Regional health school units on school sites

Regional health schools are for students with significant health needs who cannot attend their local school. A regional health school unit may be based in a local school with its own staff. If you are a board of trustees hosting a regional health school unit, you have responsibilities for planning for, constructing, upgrading and managing the unit’s property.

Planning a regional health school unit

Regional health schools are for students with significant health needs who cannot attend their local school because they:

  • are in hospital, recovering at home or gradually returning to school
  • are chronically ill and cannot attend their school for long periods
  • have a psychiatric illness and live in a health-funded institution
  • need support as they return to their school after a lengthy absence due to medical intervention. 

Regional health school teachers work with students with high health needs both in hospital and in the community.

New Zealand has 3 regional health schools operating from bases in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Each school has a number of units, often hosted by local schools, and together these schools cover the whole country.

We prefer that regional health schools operate a unit in surplus space at a host school but if there is no space available, we may consider building space at the host school or renting accommodation elsewhere. We make this decision on a case-by-case basis.

Use the School Property Guide (SPG) to see if you have surplus space available for a unit.

Constructing or upgrading a regional health school unit

If we agree to provide funding for a new unit at your school, you are responsible for building it, but the regional health school should have input into the construction/upgrade process, and how the funds are spent. This includes having input into the location of the unit so it can best support its students.

We will manage earthquake strengthening work and weathertightness remediation if the regional health school unit is in Ministry-owned space. You must contribute to this work from your 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding.

Space entitlement for a regional health school unit

A regional health school unit on a host school site has a space entitlement that is based on the number of full-time teacher equivalents (FTTEs) employed in that unit. The following table identifies the range of space entitlements for one to 3 FTTEs.

Space entitlement for regional health school unit on host school site

Number of FTTE

Area entitlement (toilets included)

1

50m2

2

80m2

3

100m2

Managing a regional health school unit

If a regional health school unit is on your school site, we will give you ongoing property funding for the unit. As a host school, you must:

  • plan for the unit’s ongoing maintenance and modernisation in your 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP)
  • spend property funding generated by the unit on the facility
  • form an agreement with the regional health school for unit maintenance and cleaning
  • make sure the unit has an ongoing supply of gas/electricity, telephone services and water
  • provide the unit with furniture and equipment after consulting with the base school about any special requirements.

The regional health school staffs and operates the unit.

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