Information for sponsors of charter schools

There are 2 pathways to becoming a charter school. Either:

  • a potential sponsor applies to open a new charter school or
  • a community or board of an existing state school applies with a potential sponsor to convert to a charter school.

What sponsors may want to consider

If you are considering starting a new charter school, or working with an existing state school to convert to become a charter school, these are some things you may want to start working on. 

The sponsor 

Details of proposed sponsorship.

The mission and vision of the proposed charter school 

  • The organisation's strategic vision.
  • Key educational features that will differ from the existing school/schools in the area.
  • Details of anticipated school population and educational need.  

The educational plan or school design 

  • The non-negotiables of the proposed educational model and any ideas of how to demonstrate that this new educational opportunity demonstrates a value-added experience. 
  • Proposed academic leader, who must be a New Zealand-registered teacher. 
  • Outline of proposed school year. For example, any differences between current state school model, such as longer school day or shorter school holidays. 

Financial probity  

  • Proposed chief financial officer/team with financial expertise.
  • Details of any other funding sources.
  • Property.
  • Staffing for facilities management.
  • Description of facilities for the charter school including status, for example, freehold/leasehold.
  • Outline of any renovations required to get facilities up to speed for educational purposes. 

Community engagement 

  • Any outreach conducted and relationships established.
  • Plans for communication with prospective parent body. 
  • Plans for future community engagement.


Authorisation board

Once the charter schools model is established, an authorisation board will evaluate proposals and approve new charter schools (or state school conversions).

In the future, the Minister will also be able to ask the authorisation board to direct a state school to enter the conversion process if that school is failing its students.

Authorisation board

Support model

State schools have access to a wide range of support services, including support for school governance, finance and property matters.   

A support entity will provide similar support services to prospective and new sponsors for charter schools from their initial application process through to their establishment, and ongoing running of school operations.   

What the support entity will do

The support entity will assist prospective sponsors throughout the application process. They can help sponsors put forward strong, realistic applications in any selection rounds.

The support entity will also hold a directory of prospective sponsors and schools that may wish to convert. This directory will help connect prospective sponsors with interested schools.   

They will also provide establishment support for approved charter schools when setting up their school.  

Once a charter school is established, they can provide ongoing support services such as  support for school governance, finance or human resources and employment relations.  

Establishing the support entity

Establishing an independent support entity will involve contracting with an organisation that has the experience and expertise to provide this support to charter schools. 

Initially, the contract will run for 30 months from mid-2024 to the end of 2026 with some review periods included.  

Contact us

Email if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.

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