Charter schools | Kura hourua

The Government has announced the new charter schools | kura hourua model.

The current education system is not delivering equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. 

Educational success contributes to personal, collective and national success. Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed, achieve to the best of their ability and gain qualifications that will support them into further study and employment. 

The Government has signalled unrelenting focus on student attendance and achievement, and the Minister and the Associate Minister of Education have commissioned changes to the delivery of education in state schools. They are introducing a new type of school that is accountable for delivering educational outcomes: charter schools. 

The Government intends to have the first charter schools ready to open in Term 1 2025.

See the Associate Minister's release on the Beehive website:

Government creates establishment board for charter schools – Beehive(external link)

What are charter schools?

Charter schools are another type of state-funded school, providing educators and parents with more choice. Charter schools give educators a different model of accountability. This allows more freedom in what is taught and how it is taught, as long as children are safe, attending school and are demonstrably learning. 

The name "charter schools | kura hourua" signifies the partnership between charter school operators and the government, and between charter schools and their communities. 'Waka hourua' means "double-hulled canoe", which served as an inspiration for the name Kura Hourua.

Charter schools can be new schools or state and state-integrated schools can convert to become a charter school.

Key dates 

The goal is to have the first charter schools ready to open in Term 1 2025. Exact dates for some items are to be finalised.

  • 30 May 2024: Budget 2024 announced.
  • June–July 2024: After legislation is introduced to Parliament, the application process opens.
  • September 2024: Charter schools legislation bill enacted.
  • October–November 2024: Contracts negotiated and signed with successful applicants.
  • Term 1 2025: First charter schools open.

In this section

Key features of charter schools

Differences between charter schools and state schools

Overseas models of charter schools

Information for sponsors

Information for parents

Establishment board and authorisation board

The Charter School Agency

Contact us

If you would like to be kept up to date when more information is available, email charter.schools@education.govt.nz.

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