How to apply for ESOL funding

Funding due dates for 2019:

Applications for terms 1 and 2 are due by 1 March 2019.
Applications for terms 3 and 4 are due by 1 August 2019.

Update English language learning progressions (ELLP) record of progress

Before applying for funding you need to complete the ELLP record of progress and matrices for each current migrant, refugee background or New Zealand-born English language learner at your school.

ELLP record of progress [DOCX, 103 KB] (external link)

Google doc version: ELLP record of progress — TKI website (external link)

Read the guidance on using the English Lanuage Learning Progregressions matrices from the ELLP professional support modules on the TKI website.

Module 6 – Using ELLP to support funding applications (external link)

The record of progress should be completed by:

  • in a primary or intermediate school, the student’s class teacher in consultation with the ESOL teacher and/or others in the school who the student
  • in a secondary school, the ESOL specialist teacher, in collaboration with the student’s curriculum teachers.

Keep the completed record of progress form and matrices with the student’s other records. Do not send it to the Ministry with your funding application.

If the student scores below the threshold on the ELLP record of progress and you have the required evidence of their status, you can apply for ESOL funding.

Required evidence

For migrant students, record evidence of their date of entry to New Zealand.

For refugee background students, you need proof of their refugee status.

  • For quota refugees, you should have a letter from the Centre for Refugee Education identifying them as being part of the government’s official refugee programme and a letter from the New Zealand Immigration Service — Quota Branch.
  • For family reunification refugees, you should have the sponsor’s letter from the New Zealand Immigration Service showing their refugee status. 
  • Asylum seeker refugees are considered individually.

For New Zealand-born students you must have evidence that at least 1 parent is an immigrant or refugee.

You do not need to send this evidence for funding purposes, but you should keep this evidence for your school records.

Applying for ESOL funding for new students

Download the ESOL funding application forms and save to your computer's hard drive — don't save to Google Drive.

ESOL funding application forms [XLSX, 83 KB]

In the file there are 3 separate application forms: 1 for New Zealand-born, 1 for Migrant background and 1 for Refugee background students. There are also further instructions including an approval form for the principal.

Enter all new students’ details and ELLP assessment scores into the ESOL funding application forms. Include each student’s NSN (national student number). This will help us link to the ENROL database and pick up their record from previous schools if applicable.

Use the standard names for country of birth, ethnicity and first language.

List of country, ethnicity and language [XLSX, 43 KB]

Applying for existing ESOL funded students

To apply for funding for existing students, update the status list (this was sent to your school after the last funding round). Use the instructions in the ESOL funding application forms.

ESOL funding application forms [XLSX, 83 KB]

If you've not received this or you've misplaced it, email:

Submit your application

Your school principal must approve the funding application before it's submitted. The principal needs to enter their full name and date on the form’s coversheet, to confirm that an English language programme for the students named in the application is in place and that the information is accurate.

Once the principal has approved, email your completed ESOL funding application to:


1. The completed ESOL funding application forms (for new students), including your school principal’s approval on the coversheet.   
2. Your school’s updated status list in Excel format (for existing students)                         

We'll inform your school of the ESOL funding allocation and email an updated status list of funded students approximately 5 weeks after applications close.


Your school must update each ESOL funded student’s record of progress every 6 months.

Keep all the records relating to a student’s ESOL funding and assessments, as these may be needed for our verification. If an ESOL-funded student leaves your school make sure all these records go with their file to their new school.

Every 3 years, an ESOL verifier will visit or phone your school to discuss:

  • how you identify eligible students and assess their learning needs
  • the support programmes your school provides
  • the assessment records that support the funding application.

They'll also help you with information about ESOL resources and training available.

If you have any questions, email:

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