New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 123–142 | Cite as

The Impact of Cost on Children’s Participation in School-Based Experiences: Parents’ Perceptions

  • N. Ruth GassonEmail author
  • Keryn Pratt
  • Jeffrey K. Smith
  • James E. Calder


New Zealand officially provides free education to domestic students between the years of 5–19 in state and state-integrated schools, but the schools can legally require families to provide school uniforms and stationery, and examination fees apply at the upper secondary-school level. State-integrated schools can also charge attendance dues to cover property maintenance. Additionally, schools of either kind can request donations, and charge for activities beyond those deemed necessary for curriculum coverage. This article presents findings from a survey of parents/caregivers about the ways the costs associated with education influence their children’s participation in school-based activities. Some respondents believe costs are precluding children from full participation in normal educational experiences and socialisation alongside their more advantaged peers. There is a need for further research to investigate how this could impact on school achievement.


Schools Inequality Cost Achievement gap 


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Copyright information

© New Zealand Association for Research in Education 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Ruth Gasson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Keryn Pratt
    • 1
  • Jeffrey K. Smith
    • 1
  • James E. Calder
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Otago College of EducationDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.DunedinNew Zealand

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