Clarification on Costs for School Camps
The 2019 Budget saw the Government announcement of a $150 per student allocation to be made available to decile 1-7 schools in lieu of asking for a donation for schools that opt into the scheme.
This quickly drew attention to the cost of school camps, which would prohibitively drain the per-student allocation for schools that opt-in.
An exemption has now been made for all schools joining the scheme that will allow a school to ask for a donation toward the cost of camp. The donation can be for all the camp costs except any teacher release costs. The criteria of a camp exemption have not yet been notified.
Note that no school, regardless of whether they opt into the no-donations scheme, can charge a fee for camp or exclude any students from camp if they do not pay a requested donation. This is articulated in Circular 2018/01 - Payments by parents of students in schools. The Ministry of Education has advised that the summary guide supporting the circular will be updated in due course.