Call for govt to support ending "voluntary" school donations

updated By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

The NZ Principals Federation is renewing calls for the Labour-led government to honour its pre-election promise of a funding incentive for schools that stop soliciting "voluntary donations" from parents. 

Te Kāea spoke about the issue to locals in South Auckland who are struggling to meet school stationary costs.

“We need more of that in South Auckland,” says Year 12 student Rebecca Afaese-Le Noel, “Because I know my mum's gonna spend more money, on my younger siblings as well, for their stationery and it's just ridiculous.”

“I've gotta sacrifice,” says another parent Robyn Pivott., “I've gotta not pay one [other] thing to be able to get the uniforms, because you only get given a certain time.”

NZ Prinicpals Federation President Cormick wants the government to honour its pre-election promise to give schools that drop the "voluntary donations' from whānau an extra $150 per pupil.

“We know many of our whānau across the country are unable to make those contributions,” says Cormick.

“The challenge for the education system is that we're not resourced well enough, we don't get enough money from our government.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says the government is aware of the cost burden on parents and is working on a number of ways to address them.

"For example, the government's Families Package has boosted incomes of more than 380,000 families by $75 a week," says Hipkins.

Cormick will continue to raise the issue with the education minister in the coming weeks.