Microsoft software for schools

The Microsoft software available including cloud-based applications, how to get it, who can use it, and the assurance benefits offered.

On this page:

Software included in the Agreement

Schools are licensed to use the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office suite and Microsoft server software.

For more information about the 2016-18 Microsoft agreement see the Microsoft School Software Agreement fact sheet.

A range of new cloud-delivered services and tools are available under the agreement, including the Office 365 Pro Plus Suite and the Enterprise Mobility Suite.

  • Office 365 provides a cloud-hosted suite of Office Productivity software.  It links and synchronises with the Office 365 Pro Plus suite of software for students’ and teachers’ personal devices.
  • Office 365 Pro Plus includes the latest versions of Access, Excel, Skype, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word.  Users load the client software onto their own devices, and can run up to 5 copies on their computer (Mac/PC) and 5 on their mobile device (Windows/Android/iPhone). 
  • The Enterprise Mobility Suite is a new addition that schools can use to support mobile computing and BYOD.  It provides tools to manage mobile and desktop devices, applications, security, identity and access rights. It includes: InTune Mobile Device Management, Azure Active Directory Premium, Azure Rights Management and Advanced Threat Analytics.

Updated versions of all Microsoft’s key on-premise software are available: including Windows 10, Office 2016, Sharepoint 2016, Exchange 2016, Server 2016, Skype for Business.  Email: for more details. 

Schools covered

The Ministry covers the cost of the software for all New Zealand state and state-integrated schools. Independent schools can enrol and purchase at a discounted price.

Duration of the Microsoft Agreement

The Ministry’s Microsoft New Zealand School Agreement runs through to 31 December 2018.

How to get Microsoft software

If you are a state or state-integrated school, you do not need to do anything to continue using your current Microsoft software.

If you wish to access cloud-delivered software (such as Office 365 Pro Plus), if you are an independent school, or if you haven’t registered in the agreement, email

Once you are registered, your IT contact person can download software from the Volume Licensing Service Centre website (external link) .  If your IT contact person changes, tell Datacom – email

Help with installation and software use

The ICT Helpdesk gives free help with installation and software problems:

  • Phone: 0800 Call ICT (0800 22 55 42)
  • Email:
  • On-site technical support costs $100+GST per hour, plus travel.

The Ministry’s Connected Learning Advisory provides schools with free advice around IT planning and the use of technology to support teaching and learning. 

Computers the Agreement applies to

The software can be used on all school-owned and leased computers, and on local, remote or hosted servers.  Staff and students can access the school network on their personal or school-provided devices.  If the school activates Office 365, teachers and students can access Office 365 Pro Plus software for their personal devices.

You can run earlier versions of Microsoft software

You can use any version of the software available under the Agreement.

However, some software is no longer supported by Microsoft. Using unsupported software, particularly Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, puts your school computers and data at risk. Plan to migrate to more recent software.

How you get Microsoft products not covered by the Agreement

Order any extra products you require from

Your rights and obligations under the Agreement

Microsoft Product Use Rights April 2013 (external link)  [DOCX, 501 KB] – these rights are still current

Your Software Assurance Benefits

The Agreement provides Software Assurance Benefits (external link) .

Some of the Software Assurance Benefits include:

  • Software downloads
  • Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Package
  • e-Learning for Windows, Office and server software
  • Cold Back up for Disaster Recovery

Read descriptions of the Software Assurance Benefits (external link)

For further help with software assurance benefits, contact Microsoft VLSC support:

Training for Microsoft software

Short, education-specific how-to videos on Microsoft's Education YouTube channel (external link) .

30 minute tutorials on Microsoft Office applications on the Microsoft website. The video tutorials cover Microsoft Office 2007, 2010 and 2013 (external link) .

Microsoft eLearning course modules on the Volume Licensing Service Centre site (external link) . You will need to be registered. Modules take around half an hour each and topics include the Windows operating system, applications and server management software.

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