Private schools' registration and management

Learn about the process to register a private school with the Ministry of Education.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Private schools
  • Private school managers


Private schools are governed by their own independent boards. Private schools are registered with the Ministry of Education under section 214 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Section 214 of the Education and Training Act 2020 – NZ Legislation(external link)

As a registered school, you will receive some government funding along with the funding you get from fees.

Apply to register a private school

To register your school (or proposed school), the Ministry must be satisfied that its premises, staffing, equipment and curriculum are suitable. 

If you meet the criteria:

  • the Secretary of Education will provisionally register your school
  • the Education Review Office (ERO) will inspect the school in the next 12 months
  • ERO will make a final decision about whether the school is suitable for full registration.

Managing private school property

The Ministry of Education does not own private school property. Your school manager is responsible for all property maintenance and modifications.

The school must comply with all building legislation like:

  • the Building Act 2004
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

As we do not own private school property, school buildings do not have to meet the Ministry's design standards. This includes the flexible learning spaces (FLS) criteria. You may choose to follow FLS principles.

Designing schools

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