Private schools' registration and management

A private school can apply to be registered with the Ministry of Education. The school manager is responsible for managing private school property.

Applying to register a private school

Private schools are governed by their own independent boards. You can register your private school with the Ministry of Education under section 35A of the Education Act 1989 (external link) .

As a registered school, you will receive some government funding, along with the funding you get from fees.

To register your school (or proposed school), we must be satisfied that its premises, staffing, equipment and curriculum are suitable. Contact our local Ministry office to find out about registration.

If you meet the criteria, the Secretary of Education will provisionally register your school. The Education Review Office (ERO) (external link) inspects the school within the next 12 months. It then makes a final decision about whether the school is suitable for full registration.

Managing private school property

The Ministry of Education does not own private school property. Your school manager is responsible for all property maintenance and modifications.

The school must comply with all building legislation, like:

  • the Building Act 2004
  • the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

However, the school buildings do not have to meet the Ministry's design standards, including the Flexible Learning Spaces (FLS) criteria. You may choose to follow FLS principles. To learn more, see Designing schools.

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