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Education and Schools in New Zealand
In most circumstances, your children will attend the local school they are zoned for. If you choose to live outside the zone of your preferred school, your children may not get places - particularly if the school is a popular one with a reputation for high standards. Spare places at popular schools are allocated by ballot. Exceptions to zoning may include attendance at a school with a special character - such as a religious school.

School rules are set by the Board of Governors. The Board is elected by parents. School rules usually mean that school-uniform is compulsory at secondary school. In addition to wearing the uniform, pupils / students usually must not wear make-up, jewellery, unusual hair colourings, nose-piercings, etc.

In addition to the state sector, there is also a flourishing private education sector.
Children who attend any of the better state schools in New Zealand receive a very good education.
Most children start Year 1 on their fifth birthday.
Primary schools teach Year 1 to Year 6 children.
Intermediate schools teach Years 7 and 8.
"Full Primaries" teach Year 1 to Year 8 children.
Secondary schools teach Year 9 to Year 13.

Education / School Costs in New Zealand
State education in New Zealand is meant to be free of charge. In reality, however, there are costs.
You need to pay for your children’s' school uniforms, pencils, pens, glue-sticks, stationary etc. Text-books can be provided free of charge, unless their use involves writing on them and they cannot be returned to the school. Some schools charge for textbooks.

Most state schools charge a fee of somewhere around $100 - $200 per year per child, although some charge considerably more than this. Although payment of the fee is voluntary, most parents pay. The fee pays for extra resources for your children's school, photocopying, etc and it is tax-deductible.

The New Zealand government provides more money to schools in socially deprived areas than it does to schools in better-o_ areas. The result of this is that, in order to make ends meet, schools in better-off areas tend to charge higher "voluntary" fees than schools in low socio-economic areas.