News, Events and Culture

Schools in Palmerston North

Monday August 11 2014


School is compulsory from age 6-16.

In Palmerston North most children:

  • start school at age 5
  • spend the first 6 school years at primary school, then 2 years at intermediate school and up to 5 years at high school
  • attend publicly funded schools, known as state schools.

Use links to:

  • search for schools in your area
  • find out whether you meet their zoning requirements (if they have any)
  • assess the quality of schools.

Immigration Department's education guide for migrants (external website)

Ministry of Education: Our education system (external website)

Schedule of New Zealand school terms and holidays (external website)

New Zealand Qualifications Authority explains the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) (external website)

Schools in Palmerston North

Finding information about schools in Palmerston North

Ministry of Education (external website)

Sportsfields, playgrounds and swimming pools

Palmerston North schools have abundant space for sports.  Children are free to play outside during breaks and lunchtimes.  Most schools have swimming pools and teach students to swim.

On-Road safety Around Schools

Before and after school, teachers and children operate authorised school patrols at designated road crossings for pedestrians.  Local police provide Education Officers who actively train the school staffing teams and nominated students to safely operate the authorised facilities.

The Police Education Officers also provide cycle handling skills education to students as requested by individual schools board of trustees. Annually the Police will run a regional cycling competition, Young Cyclist of the Year, to test students road skills that are learned during these sessions.

Police work collaboratively with PNCC to ensure all on road facilities are safe and suitable for users of varying abilities.

School costs in Palmerston North


You must provide your child a daily lunch to take to school.  Many students also bring a drink and morning snack.  Some schools have canteens that sell food.


Most schools charge school and activity fees.  Field trips may cost extra.  Schools may provide stationery (exercise books, pencils, etc.) or give you a list of stationery items to purchase.


Many schools, especially intermediate and high schools, require uniforms.  Enquire about buying second-hand uniforms.


Many students in Palmerston North walk, bicycle or bus to school.  Some parents drive their children to school.  Some schools provide special buses, or arrange for groups of children to walk together with an adult.

Get involved in your child's education

Palmerston North schools welcome parents' involvement in education.

Your time and skills are needed! Ask schools if you can:

  • join a parent organisation or board of trustees
  • help with sports coaching or fundraising
  • help with projects, for example on healthy eating or environmental action.

Team Up website - encouraging parental involvement in education (external website)

Schedule of school terms and holidays (external website)