New Zealand

PIER Certified    ICEF Trained Agent Counsellors New Zealand Specialist Agents ISO 9001: 2008 Canadian Bureau for International Education

Secondary Schools


Secondary Schools in New Zealand

New Zealand offers quality schooling at the secondary level. Secondary study is approximately five years long, from year 9 to year 13, and begins when students are 12 or 13 years old. New Zealand students must attend school until they are 16 years old.

Most secondary schools in New Zealand are state-owned, and teach a nationally set curriculum. There are also privately owned secondary schools, most of which are based on specific philosophic or religious traditions.

New Zealand's secondary schools offer national qualifications that are recognised by tertiary institutions in New Zealand and internationally. In New Zealand, all national secondary qualifications are monitored and checked by government and sector agencies.

  • NCEA


    The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand.NCEAs are recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.
  • Choosing a Course

    Choosing a Course

    As you work through NCEA Levels 1-3, you will need to make decisions about what courses or subjects to study.At Level 1 (Year 11) you should take a broad range of courses that will lead on to more specialised subjects. In Years 12 and 13, start thinking about what areas you need to focus on for your future study or career.
  • Types of Schools

    Types of Schools

    While most students in New Zealand attend state-funded schools, there’s a range of school types to choose from. Most schools teach in the English language, but some schools teach in Māori. Most state schools are secular (non-religious).
  • How Schools Are Run

    How Schools Are Run

    New Zealand schools are self governing" each school sets its own rules, school policies and teaching programmes.Every school has a board of trustees elected by the community every three years.
  • Term Dates and Holidays

    Term Dates and Holidays

    State and state-integrated schools generally open from late January or early February through to December.Secondary and composite (Year 1-13) school terms are slightly shorter than primary and intermediate terms.
  • Fees and Donations

    Fees and Donations

    Independent and private schools receive limited funding from the government and therefore charge a set fee per term or per year. Fees should be clearly set out in any prospectus or enrolment information.


For more information, please contact  one of our offices

Study in Australia | Study in the UK | Study in Malaysia | Study in Canada | Study in the USA | Study in New Zealand

Last Updated: 30 November 2009
               Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Apply Online

You can start your application with Studyco by filling out our online assessment form.

Start Study Assessment

Apply in Person

If you prefer to see a Studyco representative in person, go to one of our worldwide offices.

Find A Studyco Office
StudyCo Expo 2016