A father is questioning the high cost of sending his child to secondary school, including $32 for two pairs of socks, and software licence fees for maths and science in the school stationery list.

Hamilton dad Fraser Kemp said the bill to send his boy to Hamilton's Hillcrest High School will easily top $1000 by the time he finishes buying the uniform, compulsory Chromebook and paying the donation.

He had sent an email to his son's new school outlining his concerns over the need for everyone to have expensive Chromebooks and still awaiting a response.

"In the end parents suck it up and have just to pay but I think schools are being unreasonable," Kemp said.


"I knew there would be costs. I didn't think they would be as high as they were," said the father-of-two.

Hillcrest High School Principal Kelvin Whiting confirmed both he and his deputy received an email from Kemp, but neither of them responded.

"I read it over and then it was such a busy time of the year nothing was done about it unfortunately," Whiting said.

"But in terms of the technology costs, the bottom line is that we are sympathetic and we understand how hard it is for parents, but schools are underfunded and we have to keep up with technology in the digital age."

Hamilton's Fairfield Intermediate School includes two reams of photocopy paper to be handed in to teachers at the start of the year. Photo / Facebook
Hamilton's Fairfield Intermediate School includes two reams of photocopy paper to be handed in to teachers at the start of the year. Photo / Facebook

Whiting said there is an option for the Chromebook to be paid off in instalments and said the school often financially supports families who are struggling with school costs.

"Devices are becoming more common in the classroom and we are conscious of the fact NCEA wants to have all assessment done on the computer by 2020." Whiting said.

"Many of these children will be going into jobs where they need to be proficient using technology," he said.

Kemp said parents were being held hostage to single-source uniform supply shops that sold pieces of clothing at outrageous prices.

He had been charged $60 for a pair of shorts and each shirt made in Fiji and $16 for each pair of socks.

So far he had forked out $364 for two pairs of shorts, two shirts, a PE uniform and socks. He still had at jacket and jersey to buy which would cost a further $200.

There was also a $54 compulsory stationery bill and a $360 donation.

Whiting said he is a parent himself and commiserates with the cost of uniforms and said if parents are really struggling, they should get in touch so the school can offer assistance.

"We also had a recycle boutique yesterday where senior students returned their old uniforms and parents could come in and grab items at no cost," Whiting said.

Kemp claimed school were continuing to blur Ministry of Education guidelines getting parents to pay for curriculum-related costs when they shouldn't.

He was particularly incensed parents were being billed for two separate software licence fees for the core Year 9 subjects of science and maths.

"Surely that's any operational cost of the school?" he asked.

At one Hamilton intermediate children have been asked to buy two reams of photocopy paper and hand it into the teacher on the first day of Term 1.

"What are they going to do with 1000 bits of paper? That's an awful lot of photocopying and drawing."