New Zealand Embassy Brasilia, Brazil

Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary

The Ministry of Education administers education in New Zealand from early childhood through to tertiary study.

In general, New Zealand children start school at age five. It is very common for New Zealand children to have been to some form of early childhood education before they start school.

The first six years of school are generally spent at primary school. At around age 11 children will progress to an intermediate school or middle school. Secondary school generally starts around age 13, with students finishing secondary school at age 17 or 18.

Area schools, generally found in rural areas, provide for students from the time they start school until they leave school in their teens.

Detailed information on curriculum, schools and school terms can be found on the Ministry of Education [external link]website or

The Education Review Office is the government department which reports publicly on the quality of education in all New Zealand schools and early childhood centers, including private schools, kura kaupapa Maori (Maori language immersion schools), special schools, and kohanga reo (Maori language early childhood centers).

It is possible to read reports on schools that you are interested in or to look at the schools that have been reviewed in a particular location.

If the school that you are interested is not shown on the website, you can request the report directly from the closest local area office of the Education Review Office.

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