School camps are in jeopardy, in a surprise side-effect of a new grant that is intended to reduce the cost of education for parents.

The new grant of $150 a year for every student will be available from next year to all state and integrated schools in deciles 1 to 7 that agree to stop asking parents for donations.

School principals initially greeted the news with delight. But the mood has soured for many mid-decile schools because the Government appears to be treating charges for school camps as "donations", so schools that accept the $150 grant may no longer be