Site extensions for schools

The Ministry may fund an extension to your school grounds if your site is small relative to the number of students on your roll. We make such decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Applying for site extension funding

In the past, we often had to take what was available in an area when we needed land for a new school. As a result, the size of school sites varies significantly throughout the country.

If your school is struggling to cope on a site that is small given the number of students on your roll, we may pay for an extension to your site. If you hear about suitable land coming up for sale, contact your property advisor.

Before committing to buy the land, we will look at whether it gives you enough space for:

  • buildings
  • playing areas
  • parking.

We will consider the site’s safety, access and infrastructure requirements, like drainage and retaining walls.

If we decide to buy the land, we will negotiate for it and pay for it using Ministry funding.

You are not automatically entitled to this funding. We treat all requests on a case-by-case basis and make the final decision.

Ministry’s recommended size for school sites

We use the following site size guidelines when considering sites to buy for new schools or to extend an existing school’s site:

  • 14m² per student + 1 hectare for primary schools
  • 15m² per student + 2.4 hectares for intermediate schools
  • 18m² per student + 4 hectares for secondary schools.

This is a guide, not an entitlement, and many schools successfully operate on smaller sites. These schools often use community facilities, like sports complexes and reserves, to help deliver the curriculum.

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