Te Kura (formerly The Correspondence School) provides distance learning for students of all levels in New Zealand.  Learn more about Te Kura and how it works.

About Te Kura : Who an enrol at Te Kura? : Who supervises my child while they learn? : Payment for supervision : Useful Websites

About Te Kura

Te Kura, formerly known as The Correspondence School, is a national school that provides distance learning programmes for students from early childhood to Year 13. Te Kura has almost 27,000 students enrolled during any one year, including adult students.

Te Kura was established in 1922 to provide education to students who were unable to attend school because of distance. Since then the school has enrolled students for a variety of other reasons and continues to play a vital part in the New Zealand education sector.

The school operates in partnership with students, whānau, schools and communities to provide personalised, authentic learning experiences for its full-time and young adult students (those aged 16 to 19).Teachers and learning advisors work alongside parents to support each student’s learning, helping them to achieve their educational and personal goals so they can participate effectively as members of their community.

Its authentic learning approach ensures students have learning programmes which are meaningful and relevant, and based on each student’s passions and goals.

Te Kura also supports schools to deliver a broad curriculum and specialist support to students in their community.

Its early childhood programme provides quality early childhood education to children who are unable to attend an early childhood education centre locally, either for reasons of distance and isolation or because demand exceeds the places available in their area.

There are many reasons a student may be enrolled with Te Kura rather than at a face-to-face school in their local community.

Students may:

•Live a long way from their nearest school

•Live overseas

•Have exceptional sporting or arts ability which means they cannot regularly attend school

•Have been excluded/expelled or alienated from a face-to-face school

•Have high health needs

•Have special needs

•Require curriculum adaptation

•Not be able to enrol in specific subjects at their regular school

•Be an adult wanting to learn or gain school qualifications.

 Who can enrol at Te Kura?


There are certain criteria a student must meet before they can enrol at Te Kura. These criteria are called ‘gateways’. Below is a list of the ‘gateways’ students can use to enrol in Te Kura.

Full-time students

Full-time students are those who are enrolled only with Te Kura (as opposed to dual-enrolled students who are enrolled at both a face-to-face school and Te Kura).

For full-time students the gateways for enrolment are:

Geographic isolation or inaccessibility

Student is unable to attend their local school because the family lives more than 3.2km from the nearest school or bus route (Years 1 – 8), or 4.8km or more if the child is Year 9 or older, or inaccessibility (due to travel hazards) prevents attendance at a local school.


Family intends to change location at least once each term and each change would require a change of school. The minimum enrolment period for this category is six months.

Young parents

Student is pregnant and/or has the primary responsibility for caring for their baby.

Exceptional arts and sports performance

Student is an elite athlete or sports-person, or outstanding actor or performer, or elite musician or dancer.

Excluded or expelled students

Student is excluded or expelled from school and cannot attend another. The Ministry of Education recommends the student’s enrolment with Te Kura.

Non-enrolled student

A non-enrolled student is one whom local schools are unwilling to enrol and who is unwilling to attend the local schools.

Child, Youth and Family enrolments

Student is in the custody/guardianship of the Child, Youth and Family service (CYF). CYF sends in an application for the student’s enrolment with us.

Psychological or psychosocial grounds

Student is unable to attend their local school due to their assessed psychological or psychosocial needs. A Group Special Education (GSE) psychologist assesses the student’s psychological or psychosocial needs, and GSE recommends the student’s enrolment with Te Kura.


Student is living overseas for at least six months and is unable to attend an overseas school full-time or cannot receive full tuition in an overseas school or requires tuition in New Zealand national qualification subjects. Applications for this enrolment category must be made within 12 months of departure from New Zealand.

Dual-enrolled students

Dual-enrolled students are enrolled at both a face-to-face school and Te Kura. This may be the case for several reasons. For the most up-to-date information about dual-enrolled students, refer to Te Kura’s website (Enrol with usor to the Ministry of Education’s enrolment policy for Te Kura via the link www.tekura.school.nz/enrol-with-us/who-can-enrol.

All of the enrolment gateways have criteria ‘pinned’ to them. Te Kura needs to be sure that each student meets the criteria prior to enrolling them. This often requires confirmation or referral from a school, organisation or professional that the student’s circumstances are such that it warrants their enrolment.

Who supervises my child while they learn?

It is not the expectation that your child will learn on their own without support. They need encouragement, direction and often focusing just as they would at a face-to-face school. This is the role of the “Supervisor”.

In many cases, a parent or family member supervises their student’s learning.  A supervisor is there to:

•Support the student as they develop skills and knowledge

•Encourage them to become an independent learner – (this means not doing everything for them)

•Encourage the student to take responsibility for their learning and schoolwork

•Help plan learning programmes for the student

•Check the students’ work before it is sent in for assessment to Te Kura.

There is a great deal of support available from Te Kura for supervisors. The school is able to explain how to go about your role as supervisor and give you tips and guidelines for carrying out the role to the best of your ability.

The school also has a Supervisor Support Advisor who is available by telephone and email to help supervisors of students from early childhood age to Year 13. It is her role to provide support and advice about a range of topics, such as motivating your student, helping them to establish routines, and setting up a suitable space for them to work.

For more information on the Supervisor read the concise Supervisor Essential section

Payment for supervision

The Government, via Te Kura, pays authorised supervisors of Te Kura students an allowance for supervision if certain requirements are met. The payment recognises that you supervise your student’s learning. Criteria for receiving this payment has to do with the student’s return of ‘assessable’ work.

Assessable work is work that is done by the student that directly relates to the courses or programmes they are enrolled in. The work needs to show continued progress towards the learning goals set for the student at the beginning of the year.

Students must also meet all of the following criteria:

  • live in New Zealand
  • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • be enrolled with us as a full-time student
  • have been enrolled for at least 10 consecutive weeks during the payment period
  • be aged between 5 and 19 years old (21 years old for ORRS students)
  • be in contact with their teacher or learning advisor and returning completed course work at least every month, either by post or electronically.

At the time of writing, the amount of the payment was:

•First child $380

•Second child $323

•Third child $266.50

•Fourth & subsequent children $190

This payment is made twice a year. For more detailed information about the Supervisor payment system visit www.tekura.school.nz/supervisor-toolkit/supervisor-payment.

Useful Websites


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Kylie Valentine is a qualified secondary school teacher, trained journalist, and the mum of two fabulous children.

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What courses do you offer adults?

Janine grant

Is dance taught as an ncea subject?


You have an error on your front page, which leaves a bad impression, but got us laughing as we noticed it. I realise it’s not reflective of the quality of the courses you offer but you really should correct it. The first sentence is “Te Kura (formally The Correspondence School)” should read “formerly” not “formally”.

Jarrod Rendle

Oh gosh, thanks so much for spotting! — Kiwi Families


My daughter is 13 – year 9. she has suffered depression and anxiety and we have trouble getting her to school. Once there she is fine but her anxiety stops her form getting ready for school as she worries. Is she able to do home learning so that she doesnt miss out on school work

Jarrod Rendle

You can certainly provide your daughter with extra work at home, so that she is learning at both school and home. However, your daughter must go to school as it’s the law. Remember that under the Education Act, every child between the ages of six and 16 must attend school, unless they’re sick, have suffered a family bereavement, or have some other compelling reason for being away. There is an option for part correspondence, part schooling. But this is by exception and usually for a child who’ll be out of school for a whole term or more. If you haven’t… Read more »


Kia ora I was just reaching out to see how I go about home schooling my 9 Yr old and 11yr old as we live around tauroa point a few km from ahipara plz help as I would really live to get them registered and start schooling asap

Jarrod Rendle

They definitely need to be enrolled in school, as it’s the law, check out the requirements for Te Kura here: https://www.tekura.school.nz/learn-with-us/enrol/who-can-enrol/ — Kiwi Families


Do I have a comment? Yeah, there are no provisions for children who are housebound through long term sickness under ‘Fulltime Student’.
Why are these children excluded?
I cannot afford to pay the $500 a year to the school to have her enrolled as a ‘Dual Enrolled Student’. That doesn’t make financial sense as she will NOT be getting the full benifits that she would if she were physically at school.

Stephanie Mcgrath

I have sent you a gateway referral for Noah Morrison and have not heard anything back Could you please complete and return

Jarrod Rendle

Hi Stephanie, this is the Kiwi Families website. You’ll need to make contact with Te Kura directly to follow this up. Cheers — Jarrod


My daughter was educated through Te Kura from year 1 to OCEA levels. We are First Nations And we found the teaching style and our teachers worked really well for us. One of my friends is considering home based learning for his daughter and I recommended he look into Te Kura, do you still take foreign students?

Mike Sf

last comments on this article are 3 yrs old -is this article still current ? just wondering ,on the linked website i cant (yet)find anything about regular school age schooling .just links to specialized courses


Hi there, My son is 5, nearly 6, and has been getting bullied by a group of Boys from the start. From following him swearing at him, poking his back and laughing when he asks them to stop, calling him names, just nasty stuff m this year he has been placed in a class with two of the boys and when I asked how his first say back at school was he told me the boys where following him and being mean etc. as a mum it breaks my heart and I’m sick of it, I Have a lot of… Read more »

Rochelle Gribble

Hi Kim,

So sorry to hear that you and your son are having a tough time. I can’t say whether he would be eligible, I’m afraid – the best thing to do is contact Te Kura directly: http://www.tekura.school.nz/ In order to home school, you would also have to apply for an exemption from the MOE. There’s some good information about home schooling here: http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/articles/things-to-consider-when-deciding-to-homeschool/

Good luck!



Hi, I was a student at the correspondence school for about 2 years as a teenager, I really liked the learning style and subjects I was able to learn. I have an 8 year old daughter who attends a public school but is very, very quiet, she seems to be so quiet she is sometimes overlooked in class. She hasn’t had a school certificate to acknowledge her work in over a year – although I know she is clever, I think her quietness contributes to her being overlooked. Is there any way I could get her enrolled? She is always… Read more »

Rochelle Gribble

Hi Kim, Oh sorry to hear that! Tough for you and your daughter. If you’d like to home school, you first need to seek an exemption from the Ministry of Education. You can contact them through your local office. I’d also really recommend contacting one of the home schooling associations above as they have a great deal of experience in this area. Good luck! Rochelle

Rochelle Gribble

Sorry – you can find the home schooling material here: http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/articles/home-schooling/


Good day, I am a new zealander who has been working overseas since 1999. My daughter was born overseas but holds a New zealand passport too. i wish her to learn the New Zealand curriculum while we live overseas. I am not sure when I wi ll be back to live in New zealand. Currently I come once a year during my annual leave only. Is it possible to enrol my daughter( born 03-03-2008) in correspondence school in NZ. What if after 5 years of enrolling her, we continue working& living overseas ? The schools where we are now are… Read more »

Rochelle Gribble

Hi Hamesh,

You will need to contact Te Kura directly about this – their website is http://www.tekura.school.nz

Good luck,


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