Having a say – statutory consultations about schools

Your say matters. Sharing your views and listening to each other’s ideas, suggestions and feedback helps ensure the network of schools is in the best shape to be able to offer quality education opportunities for our children and young people.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


Green light bulb

  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki

We recommend parents, caregivers and whānau participate in statutory consultations not only to be informed of changes in their school community, but to have their voice heard, and contribute to vital feedback for the growth of the school network. 


Parents, caregivers and whānau can talk to your school’s principal/tumuaki or board at any time. Conversations about education are always happening in schools and communities, but under the Education and Training Act 2020, some circumstances require boards or the Minister of Education to formally consult with school communities.

Formal consultations allow boards and the Ministry to hear and understand the range of views on a proposal from the school’s community.

This is called the statutory consultation process.

Have a say

When the statutory consultation process is initiated, you will want to know when and how you can have a say. You will want to be confident you have the right information to inform your views.

There is no one-size-fits-all for formal consultation. It is about sharing, listening, discovering and considering the wider community’s views, based on everyone having:

  • the same opportunities to contribute
  • the right information to form their views
  • enough time to prepare their feedback
  • their feedback heard and considered.

What consultation is and is not

A consultation is:

  • A genuine invitation to anyone who might be impacted by a proposed change to provide feedback on what’s proposed, and an assurance that we will listen to and consider all feedback before determining an outcome.
  • Transparent, timely, informative and objective.
  • Providing timely, relevant, factual information, and any other additional information that might be requested, so everyone has the material they need to provide informed advice.

A consultation is not:

  • An intention to negotiate or agree – we don’t have to reach consensus or agreement with those we’re consulting with.
  • About the popularity of the proposed change – but it is about highlighting the arguments for and against what’s proposed.
  • A marketing or public relations exercise – drumming up support for a proposal will not override the value of open-minded consultation and sound decision making.

Consultation roles and responsibilities

Everyone in the community can contribute to conversations about changes in schools by participating in consultations led by their board.

We provide support to boards when they are undertaking their engagement and consultation responsibilities to ensure they have the help they need, and that processes are fair, transparent, consistent and objective.

Why feedback is important

The feedback gathered from communities by boards through engagement and consultation helps inform decisions about changes.

Whatever the issue or response, when making decisions, the Ministry and the Minister always consider what is best for all local students, and all local schools, both currently and in the future.

How to participate

To participate in a consultation specific to a school or group of schools:

National consultations specific to the school network

To participate in other Ministry consultations:

Kōrero Mātauranga – Education Conversation website(external link)

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