Enrolment schemes and legislation

State-integrated schools, kura kaupapa Māori and designated character schools (s156)

The Education Amendment Act 2010, has changed the requirements contained in s11F of the Education Act 1989 ("the Act") around the selection of applicants that live outside the home zone.

Section 11 of the Education Act 1989 provides the legislative framework under which a board of trustees may develop, implement and operate an enrolment scheme.

The Education Amendment Act 2010

For state non integrated schools the change only affects students not living in a school's home zone. The selection of applicants in section 11F has changed and new priority categories have been included.

s11F - How to select applicants who live outside home zone

  1. The order of priority in which applicants who live outside a school's home zone are to be offered places at the school is as follows:
    1. first priority must be given to any applicant who is accepted for enrolment in a special programme run by the school:
    2. second priority must be given to any applicant who is the sibling of a current student of the school:
    3. third priority must be given to any student who is the sibling of a former student of the school:
    4. fourth priority must be given to any applicant who is a child of a former student of the school*:
    5. fifth priority must be given to any applicant who is either a child of an employee of the board of the school or a child of a member of the board of the school*:
    6. sixth priority must be given to all other applicants*.
  2. If there are more applicants in the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth priority groups than there are places available, selection within the priority group must be by ballot conducted in accordance with instructions issued by the Secretary under section 11G.

* New priority category

State integrated schools with enrolment schemes

All enrolment schemes are required to comply with certain purposes and principles expressed in the Education Act 1989.

State integrated schools, kura kaupapa Māori (s155) and designated character schools (s156) have more flexibility in applying the purposes and principles to their enrolment scheme than other state schools.

The first requirement for enrolment at a state integrated school must be the ability to show that a student qualifies for enrolment in terms of the school’s special character (has "preference"), as specified in the school’s integration agreement.

The board of a kura kaupapa Māori (s155) may refuse to enrol any person whose parents do not accept that the school operates in accordance with Te Aho Matua.

The board of a designated character school (s156) may refuse the enrolment of any person whose parents do not accept the aims, purposes, and objectives that constitute the school's designated character.

Otherwise all boards without an enrolment scheme must accept students on a first come first enrolled basis.

An enrolment scheme for these schools:

  • need not define a home zone for the school (but may)
  • need not provide for balloting of applicants (but may, and this the most transparent and fair method for selecting from within a priority group)
  • must always accord priority to applicants for whom the school is a reasonably convenient school.

Beyond this a board may wish to develop other priority categories, each with its own criteria attached. Some geographical or other similarly specific criteria (eg, parish connections) are needed with high priority within the scheme to ensure that priority is accorded to applicants for whom the school is a reasonably convenient school.

The change in legislation means that the Ministry is likely to look favourably on requests to amend enrolment schemes to include:

  • applicants who are a child of a former student of the school
  • applicants who are either a child of an employee of the board of the school or a child of a member of the board of the school.

If proposed, these should be later priorities within a scheme as all schemes must accord priority to applicants for whom the school is a reasonably convenient school.

Any board of trustees of a these schools that wishes its scheme to include the new priorities will need to contact the Ministry of Education to request a major amendment to its enrolment scheme.

 

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