Archiving and disposing of school records

Schools need to keep records for certain periods of time to comply with legal requirements, for example education and tax legislation. State and state-integrated schools have other broader responsibilities for how they keep, destroy or dispose of school records.

The Public Records Act 2005

The Public Records Act 2005 allows Archives New Zealand to actively care for documents that are identified as important for New Zealand’s history. This legislation covers all public records, including school records.

The School Records Retention/Disposal Schedule forms part of the Act, and covers all possible records a school may create. The Schedule explains:

  • how long you must keep school records
  • why you have to keep them, and
  • what needs to happen to them when they’re of no further use to your school.

It also lists which school records can be discharged or destroyed, and which must eventually be sent to Archives New Zealand.

The Schedule is made up of 6 parts — student records, governance, personnel, finance, property and administration, and historical — and each contains a broad definition of the types of records covered.

Information pack for schools

The School Records Retention/Disposal Information Pack provides advice on your school's legal obligations to keep, store and dispose of school records. Information in the pack includes:

  • using the retention and disposal Schedule from the Act
  • creating, using and maintaining records
  • storing and handling records
  • keeping electronic records.

School Records Retention/disposal Information Pack [PDF, 1.3 MB]

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