What age do children start school in NZ? Does the term begin in January?
They start at age 5. The new school year begins February.
School term begins generally at the very end of January or the beginning of February each year depending on the school. For a lot of other information regarding schooling etc, have a look at this link https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/education/school-system
Although some schools had previously adopted cohort entry, they hadn’t been able to enforce it. Parents could continue to enrol their child on their fifth birthday or any subsequent day. The Act was therefore amended in 2017 to enable State and State-integrated schools to fully adopt cohort entry following consultation with their community. (Refer to sections 5a–5c).
In 2019, for schools with a cohort entry policy, new entrants can start school as part of a cohort at the beginning of the term closest to their fifth birthday rather than on their fifth birthday or soon afterwards.
From 1 January 2020, changes made to the Act (through the Education Amendment Act 2019) take effect so that:
- children will be able start school in cohorts but only after they have turned 5
- there will be 2 entry points per term, one on the first day of term, and one at a mid-point during a term.
This means that from 1 January 2020, students under 5 will no longer be able to attend school as a part of a cohort. If a school adopts a new cohort entry policy, only children over 5 will be able to start school on the first day of term, or at a mid-point during a term.