Te Kura- The Correspondence School

Te Kura logo

Te Kura (formally 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 us) or 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.

For a quick and easy way to see if your child is eligible to enrol at the school use Te Kura enrolment wizard:  www.tekura.school.nz/enrol-with-us/enrolment-eligibility-wizard

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 Toolkit section on www.tekura.school.nz/supervisor-toolkit.

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


Kylie Valentine

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

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