Planning for 2019
Our roll has now reached 14 full-time students, with a couple of places left for Term 4. The interest for 2019 continues to grow, particularly for new entrants and we are hoping to secure a purpose built 3-room classroom block with kitchen, bathroom and office on the Awataha Grounds to allow us to expand and enjoy a bit more space. Our vision for next year would be to grow the roll slowly over the year to around 20-25 students, with the potential for up to 50 students at full capacity.
It has been a tough road financially, as we have sought to keep fees as low as possible to make Ako accessible. Advice from the Ministry of Education continues to be that we cannot apply for special character/integrated school status for another few years. So unfortunately we will need to remain a private fee paying school for now. But we are keen to know what potential demand for our school is, and what level of fees families might be able to pay. This will help us with our planning and in discussions we hope to have with the Ministry about accelerating access to more public funding. So please complete the survey if you would consider sending your child/ren to Ako, especially if the fees were lower.
We are in the process of setting our budget and fees for next year. We have decided to do away with the tiered fees model (based on income) and introduce a flat fee instead. Fees will be set to better reflect our costs (we have been operating on a real shoestring budget this year with lots of unpaid work from our parent community and keeping expenditure to a minimum and are only staying afloat thanks to a loan from one of our parents) and need to move to a more fully costed budget for next year.
We expect fees will come out at around $11,000 per annum ($2,750 a term) which is commensurate with, or less than, other small private schools. We appreciate this will make choosing Ako more difficult for many families and we are working hard to raise some funds (for example by our crowdfunding campaign) to provide financial assistance to families that need it. So please do enquire about financial assistance if you need it. We are also planning to continue with an Ako talks/adult education programme of some sort next year and are looking into other revenue generating ideas that could be used to offset the costs of the school. Please let us know if you are interested in working with us on any of these ideas.