Private schools' registration and management

A private school can apply to be registered with the Ministry of Education. The school manager is responsible for managing private school property.

Applying to register a private school

Private schools are governed by their own independent boards. You can register your private school with the Ministry of Education under section 35A of the Education Act 1989.

Education Act 1989 — NZ Legislation website (external link)

As a registered school, you'll receive some government funding, along with the funding you get from fees.

To register your school (or proposed school), we must be satisfied that its premises, staffing, equipment and curriculum are suitable. Contact your local Ministry office to find out about registration.

Local Ministry offices

If you meet the criteria, the Secretary of Education will provisionally register your school. The Education Review Office (ERO) inspects the school within the next 12 months. It then makes a final decision about whether the school is suitable for full registration.

ERO website (external link)

Managing private school property

The Ministry of Education doesn't own private school property. Your school manager is responsible for all property maintenance and modifications.

The school must comply with all building legislation like:

  • the Building Act 2004
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

However the school buildings don't have to meet the Ministry's design standards, including the Flexible Learning Spaces (FLS) criteria. You may choose to follow FLS principles.

Designing schools

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