Primary and Secondary Schools in New Zealand

Lynfield College

Mt Roskill, New Zealand
Lynfield College is a modern co-educational school, located in Auckland, New Zealand. The institution was established in 1958 and strives to offer advanced, broad-based education to its students. Lynfield College is especially proud of its flexible senior course structure, which enables students to multi-level their studies. The school has an excellent academic record in public examinations, whilst most students leave with NCEA Level 2 or 3 qualifications. Accommodating over 1900 day school students, the college strives to create an atmosphere of communication, mutual understanding and... See full description.

Primary and Secondary Schools in New Zealand by City:

AucklandMt Roskill

About Primary and Secondary Schools in New Zealand

New Zealand has been successful in achieving an adult literacy rate of 99%, on account of the free education system in the nation’s public schools. In fact, the Program for International Student Assessment ranks New Zealand's education as the 7th best in the world.

New Zealand follows the classic 3-tier model of education, with primary education as the base, followed by secondary and the tertiary level. Primary and secondary schooling is compulsory, for children aged six to 16 years. However, in rare cases, students who are close to the age of 16 can get an exemption, based on their application to the Ministry of Education.

Moreover, students who live further than a walking distance of five kilometers from the nearest school (or any public transport to school) may be exempted from attending school compulsorily. Nonetheless, they are required to enroll in a correspondence school.  As a special provision for disabled students with special educational needs, the permissible age to complete mandatory education is extended to 21 years.

According to a recent Government of New Zealand proposal, termed as “School Plus”, and strongly supported by Prime Minister Helen Clark, the students will have to pursue some form of mandatory education until the age of 18. This policy is slated to come in to full effect by 2014, with some regulations having already been introduced in 2011.

Primary Education in New Zealand

Primary Schools in New Zealand cater to the age group of 5-12 years. However, there is an interesting nomenclature for different grades in primary education in New Zealand, based on the year level and the age of the student. In chronological order, these are- 1) The Contributing School, 2) The Junior Syndicate, 3) The Senior Syndicate, 4) The Intermediate School and 5) Full Primary School.

Parents can choose from three types of primary schools for their children. They are:
  • State Schools: They provide free, state funded education.
  • Integrated Schools: Here parents incur the learning related costs like attendance levy, event charges, uniform, etc.
  • Independent Schools:  These are expensive, and the fee here ranges from anywhere between $5,000 and $12,000 a year per child, depending on the school.
As per the Ministry of Education’s directive to keep primary schools in New Zealand open for at least 394 ‘half days’ each year, the school year is divided into four terms with a 6-week summer holiday and three 2-week breaks placed between each of the four terms.

Secondary Education in New Zealand

Secondary education in New Zealand is for students in the age group 13 to 18 year old, and it spans up to five years.
Just like the primary education system, the secondary schools in New Zealand are also divided in to three types namely:
  • State Schools: Government funded schools
  • Private Schools: These schools are partially government funded (25%) and rely on tuition fees for additional costs.
  • State Integrated Schools: The former private schools, which have been integrated as state schools, under the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975.
As per the data available with a support group of private schools called the Independent Schools New Zealand, about 86% of all school-aged children attend state schools, 10% attend state integrated schools and 4% attend private schools.

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