31 Jan 2013

Wanganui Collegiate reveals high fees

9:40 pm on 31 January 2013

New Zealand's newest state school is charging fees and donations that are among the highest sought by any school in the state system.

Wanganui Collegiate this week became a state integrated school for which the Government pays most of the bills but a trust owns the property.

The former private school is asking $10,900 a year for day students and $21,850 for boarders, about 10% more than it charged last year.

Wanganui Collegiate says it has not lowered its fees because it did so last year when the Government gave it nearly $3 million in special funding, about the same amount it now gets as an integrated school.

The school says its fees have gone up to pay for earthquake strengthening of buildings and higher insurance premiums.

Only the school's $2760 attendance due is compulsory. The fee is for property maintenance.

The Ministry of Education says parents will feel considerable pressure to pay voluntary charges including donations of nearly $3000, and $5000 for meals and activities in property that is not part of the integrated school.

The Post Primary Teachers' Association says it is horrified by the fees being charged and says asking for so much money is a way of deterring children from poor families from attending.

The Secondary Principals' Association says integrated schools should charge fees that most people can afford.