984,200 210 31,546 158 100.0%
Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu 175 4,785 5,217,750 199 29,816 187 93.6%
Wellington 168 39,900 5,985,000 238 35,625 175 96.0%
Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast 90 20,891 3,133,650 232 34,818 96 93.8%
Canterbury/Chatham Islands 139 39,441 5,916,150 284 42,562 145 95.9%
Otago/Southland 108 16,503 2,475,450 153 22,921 123 87.8%
Total 1,676 447,471 67,120,650 267 40,048 1,776 94.4%

 

School TypeSchools Opting InRoll Count of Participating SchoolsFunding Going to Schools in 2021Total Eligible Schools% Opting In
Composite 81 20,018 3,002,700 87 93.1%
Intermediate 87 39,542 5,931,300 90 96.7%
Kura 56 6,213 931,950 59 94.9%
Primary 1188 245,296 36,794,400 1221 97.3%
Secondary 196 132,391 19,858,650 245 80.0%
Specialist 35 3,570 535,500 36 97.2%
Other 33 >441 66,150 38 86.8%
Total 1,676 447,471 67,120,650 1,776 94.4%

 

Breakdown of schools that have opted in to the donations scheme for 2020 by region, type and decile

Education RegionSchools Opting InRoll Count of Participating SchoolsFunding Going to Schools in 2020Average Roll CountAverage Amount Going to Schools in 2020Total Eligible Schools% Opting In
Tai Tokerau 141 >28,338 $4,115,100 199 $29,820 140 98.6%
Auckland 322 137,819 $19,769,250 420 $62,959 358 87.7%
Waikato 217 50,000 $7,257,150 233 $34,890 224 92.9%
Bay of Plenty/Waiariki 158 46,566 $6,685,800 297 $44,572 163 92.0%
Hawke's Bay/Tairawhiti 148 33,228 $4,888,050 220 $33,027 155 95.5%
Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu 175 >34,785 $5,459,250 207 $31,018 187 94.1%
Wellington 168 39,900 $5,777,700 232 $34,805 176 94.63
Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast 90 20,891 $2,986,500 224 $33,556 95 93.7%
Canterbury/Chatham Islands 139 39,441 $5,442,300 275 $41,230 144 91.7%
Otago/Southland 108 16503 $2,414,850 153 $22,999 123 85.4%
Total 1,676 447,471 $64,795,950 266 $39,850 1,765 92.1%

 

DecileSchools Opting InRoll Count of Participating SchoolsFunding Going to Schools in 2020Total Eligible Schools% Opting In
1 300 61,109 $9,166,350 312 96.2%
2 234 52,763 $7,914,450 250 93.6%
3 239 62,496 $9,374,400 246 97.2%
4 226 66,531 $9,979,650 235 96.2%
5 231 65,993 $9,898,950 248 93.1%
6 195 60,517 $9,077,550 228 85.5%
7 201 62,564 $9,384,600 246 81.7%
Total 1,626 431,973 $64,795,950 1,765 92.1%

 

School TypeSchools Opting InRoll Count of Participating SchoolsFunding Going to Schools in 2020Total Eligible Schools% Opting In
Composite 73 18,712 $2,806,800 85 85.9%
Intermediate 85 37,818 $5,672,700 90 94.4%
Kura 53 5,533 $829,950 59 89.8%
Primary 1163 242,911 $36,436,650 1,212 96.0%
Secondary 185 123,161 $18,474,150 244 75.8%
Specialist 33 3,424 $513,600 34 97.1%
Other 34 414 $62,100 41 82.9%
Total 1,626 431,973 $64,795,950 1,765 92.1%

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