Microsoft software for schools

The current Microsoft agreements provides schools with software licenses that include the 365 Office suite, Windows operating system and Skype.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Principals and Tumukai
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • School ICT Specialist
  • Boards
  • Administrators
  • External ICT Providers

Microsoft software is a useful tool for schools that supports teaching and learning. The software licence is Ministry-funded, and free for schools to access. 

Software included in the agreement

Schools are licensed to use the Microsoft 365 A3 suite which includes Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility & Security, and rights to the Microsoft server software.

For more information about the 2019-21 Microsoft agreement visit the Microsoft Schools’ Agreement Homepage.

Schools Agreement – Microsoft website(external link)

A range of new cloud-delivered services and tools are available under the agreement, including Office 365 Pro Plus, the Enterprise Mobility & Security suite and Minecraft Education Edition. This agreement includes expanded Student Use Benefits (SUB) on more products.

  • Office 365 provides a cloud-hosted suite of Office Productivity software. It allows choice for students’ and teachers’ devices to run Office in the cloud, on the desktop/device or in a hybrid mode where content is synchronized between the user’s device and cloud.
  • Office 365 Pro Plus includes the latest versions of Access, Excel, Skype for Business, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word. Users install 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 (Android/iPhone).
  • Enterprise Mobility & Security enables schools to support mobile computing and Bring your own device (BYOD). It provides tools to manage mobile and desktop devices, applications, security, identity and access rights. It includes: Intune Mobile Device Management (MDM), Azure Active Directory Premium 1, Azure Rights Management and Advanced Threat Analytics.
  • Minecraft Education Edition is an open-world game that promotes computational thinking, creativity, collaboration and problem solving in an immersive environment. With education specific features such as teacher classroom controls, coding connection and hundreds of curriculum lessons, schools can easily integrate game-based learning into their classrooms. Minecraft Education Edition currently runs on Windows 10 and MacOS.

Updated versions of all Microsoft’s key on-premise software are available including:

  • Windows 10
  • Office 2016
  • SharePoint 2016
  • Exchange 2016
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Skype for Business 2015.

Contact Datacom for more information.


Schools covered

The Ministry covers the cost of the software for all New Zealand state and state-integrated schools.

Duration of the Microsoft Agreement

The Ministry’s Microsoft New Zealand School Agreement is in effect from now until 31 December 2021.

How to get Microsoft software

If you're a state or state-integrated school, you don't need to do anything to continue using your current Microsoft software. For newer applications under the 2019-21 agreement such as Minecraft Education Edition, schools must contact Datacom for assistance to install them.

If you want to be able to access cloud-delivered software (such as Office 365 Pro Plus) and you haven't already registered in the agreement, contact Datacom.


Once you're registered, your IT contact person can download software from the Volume Licensing Service Centre website.

Volume Licensing Service Centre website(external link)

If your IT contact person changes, contact Datacom.


Teachers and students can also access Office365 where the full suite is available online in a browser and the Office365 Pro Plus desktop. Software can also be downloaded for Windows 10/MacOS. For smartphones/tablets install the Office apps from the relevant app store and activate using your school email address and password.

Log in – Office 365(external link)

The Agreement applies to these computers

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.

For information on the support lifecycle visit the Microsoft website.

Microsoft Lifecycle Support – Microsoft website(external link)

How you get Microsoft products not covered by the Agreement

To order any extra products you require contact Datacom.


Your rights and obligations under the Agreement

These rights are still current.

Microsoft Product Use Rights April 2018 [DOCX, 704 KB](external link)

Your Software Assurance Benefits

The Agreement provides Software Assurance Benefits.

Software Assurance Benefits – Microsoft website(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.

Descriptions of the Software Assurance Benefits [PDF, 1.6MB](external link)

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

Freecall (NZ only): 0800 444 647


Training for Microsoft software

Short, education-specific how-to videos.

Microsoft Education YouTube channel(external link)

Another source for training and micro-credentials, and badges are awarded for completing education focused courses.

Microsoft Education Community(external link)

Teacher support for Microsoft Office 365 products.

Microsoft Office 365 Education Support(external link)

Microsoft eLearning course modules are available on the Volume Licensing Service Centre. You'll need to be registered. Modules take around half an hour each and topics include the Windows operating system, applications and server management software.

Microsoft eLearning course modules – Microsoft website(external link)

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