What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?
Schooling is available to children from age 5 and is compulsory from ages 6 to 16. Average teacher: student classroom ratios range from 1:19 to 1:24 across the various year levels and school types. Both single-sex and co-educational schooling options are available. State (public) schools are secular.

Primary education starts at Year 1 and continues until Year 8, with Years 7 and 8 mostly offered at either a primary or separate intermediate school. Secondary education (high school/college) covers Years 9 to 13 (during which students are generally ages 13 to 17).
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What are some examples of these schools?

  • Frasertown School
  • St Joseph's School
  • Wairoa College
  • Wairoa Primary
  • Putere School
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Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?
Yes, New Zealand has very strict zoning rules for public schools. Zoning is an area surrounding a school where pupils have to reside to be eligible to attend. Zoning areas should be checked with each individual school.

Although zoning rules do not apply to private schools, these schools have only limited spaces and you may be placed on a waiting list. It is important that you begin the application process as soon as possible.

If you require assistance with school search, please contact Crown Hawke's Bay, which provides a school search program as part of our Global Mobility services division. Selecting the correct school for your child is a vital part of a successful relocation and can play a significant role in influencing where you choose to live.
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Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?
There is a vast range of pre-schools including Montessori. Public kindergartens also have waiting lists, though there is a wide range of childcare facilities in most suburbs. These are listed in the local telephone book, the telephone directory and on the web.
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How are most kids transported to and from school?
Most parents drive their children back and forth to primary schools. Carpooling is a very popular option. Most intermediate and high school students walk, bike or take the bus where required.
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When does the typical school year start and end?
The scholastic year is divided into 4 terms. Term one runs from January to April; term two from April to July; term three from July through September and term four from October to December. The school year reflects the reversal of seasons found in the Southern Hemisphere. The year is divided into four terms with holiday breaks in between. Children arriving from the Northern Hemisphere will either lose or gain six months in their grade placement. Schools try to place a child in their closest age group.
Most schools favor school uniforms for students. Students are required to purchase their own textbooks and school supplies.
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Is there anything else I should know about local schools?
Information about any school in New Zealand can be obtained from the Educational Review Office at the website listed below.

The Ministry of Education uses a decile rating system for school funding purposes. Schools in decile one have the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Schools in decile ten have the lowest proportions of these students. In New Zealand, schools are given a rating depending on the income of the people in the surrounding areas. The decile rating, ranges from 1 (lowest income districts) to 10 (highest income district).
The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) was progressively implemented between 2002 and 2004, as the national senior secondary school qualification. The NCEA correspond to the final three years of secondary schooling (Years 11-13).

Information about the NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship can be found on www.ncea.govt.nz.
Ministry of Education provides assistance for international students where English is not their first language. This program is called ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). It is designed to assist students in participating successfully in the New Zealand school curriculum and interacting socially with New Zealand students and the wider New Zealand community. For further information, please visit: www.minedu.govt.nz (Search for: ESOL.)

School hours are generally from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. School hours may vary for primary, intermediate and high schools.

For more information, please contact Crown Hawke's Bay.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.