A major state high school has been warned by the Education Ministry and forced to apologise to families over its handling of outstanding fees and donations.
A parent had complained that New Plymouth Boys High School threatened to stop her son sitting his exams unless payment of a voluntary donation was made.
Judy Botha says her son Dean was humiliated when he was pulled aside with other students on Thursday and told he would not get his NCEA admission slip.
The boys were told they had outstanding payments for things like school activities, overdue library books and equipment, she said.
The ministry said schools should not try to collect outstanding payments for any reason by preventing access to education.
Principal Paul Veric said some students did not get their NCEA admission slips on Thursday but only because the school wanted to raise awareness about unpaid fees.
All the slips had now been sent out, regardless of whether payments have been made, he said.
Ms Botha did not accept that argument, she said.