Operational funding components
This page lists the operational funding components and how they are calculated. This will help boards and principals to understand how the operational funding grant is calculated.
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Boards are responsible for the financial governance of their schools, including determining how operational funding is used and reported on.
Estimate upcoming funding
You can use the Ministry’s school funding calculator to estimate your school’s upcoming funding.
Find funding component information
Use this alphabetical list to find out what the funding components are for, which schools are eligible and how we calculate the funding amounts.
- Administration grant
- Base funding
- Careers information grant
- Class funding
- Heat, light and water funding
- Information and communication technology (ICT) funding
- KiwiSport funding
- Learning support funding
- Māori language programme funding
- New classroom grants – for state schools only
- Out-of-hours music and art scheme – for primary schools only
- Per-pupil funding
- Property Maintenance Grant
- Relief teacher funding
- Special education and assistive equipment grants
- Special education grant
- Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) funding
- Targeted at risk funding
- Targeted funding for educational achievement
- Targeted funding for isolation
- Trades academies
- Vandalism funding
The administration grant helps schools meet the costs of attached teachers, for example, teacher development, telephones, materials, administrative support.
It’s a standard grant for each officially approved teacher position and is paid to your resource teacher of learning and behaviour (RTLB) cluster or school (all other teachers ).
We provide base funding to meet the fixed costs associated with the operation of a school and to compensate smaller school boards of trustees for the absence of economies of scale (smaller schools get less funding because they have fewer students but may still have many of the same running costs as a larger school).
How base funding is calculated
Rates for base funding vary by school type and roll range (number of students). Your board of trustees may receive base funding of a fixed amount, or a fixed amount reduced by a rate per pupil.
How to calculate the base funding for your school
To calculate base funding:
- visit our operational funding rates page and find your school’s type
- under your school’s type, find your school’s roll range.
If the base funding for that roll range is a fixed figure, then that's the school’s base funding.
If the base funding has a range of figures, use the ‘step action calculator’ to work out your funding.
Step action calculator
- Take the lowest roll figure in the roll range.
- Deduct it from the school’s resourcing roll.
- Multiply the result by the per-pupil factor.
- Deduct this result from the highest dollar figure in the range. The result is the base funding your board of trustees will receive.
The careers information grant assists with the provision of careers information and guidance for schools with Year 9–13+ students.
How the careers information grant is calculated
We use your school’s decile, which determines the relevant per-pupil rate, and the total number of students enrolled in Years 9–13+ to calculate this grant.
Most special schools receive this funding, which helps to meet the costs of support staff.
If your special school believes its funding allocation might need to change, email:
We pay heat, light and water funding to help boards of trustees with power, fuel and water costs.
The tips on managing your school’s energy use further down this page will help you to keep your energy costs down.
What heat, light and water funding covers
Operational funding for heat, light and water is for:
- electricity – supply, capacity and line charges
- gas, reticulated and portable, including delivery and canister hire
- coal and wood, including delivery costs
- water supply rates.
If your school isn’t connected to a town water supply or a district sewage disposal scheme, funding for the following areas may be included in your heat, light and water funding allocation:
- Servicing (except by school staff)
- Maintenance and consumables (for example, filters for stand-alone facilities)
This funding doesn’t cover local authority charges for sewage disposal.
For schools not on a district sewage disposal scheme, the funding helps with costs for:
- servicing a septic tank (except by school staff)
- energy to operate the scheme
- septic tank repairs and maintenance
- removing waste.
For schools not on town water supply, the funding helps with costs for:
- servicing a water system, for example, the filtration plant (except by school staff)
- water system repairs and maintenance
- water testing.
Costs heat, light and water funding doesn’t cover
Some costs related to heat, light, and water aren’t covered by heat, light and water funding. They’re covered by the base and per-pupil component of the operational funding instead, for example:
- school staff costs, for example, time spent on energy-related work such as firing up the school boiler
- costs chargeable to community and commercial activities outside the operational funding (for example, continuing education classes, hostels, and using a swimming pool out of school hours)
- consumables for heat, light and water (for example, light bulbs, elements, toilet paper)
- repairs and maintenance of heating and lighting equipment
- energy audits
- local authority sewage disposal charges.
How we determine your heat, light and water allocation
Heat, light and water (HLW) funding was fixed in 2010 at a level based on an average of each school’s past 3 years’ energy costs. Increased use of digital devices, higher power prices and aging infrastructure (equipment and buildings) has meant that HLW costs have increased for schools.
To address this issue, the Government has allocated $11.5 million per annum in additional funding specifically for HLW costs in schools from 2021 onwards. The additional funding will be allocated automatically to schools based on the financial reporting of schools. A school’s increase in HLW allocation has been calculated based on a three-year average of the school’s actual expenditure (2017, 2018 and 2019) including CPI increases.
Requesting a review of your heat, light and water allocation
In exceptional circumstances, such as if your school adds new classrooms, you can apply for a review of your heat, light and water funding allocation.
Please note that we are unable to provide support for claims dated outside of the Ministry’s financial year; once the financial year is closed the appropriations allocated for that year are no longer available. Therefore, we are unable to review and reimburse for heat, light and water expenditure that occurred prior to the previous financial year.
We recommend a four-step process to manage your school’s energy use well.
- Engage expert help to ensure your supply contract gives the best value possible.
- Monitor energy use and target savings.
- Improve energy efficiency and make low-cost changes.
- Re-invest the savings to improve your school’s energy performance further.
Throughout the process, it’s important to raise awareness of energy use among staff and students to build an energy-efficient culture.
Visit our 'Energy management in your school' page for information and resources to help your school manage and monitor energy use.
We provide information and communication technology (ICT) funding to help schools buy hardware and software.
How ICT funding is calculated
We calculate ICT funding using a base rate and a per-pupil rate.
KiwiSport is a Government funding initiative that promotes sport and aims to increase opportunities for school-aged students to participate in organised sport.
KiwiSport provides funding for schools with year one to 8 and year 9 to 13 students.
How KiwiSport funding works
KiwiSport funding has 2 funding channels. Direct funding comes from the Ministry of Education and complementary funding comes from Sport New Zealand via SPARC and regional sports trusts, who allocate funding from the KiwiSport Regional Partnership Fund.
Direct funding from the Ministry of Education
We provide direct funding through your quarterly operations grant – the direct funding is listed on your entitlement notice.
This funding isn't for normal operating costs, such as routine property or grounds maintenance.
KiwiSport funding can be used to employ and pay teaching staff, such as a sports coordinator, as long as this contributes to KiwiSport’s objectives.
KiwiSport monitoring – what reporting information you need to provide
Your school needs to include a short statement in your annual report on how KiwiSport funding has been used to increase students’ participation in organised sport.
Use of the funding is also monitored as part of your regular Education Review Office review.
Learning support funding is available to support students with learning or behaviour difficulties and the work of their resource teachers of learning and behaviour (RTLBs).
How we calculate and pay learning support funding
We calculate this funding according to your school’s roll and decile, and pay it to your RTLB cluster.
This funding is for students enrolled in Māori language programmes that meet all the criteria for one of four immersion levels.
Although Māori language programmes have six levels that may be reported in your roll returns, only students enrolled in levels 1 to 4 (including 4a and 4b) generate funding.
Visit our operational funding rates page for Māori language programme funding rates.
Why we might adjust your Māori language programme funding during the year
Initially you’ll be funded for the number of students your school predicts will be in each Māori language programme level. We recalculate your funding once your actual numbers are available.
Language verifiers visit a sample of schools receiving this funding each year to make sure programmes are funded at the correct level.
For more information on roll return requirements:
Maori immersion levels and criteria for each level
|Māori immersion – curriculum taught in Māori (Levels 1 and 2) and learning te reo Māori (Levels 3, 4a and 4b)|
81–100% of the time, i.e. for more than 20 and up to 25 hours per week.
51–80% of the total time, i.e. for more than 12.5 and up to 20 hours per week.
|Te reo Māori – Learning Māori language|
31–50% of the total time, i.e. for more than 7.5 and up to 12.5 hours per week.
12%–30% of the total time, i.e. for more than 3 and up to 7.5 hours per week (ie, more than 70% of instruction is in English).
At least 3 hours per week.
We provide new classroom grants to state schools for each new classroom generated by roll increases or increased staffing entitlements. The grant is paid to state-integrated schools only if the classroom is funded through the capital assistance programme.
New classroom grants help to equip new classrooms with teaching and learning materials and are additional to funding for furniture and equipment.
Note: You don’t need to apply for this grant.
The out-of-hours music and art scheme provides professional tuition for children in Year 1–8. The tuition is additional to any that your school staff might provide.
How staff are employed under the scheme
The school board of the host school for the scheme is responsible for employing staff.
We provide the host school with hours and supplementary funding to employ tutors and coordinators. They’re usually employed part-time.
Note: School staff members can’t be employed to provide tuition under this scheme.
How we allocate and pay the funding
The allocation of hours is made by the local Ministry office. The grant is paid each term, once the roll return is sent to the local Ministry office.
How we allocate hours for the scheme
Your local Ministry office administers the allocation of hours for the scheme.
Allocations for each local office continue at the same level as in previous years. However, if demand for the scheme changes, your local office may redistribute the hours.
How we calculate and pay your entitlement
We calculate an annual administration entitlement for your school based on your allocated hours. This entitlement is paid quarterly through your operational grant.
We set four levels of per-pupil funding to recognise the cost of curriculum delivery at each level.
How we calculate per-pupil funding
We calculate per-pupil funding using the number of students on a school's roll. Per-pupil rates are universal – they apply to all schools.
We provide additional per-pupil funding to cover costs associated with the operation of normal and country model schools.
The Property Maintenance Grant provides funding to maintain your school’s site services and buildings. The grant is based on each school's land and building areas.
We provide this grant to all schools, according to your property profile. However, the minor capital works component is not paid to state-integrated schools.
Use the Property Maintenance Grant to pay for as-needed and regular maintenance projects.
When we allocate property maintenance funding
In October, we advise your school of its estimated property maintenance component. This indicative amount is shown on your initial entitlement notice.
In June, we tell you what your final amount for the year is, so you can include any changes to property in your school’s maintenance schedule.
We provide funding to boards of trustees to help with the payment of salaries and allowances for relief teachers.
How we calculate relief teacher funding
To calculate relief teacher funding, we multiply the relevant relief teacher funding rate by the number of teaching positions eligible for relief teacher funding.
We use your school type and the entitlement staffing management component to determine your relief teacher funding rate.
We recalculate and adjust relief teacher funding rates after the settlement of teachers' collective agreements or following a change to base salary rates during the term of the agreements.
The number of teaching positions eligible for relief teacher funding is the greater of your assured or guaranteed minimum formula or roll-based staffing plus any attached units plus any special education staffing (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme, including related management staff).
No other staffing positions are included in the relief teacher funding calculation. Resource teachers, supernumerary teachers, and discretionary teachers are not included.
We automatically adjust funding for the whole year as a school’s staffing entitlement and special education staffing change.
Budgeting for relief teacher expenses
While there is no set amount your school board should spend on relief teachers, we recommend you set aside an amount for relief teacher expenses in your annual budget.
Remember to consider:
- your collective agreement obligations
- your previous relief teacher funding needs
- any known demands on your budget, such as higher duties allowances, professional development, special leave, ongoing illnesses, or staff absences due to hospitalisation or surgery.
Your board must manage any surpluses or deficits from under- or over-spending on the employment of relief teachers from year to year as part of the overall financial management of the school.
We provide additional relief teacher funding when certain conditions are met.
Students with special learning needs are eligible to be considered for equipment grants if they’re supported through any special education initiative.
If a student is approved for funding, your board can access specialised equipment and assistive technology relating to the student's disability or learning needs.
Specialised equipment can remove barriers to educational achievement.
For enquiries, the assistive equipment guidelines, or application forms, contact the group special education technology coordinator at your local Ministry office.
The special education grant helps you to support students with moderate special education needs, such as learning and behaviour difficulties. The grant is in accordance with the National Administration Guidelines (iii) and (iv).
How we calculate the special education grant
The special education grant is made up of a base amount plus per-student funding.
STAR funding is a capped resource available to state and state-integrated schools with Year 11–13+ students. International fee-paying students and adult students are not eligible for this funding.
STAR funding helps you to better meet the needs of senior students. The funding can be used to access a wide range of courses and career-related experiences. You can use some of the funding to employ a STAR coordinator and/or administrator. STAR funding enables you to:
- provide or buy courses that better meet your students’ needs, motivate them to achieve, and ease their transition to further education, training or employment
- support students to explore career pathways and help them make informed decisions about their schooling and future work or study.
How we calculate STAR funding
STAR funding is based on STAR funding units, which we allocate to eligible schools. Our initial STAR funding estimate uses your school's provisional resourcing roll, (excluding adult students) for Years 11, 12 and 13+.
We calculate STAR funding units quarterly according to our quarterly roll count policy.
Each Year 11, 12 and 13+ student generates one STAR unit. Teen parent units will be weighted at 1.5 units per student.
If your school has less than 30 units, then we allocate your STAR funding at the rate per unit listed in the operational funding rates.
If your school has more than 30 units, we allocate your first 30 units using the base rate and the remainder using the additional STAR funding unit rate.
Who can be an accredited provider for STAR courses?
STAR course providers must be accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to provide courses towards New Zealand Qualifications Framework credits.
Accredited providers of STAR courses can be:
- polytechnics, private training establishments, or universities
- your own school
- workplaces that provide students with work-based learning experiences.
If you use outside providers, make sure they have consent to assess against any relevant standards and have a current memorandum of understanding with your school.
We advise you enter into a memorandum of understanding with each provider.
Who pays the costs of STAR courses?
STAR funding doesn’t cover the full costs of all STAR courses. We provide the funding as a top-up to your staffing entitlement and per-pupil funding. You must meet any additional costs if STAR funding isn’t enough to meet the full course costs.
- the operational funding and staffing entitlement that students on STAR courses generate as regular students can contribute to resourcing STAR courses
- you can’t charge fees for students to attend STAR courses, or for any equipment (except any take-home component) or activity associated with the course.
Establishing funding arrangements with tertiary institutions
When students enrolled at your school undertake a tertiary course, the course funding may go to your board of trustees or to the tertiary institution, but not to both.
You must establish clear funding arrangements with any tertiary institution before students are released to attend courses.
For information about roles and responsibilities:
Targeted at risk funding helps schools support at risk students. It appears as a component in your operational entitlement funding notice.
The amount of targeted at risk funding you will receive is based on the estimated number of at risk students in your school. These are students (aged between 5 and 18) whose parents:
- have been on benefits for 75% of the first five years of their life or
- have been on benefits for 75% of the past five years.
As a group these students are most at risk of educational underachievement.
The amount of funding a school receives is calculated by taking the number of at risk students and multiplying it by the targeted at risk funding rate.
Targeted at risk funding entitlements are not recalculated during the year.
Targeted funding for educational achievement helps boards of trustees of decile 1–9 schools lower barriers to learning that students from low socio-economic communities might face.
This is calculated using a per-pupil rate and the decile of your school.
If your school is in an isolated area, you may be eligible for additional operational funding, called targeted funding for isolation.
This funding helps schools whose isolation means that they have additional costs associated with accessing goods and services needed to operate their school and deliver the curriculum.
How we determine eligibility for targeted funding for isolation
To determine whether your school is eligible, we use an isolation index to calculate your school’s relative isolation based on its distance from the three population centres that provide the range of goods and services your school needs.
If your school is eligible, we also use the isolation index to determine how much funding your school receives.
How we calculate your school’s isolation index
We calculate your school’s isolation index using the following formula.
- 0.8 x the school’s distance in kilometres from the nearest population centre of 5,000 or more
- plus the school’s distance in kilometres from the nearest population centre of 20,000 or more
- plus 0.4 x the school’s distance in kilometres from the nearest population centre of 100,000 or more
- the total divided by 100 produces the index.
Isolation index for mainland schools
Mainland schools (schools in the North Island and South Island) with an isolation index of 1.65 or higher receive targeted funding for isolation. We use this formula to calculate the index.
Base + (isolation index x roll x per-pupil rate)
Isolation index for non-mainland schools
Non-mainland schools are given a notional index rating based on an assessment of the costs, time, and distances involved in accessing the goods and services they need to operate their schools and deliver the curriculum.
We benchmark this information against mainland schools of comparable isolation, where they exist.
Please contact our Resourcing team if you wish to confirm your school’s isolation index.
Why we use distance from population centres in the isolation index
Feedback from schools and the education sector indicates that population centres of 20,000 tend to be the most important in terms of relative isolation, and that proximity from a centre of 100,000 people or more is the least important.
The weightings reflect this information and also produce a fair measure of isolation among schools.
The weighting for each centre reflects the relative importance of each in terms of accessing the goods and services schools need. Schools can access:
- basic maintenance services from population centres of 5,000
- a greater than basic range of services, such as financial and banking services, from population centres of 20,000
- a full range of goods and services, including professional development, specialist education services and ICT servicing, from population centres of 100,000 or more.
Together, the three centres are able to provide schools with all the goods and services they need to teach and operate.
Trades academies deliver trades and technology programmes to secondary students based on partnerships between schools, tertiary institutions, industry training organisations and employers. They’re for students in Year 11–13.
How the funding model for trades academies works
The funding model for trades academies is based on a ‘per-learner’ rate that is provided to schools and tertiary education providers. The rate is based on the proportion of study time that the learner spends at each provider.
The funding model includes:
- $9,500 for general teaching and learning, which is divided between schools and the tertiary education providers to reflect the proportion of the study week spent at each provider
- $3,500 for trades delivery to reflect the higher costs of delivering trades education subjects – payment for these services is made directly to the school or provider delivering these components of the programme on a pro-rata basis
- $1,250 per student for pastoral care and coordination, which is paid to the lead provider.
Financial support for trades academies with high transport costs
Trades academies with high transport costs can apply to us for the recovery of these costs.
More information about trades academies
We provide vandalism funding to help you take positive steps to reduce vandalism.
The funding is available to state schools only.
How we determine your vandalism funding
We fund your board of trustees according to your school’s vandalism rating. For the ratings and associated per-pupil rates, go to operational funding rates.
For questions about vandalism funding, contact your regional Ministry office.
Contact our Resourcing team.
Phone: +64 4 463 8383
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