School identifies non-paying parents
An Auckland primary school has courted controversy by publishing a list of parents who have paid the school donation, thereby identifying those who have not.
However, Epsom Normal Primary School board chairman Andrew Minturn said the school had never intended to "name and shame". It genuinely wanted to thank those parents who had contributed.
Epsom Normal Primary School sent out the list to parents last week, saying in an accompanying letter that the list was in recognition of those who had "generously contributed to the annual school appeal".
"Our appeal has been very successful to date and the board is extremely grateful for your support in helping fund items such as teaching and learning materials.
"The board intends to recognise each family for their generous support." One family, whose name was not on the list, has complained to media but Minturn said the school had not received any complaints.
"Like all schools we struggle in getting contributions in for the school. It is a difficult situation and very sensitive.
"If the ministry had stood up to the mark and had given us some money or actually made these payments a fee then we wouldn't be having these sorts of discussions."
Minturn said for the first time this year donations had reached the school's goal of 80 per cent of families making a contribution.
"The community have been outstanding ... and the board wanted some way of recognising them ... and rightly or wrongly this is the way we chose.
"The discussion went backwards and forwards and has done for many years ... there was the difficult of potentially alienating those who don't."
Minturn said the board would be the "first people to stand up and publicly apologise if we have offended anyone during this process".
It was unfortunate the parent who had complained had not come to the school first, he said.
"We have never done this before and we may never do this again. It was never intended to be name and shame because we don't need to."
- © Fairfax NZ News