Rights to free education

What fees can be charged by schools?

The Education Act specifically allows for free enrolment and free education for domestic students aged between 5 and 19 years.

Education Act 1989 section 3 – Legislation website

No school fees may be charged. Integrated schools may charge attendance dues, as approved by the Minister of Education.

Schools may seek donations from parents but these are voluntary. Charges 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. As with the supply of any good or service, prior agreement is needed before any charge can be made.

A board of trustees may also ask for, but cannot insist on, payment in advance for various optional activities it knows are likely to occur during the year.

Costs and financial assistance – Ministry of Education website, parents section

Updated: January 2017

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