Your child can attend primary and secondary schools as a domestic student if they are:
- a New Zealand resident or permanent resident
- a New Zealand citizen (includes Tokelauans, Cook Islanders and Niueans), or
- a student visa holder based on your temporary work visa.
Students who are not eligible to enrol as domestic students may be able to enrol as international students.
Early childhood education
There are around 500 options for early childhood education (ECE) in the Canterbury Region.
There are many different types of early childhood services, including teacher-led and parent-led services.
The Ministry of Education has a guide for parents explaining the differences between the various ECE styles.
Early childhood education providers are listed on the Education Counts website.
Playgroups are informal sessions where caregivers and children aged 0-5 meet together in a relaxed environment. In a playgroup, parents and caregivers stay to interact with the other adults and to play with the children.
Playgroups are usually set up and run by parents and caregivers, with children choosing from a range of activities. Activities at playgroup are either free or low cost, and may include music and singing, imaginative play, outdoor and free play, or arts and crafts.
Primary and secondary school
Schooling is compulsory from age 6–16.
The education system for schools is made up of 13 Year levels. Primary education starts at Year 1 and goes to Year 8 (around 5–12 years of age). Secondary education goes from Year 9 to Year 13 (around 13–17 years of age).
Find a school
There are around 300 primary and secondary schools in Canterbury.
Children usually attend a school in the area where they live, this is called a 'zone'. Many schools in New Zealand limit enrolments to students who live in their zone. However, some school don't have zones.
You can find information about the schools in the region, a link to their Education Review Office report, and their zone on the Education Counts website.
You can also search for specific requirements, including if a school is single sex or co-educational, or has boarding facilities for students.
There are many tertiary education options in Canterbury.
There are two universities in the region, University of Canterbury and Lincoln University, a specialist land-based university.
Other tertiary options include Ara Institute of Canterbury, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and a number of English language institutes.
Adult Community Education
There are a number of adult and community education programmes run through the Christchurch City Libraries.