The struggles parents face after Christmas and New Year has encouraged a Rotorua intermediate school to provide its students' uniforms and stationery for the second year in a row.
It is a programme which cost the school about $30,000 in 2023, but well worth it, Kaitao Intermediate principal Phil Palfrey said.
Palfrey told Summer Times the school had to cut back on some things in order to afford to provide the uniforms and stationery which parents would otherwise have to pay for.
But having a number of international learners come from overseas this year would help the school be able to afford it.
As a parent himself, Palfrey said he understood the difficulties that came with forking out for a uniform and stationery, and some really struggled.
It meant the start of the year was difficult, with students sometimes having to start late as they did not have the appropriate clothing, and sometimes teachers were left asking students where their stationery was for weeks.
Being able to provide those items meant students started the school year on Day One and could be confident they had everything, just like everyone else.
Being an intermediate, Palfrey said they only had the students for two years and "the pressure's on to try and get these kids ready for life".
Palfrey said he was pleased to be able to provide these key items for students, and it had helped build the school's relationship with the community.
It was something that had proved to work, and something he was determined to continue every year.