Charging for school ballots undermines free education - Labour

Labour education spokesperson Chris Hipkins (File)
Labour education spokesperson Chris Hipkins (File)

Labour says charging parents to enter their kids in school enrolment ballots undermines the principle of free education.

This comes after the Ministry of Education ordered Auckland Grammar School and Cornwall Park District School to stop charging parents to enter the ballots.

"The whole of point out-of-zone ballots is to ensure that extra places in those schools are allocated fairly," says Labour's education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

"By introducing a fee, the schools are saying that a parent's ability to pay will have an impact on the type of education their child will receive. That's just not right."

Mr Hipkins says schools are getting around the law because they're struggling to make ends meet, with 41 percent of schools reporting financial deficits.

"There is no question the financial pressures parents are facing for their kids' education have increased hugely in the past few years," says Mr Hipkins.

He says that cost increase includes school donations, laptops and iPads, and school uniforms.