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The Government’s proposal to change the school donations policy will actually result in some schools being worse off than before, and the rushed nature of this legislation will ultimately leave some schools out in the cold, says Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga and National’s Associate Spokesperson for Education. 

“At this morning’s Education and Workforce Select Committee we heard from Michael Williams, Principal of Pakuranga College in my electorate, who shared his concerns with how this policy will affect his school.”

“Pakuranga College has a decile rating of 7, which falls within the scope of the policy that targets schools with ratings of 1-7. In his submission, Mr. Williams estimated that his school would be worse off to the tune of around $300,000 because they would no longer be able to take donations or charge parents for things like school camps and trips.” 

“Mr. Williams mentioned Edgewater College, also in Pakuranga, as a further example. Edgewater has a decile rating of 2, but even they would be approximately $8000 worse off as they would now have to pay for those extra-curricular activities themselves.”

“Pakuranga College intends to opt out of the policy, though Mr. Williams is concerned that local parents will simply refuse to abide by the existing donations system, potentially leaving many students at a disadvantage to those who do pay. He states that schools‘are looking more and more to provide authentic learning experiences and to engage more with the world beyond the school gate’, and that this policy could actually prevent that.”

“This is one of the clearest examples yet of how this poorly-planned legislation will actually foster inequity rather than reduce it.”

“Another Principal in my electorate, Steven Hargreaves of Macleans College which has a decile rating of 9, made a written submission where he points this policy will further increase the difference in per student funding made to schools.”

“A higher decile rating does not necessarily equate to a lesser need for funding, and saving money should not have to be a consideration when parents decide where they want their children to attend school.”

“National remains of the view that the decile system should be scrapped altogether and had proposed additional funding for schools to compensate for its removal. The Government has simply not given this policy proper thought, and it is our children who will pay the price.”

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