When should I enrol my child to go to school?

Your child can start school or kura in New Zealand between age five and six. All children must be enrolled at school by their sixth birthday.

When your child has started at school or kura, they must go to school every day. This is a change from the earlier rule, where regular attendance was required only from age six.

Enrolling early helps the school or kura with their planning. As soon as you've decided on a school or kura get in touch with them to enrol your child, arrange a time for your child to start and arrange some visits to get your child used to school or kura.

Cohort entry

If the school your child is going to has cohort entry, new entrants will start in groups throughout the year, up until they turn six.

From 2020, new entrants will only be able to start school after they have turned five, and there will be two entry points per term (beginning and mid-point). Schools adopting cohort entry need to consult with their communities first.

Read more about cohort entry and other changes to the Education Act

(external link)

Changing schools

If your child is changing school or kura for any reason, you need to let the school know they are leaving and which school they will be going to, and make sure they are enrolled in their new school. This includes moving to a new primary school, kura, intermediate or secondary school.

Once your child is enrolled at a new school, all their personal records will be sent from the previous one.

How do I enrol my child? What paperwork do I need to provide?

You enrol directly with the school or kura. Contact them to find out their enrolment process, and to get their enrolment forms.

Documents for enrolling

Check with the school or kura to see what paperwork they want. They will want things like: