Microsoft software for schools

The current Microsoft agreements provides schools with software licenses that include the Microsoft 365, Windows operating system and Minecraft Education Edition.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Principals and tumuaki
  • Teachers and kaiako
  • School ICT specialist
  • Boards
  • Administrators
  • External ICT providers

Microsoft software is a useful tool for schools that supports teaching and learning. The software licence is Ministry-funded, and free for schools to access. 

Schools covered

We cover the cost of the software for all New Zealand state and state-integrated schools.

Duration of the Microsoft agreement

The renewed Microsoft New Zealand School agreement, with the A5 and Defender for EndPoint licences, will be in effect from 1 January 2022 until 31 December 2024.

Software included in the agreement

Schools are licensed to use the latest versions of Windows OS, Microsoft Office 365, M365 Apps, Enterprise Mobility & Security, Minecraft Education Edition, and limited access to Microsoft Windows server software. This limited access will be reassessed annually. The agreement also includes a number of M365 A5 licences and Defender for Endpoint licences per year, for all school-owned devices who are utilising A3 licences.

For more information about the Microsoft 2022-2024 agreement please visit the Microsoft Schools Agreement:

Schools Agreement – Microsoft website(external link)

The key new services available under the agreement are A5 and Defender for EndPoint. More details below:

  • Office365 provides a cloud-hosted suite of Office Productivity software. It allows choice for students’ and teachers’ devices to run Office in the cloud, on the desktop/laptop/device or in a hybrid mode, where content is synchronized between the school/user’s device and cloud.
  • M365 Office Apps includes the latest versions of Access, Excel, Word, Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher and Forms. Users can get the client software download onto their own devices and can run up to 5 copies on their computer (PC/Mac) and 5 on their mobile device (Android/iPhone).
  • Enterprise Mobility & Security enables schools to support mobile computing and Bring your own device (BYOD). It provides tools to manage mobile, laptop and desktop devices, applications, security, identity and access rights. It includes: Intune Mobile Device Management (MDM), Azure Active Directory Premium 1, Azure Rights Management and Advanced Threat Analytics.
  • Student Use Benefits (SUB) are retained in this renewed Agreement.
  • Minecraft Education Edition is an open-world game that promotes computational thinking, creativity, collaboration and problem solving in an immersive environment. With education specific features such as teacher classroom controls, coding connection and hundreds of curriculum lessons, schools can easily integrate game-based learning into their classrooms. Minecraft Education Edition currently runs on Windows 10 and MacOS.
  • M365 A5 Licences which includes all services in A3 plus more advanced security management, additional analytics tools (through Power BI) and advanced compliance. A5 makes security a priority with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, a cloud-based solution that helps protect your school identities, devices and apps from multiple types of advanced targeted cyberattacks.
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a product feature of A5 and provides an enterprise endpoint security platform designed to help school networks prevent, detect, investigate and respond to advanced threats. For more information go to useful Microsoft Defender for Endpoint information.

Updated versions of all Microsoft’s key software are available including:

  • Windows 10/11
  • Office 2019/365 (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Forms)
  • SharePoint 2019/SharePoint Server Subscription Edition
  • Exchange 2019
  • Windows Server 2019/2022
  • Microsoft Teams.

Key features of Microsoft software in this agreement

Schools will be able to empower every student in Aotearoa New Zealand to achieve more. Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Forms and more will allow teachers to build a collaborative classroom that empowers learners to work together, access resources and for teachers to quickly assess their learning and provide individualised feedback.

Teaching Scenario Microsoft Product Core Suite
Hybrid learning Microsoft Teams for cloud storage, real time chat, video conferencing M365 A3/A5
Student device for online/offline learning Windows 10 Windows 10 Student Licensing
Device management Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Intune) to manage Windows 10, MacOS, iPadOS, Android devices from the cloud

Enterprise Mobility and Security Suite A3

STEM teaching and skills Minecraft: Education Edition M365 A3/A5
Livestream large school-wide events, internally or with the community Microsoft Teams Live Events M365 A3/A5
VoIP Telephony services for landline and mobile calling Microsoft Teams for Voice M365 A5
Data analytics and visualisation Microsoft PowerBI M365 A5
Student running records Teams Reading Process M365 A3/A5
Accessibility features for diverse learners Immersive Reader Microsoft Edge

Security, privacy and compliance

Keep your students, teachers, and school safe with built-in capabilities, cloud-powered intelligence and the highest standards of security, privacy, and compliance. Explore the link below to learn how you can meet privacy standards and ensure continuous compliance for your school with Microsoft software:

Privacy and Security for Schools – Microsoft Education(external link)

Learn about Microsoft’s "zero trust" approach to security and compliance.

Cloud Data Integrity at its Finest – Microsoft Trust Center(external link)

Contact Cyclone for more information.


How to get Microsoft software

If you're a state or state-integrated school, you don't need to do anything to continue using your current Microsoft software. For newer applications under the 2022-2024 agreement such as A5 and Defender for Endpoint (MDfE), schools must contact Cyclone for assistance to install them.

Alternatively schools interested in Microsoft 'A5' and Microsoft ‘Defender for Endpoint’, can complete the Cyclone online form: 

Microsoft "A5" and "MDfE" – Form(external link)

If you want to be able to access cloud-delivered software (such as M365 Apps) and you haven't already registered in the agreement, contact Cyclone.

If your IT contact person changes, contact Cyclone.


Teachers and students can also access M365 where the full suite is available online in a browser and the M365 Apps desktop. Software can also be downloaded for Windows 10/MacOS. For smartphones/tablets install the Office apps from the relevant app store and activate using your school email address and password.

Log in – Office 365(external link)

The agreement applies to these computers

All school-owned and leased computers and on local, remote or hosted servers. Staff and students can access the school network on their personal or school-provided devices. If the school activates Office 365, teachers and students can access M365 Apps software for their personal devices.

Please note: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint licensing only applies to school owned or leased desktops, laptops and tablets. Student Use Benefits do not apply.

You can run earlier versions of Microsoft software

You can use any version of the software available under the agreement. But, some software is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Using unsupported software, puts your school computers and data at risk. Plan to migrate to more recent software.

For information on the support lifecycle, visit the Microsoft website.

Microsoft Support(external link)

How you get Microsoft products not covered by the agreement

To order any extra products you require contact Cyclone.


Student Use Benefits (SUB)

More details can be found at:

M365 student use benefits – Map(external link)

Your rights and obligations under the agreement

More details can be found at:

Microsoft licensing resources and documents(external link)

Training for Microsoft software

Microsoft has a range of online training resources to help you become confident across their suite of collaboration and productivity tools.

For short, education-specific videos: Microsoft Education - YouTube.

Microsoft Education - YouTube channel(external link)

For short courses and training modules focused on digital fluency and 21st century skills: Microsoft Educator Center.

Microsoft Education Community(external link)

For support or to log a ticket about the Microsoft 365 tools: Education help & learning - Microsoft Support.

Microsoft Office 365 Education Support(external link)

Useful Microsoft Defender for Endpoint information

How can I make the switch from non-Microsoft endpoint protection to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint?

The process of migrating to Defender for Endpoint can be divided into 3 phases.

Learn more: Make the switch from non-Microsoft endpoint protection to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint – Microsoft Docs(external link)

Where do I find the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Licences?

The Microsoft Defender for Endpoint licences are allocated in 3 locations: The Microsoft 365 admin centre, the Azure Portal, and the Microsoft Defender Portal.

Where do I manage the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Licences?

Assign the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Licences to users via the Microsoft 365 admin portal or the Azure Portal. Note, for the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Portal, your login details will be the same as your Office 365 login credentials. There are different scripts available for onboarding devices.

Learn more about onboard devices and configure Microsoft Defender for Endpoint protection - Microsoft 365(external link)

What permissions do I need to view and manage Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Licences?

The global administrator will need to assign Security Administer permissions to a user wanting to manage Defender for Endpoint licences. These permissions can be assigned to users either via the Microsoft 365 admin centre or the Azure Portal.

What resources are available on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint?

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint: Deployment guide: Setup(external link)

Supported Windows versions and licensing requirements - Microsoft 365(external link)

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Documentation(external link)

Where can I access additional support?

For technical questions about your set up, contact Microsoft Education Support help desk(external link).

For licensing questions, contact Cyclone:

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