Concept

Secondary education in New Zealand

Summary
Secondary education in New Zealand takes up to five years, covering the ages 13 to 18, corresponding to the school years 9 to 13. In 1940, there were 156 schools in New Zealand offering secondary education: 39 secondary schools, 96 district high schools, and 21 technical high schools. In 1944, the school leaving age was raised from 14 to 15. At the same time, a gradual move started away from separate secondary schools and technical high schools toward comprehensive secondary schools serving both, and district high schools started falling out of favour to separate secondary schools. Combined with the post-World War II baby boom, the number of secondary students swelled and a large number of new secondary schools had to be built. To save construction time and costs, most secondary schools built in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were built to standard plans. By 1960, the number of secondary students had tripled from 39,000 to 140,000, and the number of secondary schools had increased to 239, comprising 102 secondary schools, 96 district high schools, and 41 technical high schools. By 1980, there were 265 secondary schools and 35 district high schools, with technical high schools having been completely phased out. In 1989, the school leaving age was raised to the present age of 16. Also in 1989, the Tomorrow's Schools reform was implemented, moving the governance of secondary schools from district education boards to individual school communities through elected boards of trustees. There are three types of school: state, private (or registered or independent) and state integrated schools. State and state integrated schools are government funded. Private schools receive about 25% of their funding from the government, and rely on tuition fees for the rest. State integrated schools are former private schools which are now "integrated" into the state system under the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975 "on a basis which will preserve and safeguard the special character of the education provided by them".
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