School charter overview

Advice, resources, and requirements for developing your charter.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki

It is a statutory requirement for school boards to prepare and maintain a charter, and submit this to the Ministry of Education each year. The charter must meet the requirements listed in the Section 61 Education Act 1989 – NZ Legislation website(external link) and the National Administration Guidelines.

What to include in your charter

Your charter should include the priorities identified by parents, whānau, and your community and be written in plain language.

The aims and targets included in your charter should be based on evidence and be informed from the outcome of your board's self-review.

The legislative requirements for what a charter must contain are set out in Section 61 Education Act 1989 – NZ Legislation website(external link). These requirements should be read in conjunction with the National Administration Guidelines

Develop your charter

Your charter outlines the key areas your Board will focus on, both in the long term and the coming year. Charters include three main sections:

  • Introductory section: this section includes your mission, vision and values
  • Strategic section:  this describes your broad aims over the next 3–5 years
  • Annual section: this section includes specific targets and planned actions for the coming year. 

Charter template

An annotated and a blank Microsoft Word version of the charter template are available from the University of Auckland’s Centre for Educational Leadership (UACEL). The charter template has been designed by UACEL and the Ministry of Education.

The use of the charter template is optional.

Charter template - UACEL website(external link)

When your charter is due

Your charter must be submitted to the Ministry by 1 March each year. 

How to submit

Your school charter should be submitted using the Secure Data Portal(external link)

  • Your charter should be in either .doc or .PDF format.
  • All documents must be 22MB or less to be successfully uploaded to the Secure Data Portal.
  • An education sector logon (ESL) is required to access the Secure Data Portal.

Publishing requirements 

It is a statutory requirement to make your school’s annual report available to the public on an internet site that is maintained by, or on behalf of, your board. Your board is also required to make your school charter available, you may wish to publish it on your school's website. 

Privacy requirements 

Before you make any of your planning and reporting documents publicly available, your board must check if they contain any information that might breach an individual’s privacy. If they do, you may have grounds to redact this information to protect their privacy.

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