New Zealand education adheres to
the three-level model which consists of primary
schools, high schools (secondary schools), and
college (university-based tertiary education).
country’s program for International Student
Assessment ranks as the seventh best in the world.
Education in New Zealand is compulsory and free from
the ages of 6 to 16, although children typically
begin going to school on their 5th birthday or on
the 1st day of school after it. The New Zealand
National Qualifications Framework (NQF) regulates
education which is post-compulsory.
The NQF is a
combined system of nationwide qualifications in
training, schools, and vocational education.
New Zealand’s academic year changes among institutions, but
it generally starts for primary, secondary, and polytechnics
schools from the latter part of January until the middle of
December, and for universities from the latter part of
February until the middle of November.
Education in the primary and secondary level are
compulsory for students aged 6 to 16 (sometimes 15
with school and parental permission), and is
considered a right until the close of the calendar
year after the 19th birthday of the student.
Students with disabilities with special needs for
education can remain until the close of the calendar
year after their 21st birthday.
Most students begin going to school when and after
they turn 5 years old, and stay in school for the
entire thirteen years. School Plus, a recent
proposal made by the government of New Zealand,
would have students stay in school in some form of
education until they turn 18.
There have been some cases though wherein several private,
state area, and state integrated schools have take on
students from age 0 to 13, or age 7 to 13. There are 3 types
of schools in New Zealand: state schools, state integrated
schools, and private schools. The Government funds state and
state integrated schools.
Private schools, on the other hand, receive approximately a
quarter of their funding from the State, and make up the
rest on tuition fees. State integrated schools had once been
private schools that have now been assimilated into the
state system under the 1975 Private Schools Conditional
Integration Act. Its goal in doing this is to safeguard and
preserve the exceptional educational character provided by
According to a private school advocacy group,
Independent Schools New Zealand, approximately 86%
of all children who are school-aged go to state
schools, 10% of them go to state integrated schools,
and only 4% go to private schools.
Recently, New Zealand has adopted a system wherein
school levels are recognized by number of the year.
Prior to this, a Forms system, Standards and Juniors
was employed. Even though this system is no longer
in use in administration, some schools still use it
(mostly independent ones). It is also still used
during discussions with older generations who,
understandably, prefer to employ the system they are
more use to.
The numbers 1 to 13 are used to identify the year. Up to the
6th year, the level is primary, up to the 8th year the level
is intermediate, and the last 5 years is dedicated to