Four schools de­cide to scrap par­ent do­na­tions

Western Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - TORIKA TOKALAU

Some prin­ci­pals are ea­ger for the Gov­ern­ment to keep its prom­ise to boost fund­ing for schools that scrap par­ent do­na­tions.

Four West Auck­land pri­mary schools - Gle­navon School, Prospect School, St Leonard’s Road School and Kel­ston School - do not ask for school do­na­tions.

All four schools would jump on the Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed pol­icy of pay­ing $150 per stu­dent per year if they did not ask for do­na­tions.

The school do­na­tion pol­icy was one of sev­eral fund­ing ini­tia­tives the Gov­ern­ment was con­sid­er­ing in the 2018 Bud­get.

Kel­ston School prin­ci­pal Cliff Hughes said he stopped ask­ing for do­na­tions three years ago be­cause only a hand­ful of fam­i­lies ac­tu­ally paid.

It meant the school had to look else­where for fund­ing.

The school re­lied heav­ily on char­i­ta­ble trusts in 2016, in­clud­ing a $15,000 do­na­tion from the Tony Rob­bins Foun­da­tion for host­ing an event.

Hughes said this year would be a strug­gle.

‘‘Heat, light and wa­ter costs and the ser­vices of trades peo­ple are all in­creas­ing yet school fund­ing ap­pears to be static,’’ he said.

‘‘Hope­fully we can seek out new supporters and spon­sors in or­der to keep our school op­er­at­ing suc­cess­fully.’’

He called on the Gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment the pol­icy.

Do­na­tions were dropped at Gle­navon and Prospect schools to re­duce the bur­den on par­ents.

Un­til last year, both schools charged $40 per stu­dent which less than half the fam­i­lies paid.

Gle­navon School prin­ci­pal Phil Toomer said they would wel­come the Gov­ern­ment’s promised $150 fund­ing pol­icy.

‘‘We do not want money to ever be a bar­rier to any child ac­cess­ing

‘‘We do not want money to ever be a bar­rier to any child ac­cess­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties they de­serve.’’

Phil Toomer

the op­por­tu­ni­ties they de­serve,’’ Toomer said.

Gle­navon was di­vert­ing all its char­ity and cor­po­rate spon­sor­ship to cover all field trips and out­door ed­u­ca­tion costs.

‘‘In­stead of fo­cus­ing and stress­ing about the cost of ed­u­ca­tion, we want our whanau to fo­cus on sup­port­ing their child’s learn­ing.’’ Toomer said.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Chris Hip­kins said the $150 fund­ing pol­icy would be con­sid­ered for Bud­get 2018.

TORIKA TOKALAU/STUFF

Kel­ston Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Cliff Hughes said they hadn’t charged do­na­tions for the past three years.

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