We have had a number of enquiries regarding the Ombudsman’s ruling earlier this year about the parent who complained for being invoiced a compulsory fee for resources. This ruling is in line with how ABA has always understood the supply of resources to be.
The Education Act 1989 states that education in state and state-integrated schools for students aged 5-19 years (who are domestic students) is free.
Parents have never been compelled to purchase resources. A charge can apply where a student has chosen to buy and take home an item or chosen to participate in an activity additional to the delivery of the curriculum. Ideally, education in NZ is supposed to be delivered free of costs to parents.
Schools normally indicate their intention to use a resource in their school Prospectus and/or website and the parents’ contribution must always be voluntary. The parents know that any resource a school elects to use is for the purpose of enhancing their child’s learning.
The value that individual schools place on ABA resources to deliver a thorough, comprehensive, exciting and engaging learning tool, is the motivation for schools to want to incorporate them into their programme.
A few departments elect to use their ‘subject budget’ to subsidise the cost. Other departments allocate funds to cover the total cost of the resource required.
In special circumstances, if an ABA customer indicates they have a family who is not able to purchase ‘extras’, we have always provided the material cost free to the school and parent.