Space entitlement

Access the SPG calculator, teaching space template calculator and more information about your property space entitlement.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Proprietors
  • Principals and tumuaki

Boards can use the school property guide (SPG) calculator and the teaching space template to work out whether your school has all the space it is entitled to. Both calculations are linked to the number of students on your roll.

Calculating space entitlement

Our school property guide (SPG) provides formulas for calculating how much space your school needs for teaching and non-teaching uses. Space is based on your school’s student roll.

Using the SPG calculator

SPG calculator – Our Property Portal(external link)

The calculator works out the total net and gross area based on what you're likely to need for:

  • classroom teaching area
  • gymnasium teaching area
  • library area
  • administration area
  • resource area
  • hall/multipurpose area.

The SPG gives you a total ‘envelope’ of area. Even though the calculation includes a break-down for specific parts of the school, you can decide the best mix and size of area for your school’s needs as long as you keep within the overall SPG entitlement.

If you think you have more or less space than your SPG entitlement, contact your property advisor.

Property advisor

The SPG calculator has been re-released following a number of improvements:

  • 'Other area' category created: this is a temporary category for area at schools that needs to be reclassified into existing categories.
  • Accurately accounting for 'Legitimate Area' in forward forecasts of school property allowances at schools where Legitimate Area exists.
  • Improvements to printing — in Google Chrome, this will occur automatically. If using Internet Explorer/Edge, change the print size to 80% in print preview before printing to ensure your results appear on one page.

Gross area

  • The area enclosed by all the exterior walls of a building.
  • It includes everything within the building, such as teaching spaces, mezzanines, internal partitions, corridors, toilets, lifts, stairwells and cleaners’ cupboards.

Net area

  • The usable area within rooms such as teaching spaces, resource rooms, administration spaces, gyms, libraries, auditoriums, halls and multi-purpose spaces.
  • It excludes corridors, reception areas, cleaners’ cupboards, toilets.

Māori immersion (MI) roll

  • Those students learning the curriculum through either level 1 or level 2 Māori immersion.

Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) students

  • Those students, aged up to 21 years, with the highest learning support needs. They get funding under the ORS.
  • The SPG calculator can work out the separate space entitlement generated by your school’s ORS roll.
  • You can use this information to work out how much area should be dedicated to a special needs unit.

Outside technology students

  • Those students from another school who come to your school for manual technology classes.

Hall discount

  • This applies if you have a hall larger than your SPG hall entitlement (a hall surplus).
  • To make sure you're not disadvantaged in other areas by the size of your hall, the calculator discounts up to half of your hall surplus in your SPG calculation.

The hall discount is:

  • 0 if there's no hall surplus
  • the same as the hall surplus if the hall surplus is half the area of the hall or less
  • half of the hall area if the hall surplus is greater than half the area of the hall.

For example, if a school has a 500m2 hall but is only entitled to a 200m2 hall, it has a surplus hall area of 300m2. But the school may be deficient in library and administration area by 300m2. So while the school technically has no deficiency, it will be given a hall discount of 250m2 to address the deficiency in its library and administration areas.

Planning for roll growth

Contact your local Ministry offices if your school roll is growing and you believe you will need more space. Your Education Adviser will be able to help you to manage your roll growth. You may be entitled to new teaching space if your current roll generates a higher number of teaching spaces than are currently at your school.

Local Ministry offices

We monitor information about population growth and movement in New Zealand. To work out which schools are likely to need new teaching spaces as their rolls grow, we consider:

  • population growth, decline and movement in your area
  • whether your roll growth is sustainable for at least 2 years
  • if there's space in neighbouring schools — we may suggest you set up an enrolment scheme to help spread the local students across the schools in an area.

Work out your entitlement to new teaching spaces

To find out if you may need a new teaching space, you can use our School Property Guide (SPG) calculator or our teaching space template calculator.

Using the teaching space template calculator

• Compare your teaching space entitlement with your current number of teaching spaces.
• The Teaching Space Template doesn't calculate non-teaching space.

Teaching space template [XLS, 638 KB]

Use the SPG calculator for the complete view of space that we consider schools need.

SPG calculator – Our property portal(external link)

The teaching space template will show you if you have:

  • less teaching spaces than you need (a deficiency) or
  • more teaching spaces than you need (a surplus).

If you have a deficiency, the template converts it to area (square metres). It then calculates a budget based on gross square metres and the current Ministry Construction rates. An allowance for site works and a lift is added if it applies to what is being built.

This funding is not guaranteed when you have a deficiency. It depends on population movement, roll growth in your area and whether funding is available.

Counting out-of-zone students in your calculations

If your school has an enrolment scheme, out-of-zone students can only be enrolled if you have surplus space and only if all spaces have been filled by available in-zone (home-zone) students.

The same rule applies to the SPG calculation – we normally only approve new teaching spaces for home-zone students, however, if your capacity includes all available home-zone students you may be able to include out-of-zone students in your calculations.

The following 2 examples show how this relates to the SPG entitlement calculations.

Schools with special programmes

Special programmes are defined in Section 10, Education and Training Act 2020 and need to be approved by the Secretary for Education.

Section 10, Education and Training Act 2020 – NZ Legislation(external link)

We'll consult with you to set a maximum roll for the special programme. The students in the special programme:

  • continue to be out-of-zone students for general purposes
  • can be counted when you're working out your teaching space entitlement, provided you can demonstrate that the programmes at your school would not be viable unless students from outside your home zone could attend.

Contact the Ministry if you think your special programme qualifies for new teaching space funding.

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