We have decided to help put the ‘free’ back into New Zealand’s free education system, having just announced we will go fees-free for all Year 9 students in 2019. That means no subject fees, no sports fees, no workbooks, no voluntary donations.
This is a bold move by our Board. No other high school in the region has made this commitment. And it is a recognition that families and whānau face significant expenses in bringing up teenagers, and schools should not be adding to that burden.
We want our school life to be as welcoming and as easy to join in as we can make it. “We’re very conscious of the burden school and sports fees place on our families,” said College principal, Tony Booker. “As a school, we’ve been looking at ways to relieve this stress and decided that removing all fees was the best place to start. The different components of a school’s fees can really add up – sometimes up to hundreds of dollars a year if your child is playing a sport. We’re really keen to help remove any barriers that are stopping our students trying out, or playing, a sport they love. We’ve a part to play too in inspiring our kids to ‘get moving’.”
The school is really trying to make a difference in the family budgets of its community. Although families will still have uniform costs to cover, digital devices are not compulsory at this school, and the College Trust already covers all Year 9 stationery costs.