Streamlining the process for establishing designated character schools

Special character schools, including kura, play an important role in the schooling network. Special character schools and kura can currently be established under two separate sections of the Act that have similar but different establishment processes.

The updated Act now has a single process for establishing designated character schools that is more accessible and simpler to follow.

This includes removing the requirement for the Minister of Education to be satisfied that the parents of at least 21 potential students want the school established as the sole means of gauging demand. This change amalgamates two sections of the Act to make the process establishing designated character schools more accessible and simple to follow.

Will the new process affect the relationship between the Crown and Te Runanga Nui o Aotearoa?

No. Te Runanga Nui o Aotearoa is still the kaitiaki (guardian) of Te Aho Matua, the approach to teaching and learning that applies to schools designated as Kura Kaupapa Māori. Te Runanga Nui o Aotearoa must still be consulted about the establishment of a kura kaupapa Māori.

Where are the designated character provisions located in the Act?

Sections 155, 156 and 156AA establish a single process for establishing designated character schools.

When do the changes take effect?

These provisions took effect on 19 May 2017.

Links to key provisions

The following links redirect to the New Zealand Legislation website

Section 155, Education Act 1989 (external link)

Section 156, Education Act 1989 (external link)

Section 156AA, Education Act 1989 (external link)

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