When you move with children, often top of your list is finding a suitable school so your child can feel settled quickly. Choosing the right school can make a big difference to their wellbeing and happiness.
When you are ready to make the move from Australia to Auckland, WridgWays is here to help make the transition to life in New Zealand smooth. We can assist with all aspects of your move from packing and visas, to storage and pet or vehicle transport.
New Zealand school system
The New Zealand school system has a reputation for excellence and is often rated highly world-wide.
The system is made up of 13 year levels, and children between the age of six and 16 must attend.
Primary education is year 1 (aged 5-6 years old) to year 8 (11 to 12 years of age). A majority of schools offer cohort entry, meaning once your child turns five they can start school and don't have to wait until the new school year.
Secondary education is year 9 (age 11 to 12 years of age) to year 13 (17-18 years of age).
Types of schools
The New Zealand school system is made up of three types of schools:
- State schools or public schools - these schools are owned and funded by the government. This means that education is free for domestic students who attend. Parents are required to pay for additional course-related costs, school uniforms and other items like stationery. Most children attend state schools.
- State integrated schools - these schools are government funded but may charge compulsory fees to cover costs. The difference between these schools and government schools is they have a special character, for example, they may be faith based or teach particular education methods.
- Private schools - these schools are not funded by the government and fees are charged either per term or year. Some are co-ed while others cater for girls or boys.
Finding a school in Auckland
When choosing a school in Auckland, some have enrolment zones to manage school numbers, other do not. Visit the Education Counts website to find schools in the Auckland area.
If your school is within an enrolment zone, you must live within the zone when you apply and it must be your usual place of residence. If you live outside a zone and wish to apply, you can go into a ballot to secure a spot but don't get your hopes up. If you have any questions with regards to the process, contact the school directly.
Enrolling in school in Auckland
Once you have chosen a suitable school, you need to enrol with the school directly. Your child needs to be a New Zealand resident, permanent resident or student visa holder (based on your temporary work visa) to apply as a domestic student. You may be asked for a copy of your visa.
If they do not meet the criteria above, they can apply as an international student.
Choosing a school in Auckland is the first step to settling in and building friendships within the local community.