Low decile schools look forward to additional support

By James Caldwell, Mare Haimona-Riki

The new "School Donations Amendment" could see decile 1-7 schools receiving up to $150 per student per year in funding, if they agree not to request donations from parents or caregivers. 

Hora Hora primary and Te Kura o Otangarei (Taitokerau) are two schools that have had their applications accepted. 

Te Kura o Otangarei Principal, Myles Ferris, believes the funding will help alleviate a lot of pressure for him and his staff.

The kura consists of a little over 100 students, all of them of Māori descent.

“For us, that’s $15,000 every year, and that goes a long way in our neck of the woods…. It will take a lot of financial pressure off the school, off me to find funds to be able to do things that we want to do with our children,” Ferris says.

Upon acceptance, funds will be dispersed to schools, and how this is dispersed is at the discretion of the individual institutions.

"At our school, they (students) will receive additional resources in the classroom. We will look to support families in need through their stationary or uniforms. We are going to be able to provide a more exciting and varied curriculum," says Ferris. 

Principal of Hora Hora Primary, Pat Newman, says that he's grateful for the $60,000 his school of 400 students will receive as a result of this bill.

"I'm not a person that always agrees with government decisions but a huge thank you to the government for this money," he says.

The funding is expected to kick in next year in Term 1.