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Don’t ask, don’t tell on illegal school fees

The National Government’s refusal to even ask how many schools are charging illegal fees for entering prospective students into out-of-zone enrolment ballots is breathtakingly arrogant, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Hollow words about asking the Education Ministry to work with the schools who have already been caught charging these illegal fees mean nothing, given two of these schools have already indicated they won’t stop this practice.

“How many more schools are engaged in this illegal practice? The Government won’t know because they haven’t even asked.

“Reports over the weekend that school principals feel the fees are justified because of the costs involved in ‘collection of data via testing’ should also ring alarm bells. These are supposed to be random ballots to allocate surplus places to out-of-zone students. Why on earth do the schools need to test the students first?

“School education in New Zealand is supposed to be free. It’s time National stepped up to their responsibilities and ensured that right is protected,” Chris Hipkins says.