Operational funding components

This page lists the operational funding components and how they are calculated. This will help boards and principals to understand how the operational funding grant is calculated.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals or Tumuaki
  • Administrators

Boards are responsible for the financial governance of their schools, including determining how operational funding is used and reported on. 

Find funding component information

Use this alphabetical list to find out what the funding components are for, which schools are eligible and how we calculate the funding amounts.

Administration grant

The administration grant helps schools meet the costs of attached teachers, for example, teacher development, telephones, materials, administrative support.

It’s a standard grant for each officially approved teacher position and is paid to your resource teacher of learning and behaviour (RTLB) cluster or school (all other teachers ).

Support funding – RTLB clusters and attached teachers

Base funding

We provide base funding to meet the fixed costs associated with the operation of a school and to compensate smaller school boards for the absence of economies of scale (smaller schools get less funding because they have fewer students but may still have many of the same running costs as a larger school).

How base funding is calculated

Rates for base funding vary by school type and roll range (number of students). Your school board may receive base funding of a fixed amount or a fixed amount reduced by a rate per pupil.

How to calculate the base funding for your school

To calculate base funding:

  • visit our operational funding rates page and find your school’s type 
  • under your school’s type, find your school’s roll range.

Operational funding rates

If the base funding for that roll range is a fixed figure, then that's the school’s base funding.

If the base funding has a range of figures, use the ‘step action calculator’ to work out your funding.

Step action calculator

  1. Take the lowest roll figure in the roll range
  2. Deduct it from the school’s resourcing roll
  3. Multiply the result by the per-pupil factor
  4. Deduct this result from the highest dollar figure in the range. The result is the base funding your board will receive.

Careers information grant

The careers information grant assists with the provision of careers information and guidance for schools with Year 9–13+ students.

How the careers information grant is calculated

From January 2023 the Careers information grant will be calculated using the Equity Index.

Class funding

Most special schools receive this funding, which helps to meet the costs of support staff.

If your special school believes its funding allocation might need to change, email:


Heat, light and water funding

We pay heat, light and water funding to help boards with power, fuel and water costs.

The tips on managing your school’s energy use further down this page will help you to keep your energy costs down.

What heat, light and water funding covers

Operational funding for heat, light and water is for:

  • electricity – supply, capacity and line charges 
  • gas, reticulated and portable, including delivery and canister hire 
  • coal and wood, including delivery costs 
  • water supply rates.

Costs heat, light and water funding doesn’t cover

Some costs related to heat, light, and water aren’t covered by heat, light and water funding. They’re covered by the base and per-pupil component of the operational funding instead, for example:

  • school staff costs, for example, time spent on energy-related work such as firing up the school boiler 
  • costs chargeable to community and commercial activities outside the operational funding (for example, continuing education classes, hostels, and using a swimming pool out of school hours) 
  • consumables for heat, light and water (for example, light bulbs, elements, toilet paper) 
  • repairs and maintenance of heating and lighting equipment 
  • energy audits 
  • local authority sewage disposal charges.

How we determine your heat, light and water allocation

Heat, light and water (HLW) funding was fixed in 2010 at a level based on an average of each school’s past three years’ energy costs. Increased use of digital devices, higher power prices and ageing infrastructure (equipment and buildings) have meant that HLW costs have increased for schools.

To address this issue, the Government has allocated $11.5 million per annum in additional funding specifically for HLW costs in schools from 2021 onwards. The additional funding was allocated automatically to schools based on their financial reporting. A school’s increase in HLW allocation was calculated based on a three-year average of the school’s actual expenditure (2017, 2018 and 2019) including CPI increases.

Further information about the increase in funding

Heat, light and water one-off costs reimbursement

If your school isn’t connected to a town water supply or a district sewage disposal scheme, reimbursement for the following areas may be claimed:

  • Servicing (except by school staff)
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance and consumables (for example, filters for stand-alone facilities)

This funding does not cover local authority charges for sewage disposal.

For schools not on a district sewage disposal scheme, reimbursement may be claimed for:

  • servicing a septic tank (except by school staff)
  • energy to operate the scheme
  • consumables
  • septic tank repairs and maintenance
  • removing waste.

For schools not on town water supply, reimbursement may be claimed for:

  • servicing a water system, for example, the filtration plant (except by school staff
  • energy
  • consumables
  • water system repairs and maintenance
  • water testing.

Requesting a review of your heat, light and water allocation or reimbursement of one-off costs

In exceptional circumstances, such as if your school adds new classrooms, you can apply for a review of your heat, light and water funding allocation.

Please note that we are unable to provide support for claims dated outside of the Ministry’s financial year; once the financial year is closed the appropriations allocated for that year are no longer available. Therefore, we are unable to review and reimburse for heat, light and water expenditure that occurred in the previous financial year.

Local Ministry offices

Heat, light and water allocation review form [DOCX, 53 KB]

Heat, light and water one-off costs application form [DOCX, 61 KB]

Tips on managing your school’s energy use

We recommend a four-step process to manage your school’s energy use well:

  1. Engage expert help to ensure your supply contract gives the best value possible
  2. Monitor energy use and target savings
  3. Improve energy efficiency and make low-cost changes 
  4. Re-invest the savings to improve your school’s energy performance further.

Throughout the process, it’s important to raise awareness of energy use among staff and students to build an energy-efficient culture.

Visit our 'Energy management in your school' page for information and resources to help your school manage and monitor energy use.

Energy management in your school

Information and communication technology funding

We provide information and communication technology (ICT) funding to help schools buy hardware and software.

How ICT funding is calculated

We calculate ICT funding using a base rate and a per-pupil rate.

KiwiSport funding

KiwiSport is a Government funding initiative that promotes sport and aims to increase opportunities for school-aged students to participate in organised sport.

KiwiSport provides funding for schools with Year 1-8 and Year 9-13 students.

How KiwiSport funding works

KiwiSport funding has two funding channels. Direct funding comes from the Ministry of Education and complementary funding comes from Sport New Zealand via SPARC and regional sports trusts, who allocate funding from the KiwiSport Regional Partnership Fund.

Regional Partnership Fund – Sport NZ website(external link)

Direct funding from the Ministry of Education

We provide direct funding through your quarterly operations grant – the direct funding is listed on your entitlement notice.

This funding isn't for normal operating costs, such as routine property or grounds maintenance.

KiwiSport funding can be used to employ and pay teaching staff, such as a sports coordinator, as long as this contributes to KiwiSport’s objectives.

KiwiSport monitoring: What reporting information you need to provide

Your school needs to include a short statement in your annual report on how KiwiSport funding has been used to increase students’ participation in organised sport.

Use of the funding is also monitored as part of your regular Education Review Office review.

Learning support funding

Learning support funding is available to support students with learning or behaviour difficulties and the work of their resource teachers of learning and behaviour (RTLBs).

How we calculate and pay learning support funding

We calculate this funding according to your school’s roll and decile and pay it to your RTLB cluster.

RTLB learning support funding

Māori language programme funding

This funding is for students enrolled in Māori language programmes that meet all the criteria for one of four immersion levels.

Although Māori language programmes have six levels that may be reported in your roll returns, only students enrolled in Levels 1 to 4 (including 4a and 4b) generate funding.

Visit our operational funding rates page for Māori language programme funding rates.

Operational funding rates

Why we might adjust your Māori language programme funding during the year

Initially, you’ll be funded for the number of students your school predicts will be in each Māori language programme level. We recalculate your funding once your actual numbers are available.

Language verifiers visit a sample of schools receiving this funding each year to make sure programmes are funded at the correct level.

For more information on roll return requirements:

Roll returns (monitoring)

Maori immersion levels and criteria for each level


Māori immersion: curriculum taught in Māori (Level 1 and 2) and learning te reo Māori (Levels 3, 4a and 4b)

1 81–100% of the time, i.e. for more than 20 and up to 25 hours per week
2 51–80% of the total time, i.e. for more than 12.5 and up to 20 hours per week

Te reo Māori: Learning Māori language

3 31–50% of the total time, i.e. for more than 7.5 and up to 12.5 hours per week
4a 12%–30% of the total time, i.e. for more than three and up to 7.5 hours per week (more than 70% of instruction is in English)
4b At least three hours per week

New classroom grants (for state schools only)

We provide new classroom grants to state schools for each new classroom generated by roll increases or increased staffing entitlements. The grant is paid to state-integrated schools only if the classroom is funded through the capital assistance programme.

New classroom grants help to equip new classrooms with teaching and learning materials and are additional to funding for furniture and equipment.

Note: You don’t need to apply for this grant.

New classroom set-up grant to equip new classrooms.

Out-of-hours music and arts scheme (for primary schools only)

The out-of-hours music and art scheme provides professional tuition for children in Year 1–8. The tuition is additional to any that your school staff might provide.

How staff are employed under the scheme

The school board of the host school for the scheme is responsible for employing staff.

We provide the host school with hours and supplementary funding to employ tutors and coordinators. They’re usually employed part-time.

Note: School staff members can’t be employed to provide tuition under this scheme.

How we allocate and pay the funding

The allocation of hours is made by the local Ministry office. The grant is paid each term, once the roll return is sent to the local Ministry office.

Local Ministry offices

How we allocate hours for the scheme

Your local Ministry office administers the allocation of hours for the scheme.

Allocations for each local office continue at the same level as in previous years. However, if demand for the scheme changes, your local office may redistribute the hours.

How we calculate and pay your entitlement

We calculate an annual administration entitlement for your school based on your allocated hours. This entitlement is paid quarterly through your operational grant.

Pacific Bilingual and Immersion Programme Funding (from 1 January 2022)

This funding is for students enrolled in Pacific language programmes that meet all the criteria for Level 1 or Level 2 immersion levels.

Although Pacific language programmes have four levels that may be reported in your roll returns, only students enrolled in Levels 1 or 2 generate funding.

Visit our operational funding rates page for Pacific Bilingual and Immersion Programme funding rates.

Operational funding rates

Why we might adjust your Pacific Bilingual and Immersion Programme funding during the year

Initially, you’ll be funded for the number of students your school has recorded as being enrolled, based on your previous year’s roll return.

We will recalculate your funding based on the latest roll return available.

The Ministry audits roll returns to make sure schools receive the correct funding and staffing. Your roll returns must therefore be accurate, and you must keep documents to support the information you provide in your school's returns. Schools that have included students in Pacific bilingual and immersion programmes in their roll returns may be audited to ensure programmes are funded at the correct level.

For more information on roll return requirements click the link below.

Roll returns (monitoring)

For more information on resourcing audits click the link below.

Resourcing audits

Pacific language immersion levels and criteria for each level


Pacific bilingual and immersion: curriculum taught in a Pacific language (Level 1 and 2)

1 Immersion 81–100% of the time, i.e. for more than 20 and up to 25 hours per week 
2  Bilingual  51–80% of the total time, i.e. for more than 12.5 and up to 20 hours per week 

Factsheet and FAQ

The Factsheet and FAQs explain in more detail if your school is eligible for this funding and how you can access it.

Factsheet and FAQ for Pacific Bilingual Programme funding [PDF, 238 KB]

Per-pupil funding

We set four levels of per-pupil funding to recognise the cost of curriculum delivery at each level.

How we calculate per-pupil funding

We calculate per-pupil funding using the number of students on a school's roll. Per-pupil rates are universal – they apply to all schools.

Normal and country model schools: additional per-pupil funding

We provide additional per-pupil funding to cover costs associated with the operation of normal and country model schools.

Property Maintenance Grant

The Property Maintenance Grant provides funding to maintain your school’s site services and buildings. The grant is based on each school's land and building areas.

We provide this grant to all schools, according to your property profile. However, the minor capital works component is not paid to state-integrated schools.

Use the Property Maintenance Grant to pay for as-needed and regular maintenance projects.

Property Maintenance Grant for school maintenance work

When we allocate property maintenance funding

In October, we advise your school of its estimated property maintenance component. This indicative amount is shown on your initial entitlement notice.

In June, we tell you what your final amount for the year is, so you can include any changes to property in your school’s maintenance schedule.

Relief teacher funding

We provide funding to boards to help with the payment of salaries and allowances for relief teachers.

How we calculate relief teacher funding

To calculate relief teacher funding, we multiply the relevant relief teacher funding rate by the number of teaching positions eligible for relief teacher funding.

We use your school type and the entitlement staffing management component to determine your relief teacher funding rate.

We recalculate and adjust relief teacher funding rates after the settlement of teachers' collective agreements or following a change to base salary rates during the term of the agreements.

The number of teaching positions eligible for relief teacher funding is the greater of your assured or guaranteed minimum formula or roll-based staffing plus any attached units plus any special education staffing (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme, including related management staff).

No other staffing positions are included in the relief teacher funding calculation. Resource teachers, supernumerary teachers, and discretionary teachers are not included.

We automatically adjust funding for the whole year as a school’s staffing entitlement and special education staffing change.

Budgeting for relief teacher expenses

While there is no set amount your school board should spend on relief teachers, we recommend you set aside an amount for relief teacher expenses in your annual budget.

Remember to consider:

  • your collective agreement obligations 
  • your previous relief teacher funding needs
  • any known demands on your budget, such as higher duties allowances, professional development, special leave, ongoing illnesses, or staff absences due to hospitalisation or surgery.

Your board must manage any surpluses or deficits from under- or over-spending on the employment of relief teachers from year to year as part of the overall financial management of the school.

We provide additional relief teacher funding when certain conditions are met.

Additional relief teacher funding

Support for Inclusion Funding 

Support for Inclusion Funding, which was previously called the Special Education Grant, helps you to support students with moderate special education needs, such as learning and behaviour difficulties.

How we calculate Support for Inclusion Funding

Support for Inclusion Funding is made up of a base amount plus per-student funding based on a school’s EQI number. 

Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) funding

STAR funding is a capped resource available to state and state-integrated schools with Year 11–13+ students. International fee-paying students and adult students are not eligible for this funding.

STAR funding helps you to better meet the needs of senior students. The funding can be used to access a wide range of courses and career-related experiences. You can use some of the funding to employ a STAR coordinator and/or administrator. STAR funding enables you to:

  • provide or buy courses that better meet your students’ needs, motivate them to achieve, and ease their transition to further education, training or employment 
  • support students to explore career pathways and help them make informed decisions about their schooling and future work or study.

How we calculate STAR funding

STAR funding is based on STAR funding units, which we allocate to eligible schools. Our initial STAR funding estimate uses your school's provisional resourcing roll, (excluding adult students) for Years 11, 12 and 13+.

We calculate STAR funding units quarterly according to our quarterly roll count policy.

Each Year 11, 12 and 13+ student generates one STAR unit. Teen parent units will be weighted at 1.5 units per student.

If your school has less than 30 units, then we allocate your STAR funding at the rate per unit listed in the operational funding rates.

If your school has more than 30 units, we allocate your first 30 units using the base rate and the remainder using the additional STAR funding unit rate.

Who can be an accredited provider for STAR courses?

STAR course providers must be accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to provide courses towards New Zealand Qualifications Framework credits.

Accredited providers of STAR courses can be:

  • polytechnics, private training establishments, or universities
  • your own school
  • workplaces that provide students with work-based learning experiences.

If you use outside providers, make sure they have consent to assess against any relevant standards and have a current memorandum of understanding with your school.

We advise you enter into a memorandum of understanding with each provider.

Who pays the costs of STAR courses?

STAR funding doesn’t cover the full costs of all STAR courses. We provide the funding as a top-up to your staffing entitlement and per-pupil funding. You must meet any additional costs if STAR funding isn’t enough to meet the full course costs.

Remember that:

  • the operational funding and staffing entitlement that students on STAR courses generate as regular students can contribute to resourcing STAR courses
  • you can’t charge fees for students to attend STAR courses, or for any equipment (except any take-home component) or activity associated with the course.

Establishing funding arrangements with tertiary institutions

When students enrolled at your school undertake a tertiary course, the course funding may go to your board of trustees or to the tertiary institution, but not to both.

You must establish clear funding arrangements with any tertiary institution before students are released to attend courses.

For information about roles and responsibilities:

STAR information for boards and principals

Targeted funding for isolation – for schools in isolated areas

If your school is in an isolated area, you may be eligible for additional operational funding, called targeted funding for isolation.

This funding helps schools whose isolation means that they have additional costs associated with accessing goods and services needed to operate their school and deliver the curriculum.

A new Isolation Index was implemented in January 2023. Read more about the new Isolation Index.

How we determine eligibility for targeted funding for isolation

To determine whether your school is eligible, we use an Isolation Index to calculate your school’s relative isolation based on its time and distance from the three population centres that provide the range of goods and services your school needs.

If your school is eligible, we also use the Isolation Index to determine how much funding your school receives.

How we calculate your school’s Isolation Index

We calculate your school’s Isolation Index using the following formula.

(0.8 x d5) + d20 +(0.4 x d60) + (0.8 x t5) + t20 + (0.4 x t60) ÷ 200 = Isolation Index 


  • 0.8 x the school’s distance in kilometres from the nearest population centre of 5,000 or more
  • plus the school’s distance in kilometres from the nearest population centre of 20,000 or more
  • plus 0.4 x the school’s distance in kilometres from the nearest population centre of 60,000 or more
  • plus 0.8 x driving time in minutes from the nearest population centre of 5,000 or more
  • plus the driving time in minutes from the nearest population centre of 20,000 or more
  • plus 0.4 x driving time in minutes from the nearest population centre of 60,000 or more
  • the total divided by 200 produces the index.

Isolation Index for mainland schools

Mainland schools (schools in the North Island and South Island) with an Isolation Index of 1.27 or higher receive targeted funding for isolation. We use this formula to calculate Targeted Funding for Isolation.

Base rate + variable rate x (isolation index)² 

Isolation Index for non-mainland schools

Non-mainland schools are given a notional index rating based on an assessment of the costs, time, and distances involved in accessing the goods and services they need to operate their schools and deliver the curriculum.
We benchmark this information against mainland schools of comparable isolation, where they exist.

Please contact our Resourcing team if you wish to confirm your school’s Isolation Index.

Email: resourcing@education.govt.nz

Why we use distance from population centres in the Isolation Index

Feedback from schools and the education sector indicates that population centres of 20,000 tend to be the most important in terms of relative isolation, and that proximity from a centre of 60,000 people or more is the least important.

The weightings reflect this information and also produce a fair measure of isolation among schools.

The weighting for each centre reflects the relative importance of each in terms of accessing the goods and services schools need. Schools can access:

  • basic maintenance services from population centres of 5,000 
  • a greater than basic range of services, such as financial and banking services, from population centres of 20,000
  • a full range of goods and services, including professional development, specialist education services and ICT servicing, from population centres of 60,000 or more.

Together, the three centres are able to provide schools with all the goods and services they need to teach and operate.

Trades academies

Trades academies deliver trades and technology programmes to secondary students based on partnerships between schools, tertiary institutions, industry training organisations and employers. They’re for students in Year 11–13.

How the funding model for trades academies works

The funding model for trades academies is based on a ‘per-learner’ rate that is provided to schools and tertiary education providers. The rate is based on the proportion of study time that the learner spends at each provider.

The funding model includes:

  • $9,500 for general teaching and learning, which is divided between schools and the tertiary education providers to reflect the proportion of the study week spent at each provider
  • $3,500 for trades delivery to reflect the higher costs of delivering trades education subjects – payment for these services is made directly to the school or provider delivering these components of the programme on a pro-rata basis
  • $1,250 per student for pastoral care and coordination, which is paid to the lead provider.

Financial support for trades academies with high transport costs

Trades academies with high transport costs can apply to us for the recovery of these costs.

More information about trades academies

Trades academies

Youth Guarantee website(external link)

Vandalism funding

We provide vandalism funding to help you take positive steps to reduce vandalism. The funding is available to state schools only.

Vandalism funding to repair school property

How we determine your vandalism funding

We fund your school board according to your school’s vandalism rating. For the ratings and associated per-pupil rates, go to operational funding rates.

For questions about vandalism funding, contact your regional Ministry office.

Local Ministry offices

Contact us

Contact our Resourcing team.

Phone: +64 4 463 8383

Email: resourcing@education.govt.nz

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