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School system and qualifications

Types of schools

Schools in New Zealand are either state schools (where 85% of children go), state-integrated schools (which may be faith-based or use specialist teaching methods), or private schools.

Secondary school

(ages 13-18, years 9-13)

Intermediate school

(ages 11-12, years 7-8)

Primary school

(ages 5-10, years 1 - 6)

Brumi Bhatara Wongsoontorn from Thailand, father of two students at secondary school in New Zealand.

Secondary school qualifications

Secondary schools offer a great range of qualifications that are accepted by universities in New Zealand and around the world.


National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)


The Cambridge Examinations


International Baccalaureate (IB)

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