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How to enrol your child at school in NZ

You can enrol your child in school before they’re 5, though they won’t start until they turn 5. Your child must start school by the time they turn 6. And must stay in school until they’re 16. Enrolling in primary school is similar to enrolling in college.

  1. 1

    Choose a school

    Find a school

    Check the contact information and roll size.

    Find a school

    Private and state-integrated schools can have long waiting lists. You might have to enrol years in advance.

    Read the review of the school

    Read the school’s Education Review Office report. The report looks at the school’s curriculum, performance and special features. It also includes demographic information.

    Search for a school report

    Check transport options

    Check if your child could get help with transport to school.

    Eligibility for school transport assistance

  2. 2

    Find out about the school’s zone

    Many schools in NZ have zones. If you live in a school’s zone, your child is guaranteed a place at that school. You can apply to go to a school that’s outside your zone, but your child might not get in.

    If a school doesn’t have a zone, anyone can apply to go there.

    School zones, reviews and decile ratings

  3. 3

    Contact the school

    You can contact the school as soon as you’ve chosen a school. Ask the school to send you enrolment forms. You need to complete the forms and send them back to the school.

    You can ask the school for information about enrolling, zones and anything else you want to know.

  4. 4

    What happens next

    Get your child ready for school

    When your child is enrolled, you can help them get ready to start school. You can visit the school with your child, and talk to the teacher.

    Primary school — Enrolling and starting your child at school

    Secondary school — Enrolling and starting at secondary school

    Get financial help

    You can get financial help from Work and Income, even if you’re not on a benefit.

    If you’re on a low income:

    Recoverable Assistance Grant

    Temporary Additional Support

    If you’re already on a benefit:

    Advance payment of benefit

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