The Education System for schools is made up of 13 year levels. Primary Education starts at Year 1 and goes to Year 8 (around 5 to 12 years of age). Secondary Education goes from Year 9 to Year 13 (around 13 to 17 years of age).

State, State-integrated and Private Schools

Most schools in New Zealand are owned and funded by the state. They teach the national curriculum and are secular (non-religious).

There are 2 other types of schools: state-integrated and private. These are schools with a special character. They may have their own sets of aims and objectives to reflect their own particular values. They may teach a specific philosophy or religion.

State-integrated schools are schools that were private and have become part of the state education system. They are funded by the government and teach the national curriculum. You will pay compulsory attendance dues. Private schools get some government funding but are mostly funded through charging parents school fees. They develop their own learning programmes and do not have to follow the national curriculum.

National Curriculum

The national curriculum covers subjects that are taught at primary and secondary schools and the standards students should reach in each subject.

Primary education will focus on foundation learning across a range of subjects and competencies but especially in literacy and numeracy. At secondary school they will learn a broad and balanced curriculum, with some specialisation possible in Years 11 to 13.

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the national senior secondary school qualification.
Student will usually be assessed during their last three years at school (Years 11 to 13). They can achieve NCEA at 3 levels in a wide range of courses and subjects.

The vast majority of children and students attend their local school or early learning centre and learn and achieve alongside their peers. Additional support and funding is put in place based on individual needs.There are also other options within the education network including special schools.