|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
The “hidden costs” of a free education in Aotearoa
The Equality Network is asking for politicians to commit to a truly free education, which will benefit all children, irrespective of their household incomes.
Members of the Equality Network, a non-partisan organisation of 37 members united by the vision of a more equal Aotearoa New Zealand, say that the hidden costs of education are putting unnecessary additional stresses on our poorest families.
These costs start with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), for example the fees beyond the 20 hours subsidy from the Government, the hidden costs of non-qualified teachers and the costs of poor provision of education in poorer areas.
Low-income households with school students are then faced with the many hidden costs at school. These include voluntary “donations” that parents are expected to pay, digital stationery packs, Education Outside the Classroom, co-curricular sport and cultural activities, examination fees, 'specialist' consultations to provide evidence of the need for additional support, family-subsidised teacher aide hours and supplementary private tutoring such as Kip McGrath. Children also miss out on key learning opportunities through overseas trips and often find it difficult to cover uniform costs or to buy season-appropriate clothing, for example wearing shorts instead of pants in winter.
Figures from ASG suggest that school education costs in 2016 ranged between $2,079 and $3,592 depending on the age of the child including fees, clothing, computers, travel and extra-curricular costs.* This is an average of $2,835.50 per child.
For more read The “hidden costs” of a free education in Aotearoa.
Scoop Education August 2017