Artworks bought by schools

Your school can buy or commission artworks using various sources of funding. You can use Ministry funding, such as 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding, new teaching space or School Property Guide (SPG) funding, or non-property funding. All artworks should be insured.

Funding for artworks

Use these guidelines to choose which funding source to use when you buy or commission artworks, such as paintings or carvings.

Using 5YA funding

You can use 5YA funding only if:

  • the artwork will be attached to the building (in other words, it’s a building fixture)
  • your school has completed all its 5YA priority 1, 2 and 3 projects (artwork is priority 4)
  • the project is included in your 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP)
  • the artwork is affordable in terms of your 5YA budget.

5YA funding

10YPP (including project priorities)

Using new teaching space and SPG funding

You can use new teaching space funding and SPG funding to buy or commission an artwork only if:

  • the artwork will be attached to the building as a fixture
  • you can afford to deliver the roll growth or SPG project that provides the right amount of space and meets all the Ministry design standards.

New teaching space funding

SPG funding

Ministry’s property design standards

Using non-property funding

You can use surplus operational funding or funding from grants and fundraising only if:

  • the artwork is affordable (in that the school has met all other commitments)
  • you'll own the artwork.

Boards buying property with their own funding

The process for procuring artworks

You need to follow our procurement rules to engage the artist. This usually means doing a competitive tender.

School property procurement framework

Both the artist and board members must declare any personal or professional conflicts of interest to ensure the commission is based on sound, unbiased decision-making.

Follow our procurement policy which includes thresholds at which you must undertake a competitive tender.

School property procurement framework

Insuring artworks

Artwork is usually only insured for the cost of the materials used to create it. If you want to insure it for its artistic value you need to:

  • get a valuation from a qualified person
  • have the value, with supporting documentation, stated in the policy.

Always keep a copy of the valuation and review it from time to time.

Insuring artworks paid for with Ministry funding

If the artwork is part of the building, for example, if it’s a carving on the building’s façade, this may be covered by the School Building Insurance Funding Programme. Get the artwork valued and tell us so it can be included on the policy schedule.

If the artwork is lost or damaged, we'll decide whether to replace it.

If the artwork isn't part of the building, for example, if it’s a painting hung on a wall, this may be covered by contents insurance. You can either opt in to our Risk Management Scheme or have your own contents insurance.

If you opt in to the Risk Management Scheme, give us a copy of the valuation. We'll decide whether to insure the artwork.

If you’ve bought artworks with Ministry funding, always talk to us before taking out insurance. To contact us about this, email:

Refer to the following pages for more information.

School Building Insurance Funding Programme

Risk Management Scheme

Insuring artwork paid for with non-property funding

You should insure artwork that’s been paid for with surplus operational funding or funding from grants and fundraising. The cost of premiums and valuations must be paid for using your board-sourced funding.

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