How to apply for ESOL funding

Funding due dates for 2018

Applications for terms 1 and 2 were due by 1 March 2018
Applications for terms 3 and 4 are due by 1 August 2018

Update English language learning progressions (ELLP) record of progress

Before applying for funding you need to complete the ELLP record of progress and matrices for each current migrant, refugee background or New Zealand-born English language learner at your school.

ELLP record of progress [DOCX, 103 KB] (external link)
Google doc version: ELLP record of progress (external link) (external link) .  

Go to Guidance in using the English Language learning Progressions matrices (external link)  from the ELLP professional support modules on TKI.  

The record of progress should be completed by:

  • in a primary or intermediate school, the student’s class teacher in consultation with the ESOL teacher and/or others in the school who the student
  • in a secondary school, the ESOL specialist teacher, in collaboration with the student’s curriculum teachers.

Keep the completed record of progress form and matrices with the student’s other records. Do not send it to the Ministry with your funding application.

If the student scores below the threshold on the ELLP record of progress and you have the required evidence of their status, you can apply for ESOL funding.

Required evidence

For migrant students, record evidence of their date of entry to New Zealand.

For refugee background students, you need proof of their refugee status.

  • For quota refugees, you should have a letter from the Centre for Refugee Education identifying them as being part of the government’s official refugee programme and a letter from the New Zealand Immigration Service – Quota Branch.
  • For family reunification refugees, you should have the sponsor’s letter from the New Zealand Immigration Service showing their refugee status. 
  • Asylum seeker refugees are considered individually.
  • If you have questions, please contact:

Abdirizak Abdi, Lead Advisor, Migrant and Refugee Education,
Phone +64 7 858 7148

For New Zealand-born students you must have evidence that at least one parent is an immigrant or refugee.

You do not need to send this evidence for funding purposes, but you should keep this evidence for your school records.

Applying for new students

Enter all new students’ details and ELLP assessment scores into the ESOL funding application forms. Within the new digital file you will find a coversheet which includes further instructions and an approval form for the principal. There are three separate application forms within the file for New Zealand-born, Migrant background and Refugee background students.

ESOL funding application form [XLSX, 96 KB]

Once downloaded, save to your computer before entering student details (don’t save in Google Drive).

Remember to include each student’s NSN (national student number). This will link to the ENROL database and pick up their record from previous schools if applicable.

Use the standard names for country of birth, ethnicity and first language  [XLSX, 43 KB]

Applying for existing ESOL funded students

Recently all schools were sent an email with a new Excel format status list. This lists all the students who received ESOL funding at your school in the previous funding period. If you have not received this, or you have misplaced it, please request a copy from

Before the next application due date, update the status list using the instructions in the ESOL funding application form [XLSX, 96 KB].

Our preference is that you use the new status list and application forms for the  Term 3 and 4, 2018 funding round.

However, if you have already finished filling in the paper status list which was posted to you in April, and don’t have the time to try out the new digital form before 1 August, we understand that you may need to send a scanned copy as you have done in the past.

We expect that schools should have had time to become familiar with the new forms by the Term 1 and 2, 2019 funding round and will not accept paper or PDF applications next year.

Submit your application

Your school principal must approve the funding application before it is submitted. The principal needs to enter their full name and date on the form’s coversheet, to confirm that an English language programme for the students named in the application is in place and that the information is accurate.

Once the principal has approved, email your completed ESOL funding application to


1. The completed ESOL funding application forms (for new students), including your school principal’s approval on the coversheet.   
2. Your school’s updated status list in Excel format (for existing students)                         

We will inform your school of the ESOL funding allocation and email an updated status list of funded students, in the new Excel format (approximately 5 weeks after applications close).


Your school must update each ESOL funded student’s record of progress at least every 6 months.

Keep all the records relating to a student’s ESOL funding and assessments, as these may be needed for our verification. If an ESOL-funded student leaves your school make sure all these records go with their file to their new school.

Approximately every 3 years, an ESOL verifier will visit or phone your school to discuss:

  • how you identify eligible students and assess their learning needs
  • the support programmes your school provides
  • the assessment records that support the funding application.

They will also help you with information about ESOL resources and training available.

Email if you have any questions.

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