Schools and Education in New Zealand


Education and Schools in New Zealand

In most circumstances, your children will attend the school they are zoned for. If you choose to live outside the zone of your preferred school, your children will probably not get places. Any spare places at popular schools (those with good reputations) are allocated by ballot. School rules are set by the Board of Governers. The Board is elected by parents.

School rules usually mean that school-uniform is compulsory at secondary school. In addition to wearing the uniform, pupils/students must not wear make-up, jewellery, unusual hair colourings, nose-piercings, etc, etc. Exceptions to zoning may include attendance at a school with a special character – such as a religious school. In addition to the state sector, there is also a flourishing private education sector.

Children who attend state schools in New Zealand generally receive a very good education. Most children start Year 1 on their fifth birthday.

>> Primary schools teach Year 1 to Year 6 children.
>> Intermediate schools teach Years 7 and 8.
>> “Full Primaries” teach Year 1 to Year 8 children.
>> Secondary schools teach Year 9 to Year 13.

Education / School Costs in New Zealand

State education in New Zealand is free of charge. You will, however need to pay for your childrens’ school uniforms, pencils, pens, glue-sticks, stationary etc. Text-books are provided free of charge, unless their use involves writing on them and they will not be returned to the school.

Most state schools charge a fee of somewhere around $100 – $300 per year per child, although some charge considerably more than this. Some state high schools charge an annual fee of between $500 and $1,200. If more than one child attends the same school then it is usual to get a reduction in fees. Although payment of the fee is voluntary, called a donation, most parents pay. The donation pays for extra resources for your children’s school, photocopying, etc. and it is tax-deductible.

High School Donation Amounts

Auckland Grammar School$1125
Westlake Boys School$550
Christchurch Boys School$630
Epsom Girls Grammar$765

School Starting and Finishing Times and Holidays

School days are Monday to Friday. Primary schools usually start at 9 am, or a little earlier, and finish at 3pm. Secondary schools usually start at 8.30am and finish at 3pm or 3.15pm.

The school year runs from February to December and has four terms. Each term is roughly ten weeks long. Summer holidays last about five and a half weeks at primary schools and about a week longer at secondary schools. The autumn, winter and spring holidays each last two weeks.

Primary and Intermediate School Holidays 2016

Term 1
5 February* – 15 April
Term 2
2 May – 8 July
Term 3
25 July – 23 September
Term 4
10 October – 20 December*
 

High School Holidays 2016

Term 1
5 February* – 15 April
Term 2
2 May – 8 July
Term 3
25 July – 23 September
Term 4
10 October – 16 December
 

Primary and Intermediate School Holidays 2017

Term 1
7 February* – 13 April
Term 2
1 May – 8 July
Term 3
24 July – 29 September
Term 4
16 October – 20 December*
 

High School Holidays 2017

Term 1
7 February* – 13 April
Term 2
1 May – 7 July
Term 3
24 July – 29 September
Term 4
16 October – 20 December

* Latest date allowed. Schools may start term 1 from 1 February in the 2016 school year or from 30 January in the 2017 school year.


What say you?
Please do not ask us for immigration/visa advice - we cannot respond to such requests.

*