What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?
Expats that move to Palmerston North can choose from a range of schools, some known for strong music and arts programs and others for the variety of sports offered to pupils. School hours are generally from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. School hours may vary for primary, intermediate and high schools.
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What are some examples of these schools?
There is an excellent range of schools for years 1 to 6.
Some primary schooling alternatives include:

  • College Street School
  • Hokowhitu School
  • Winchester School
  • Carncott School (a private school for girls, covering years 1 to 8 )
  • Catholic Schools: St. Mary's, St. James' and St. Peter's (providing education from years 1 to 13)
  • Top Boy/Girl secondary schools: Palmerston North Boys' High School, Palmerston North Girls' High School, Freyberg High School and Awatapu College

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Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?
Yes. Palmerston North has strict zoning rules for public schools. Zoning is an area surrounding a school where pupils must 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 limited spaces and you may be placed on a waiting list. It is important that you begin the application process as soon as possible.
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Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?
There are a vast range of pre-schools, including Montessori. Please note: public kindergartens have waiting lists; it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible.
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How are most kids transported to and from school?
Most parents drive their children to and from primary schools. Carpooling with other parents is a popular option. Most intermediate and high school students walk, bike or take the bus.
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When does the typical school year start and end?
The scholastic year is divided into four terms. Term one runs from January to April; term two from April to July; term three from July to September and term four from September to December.
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Is there anything else I should know about local schools?
Information about New Zealand schools 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).
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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.