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Ministry of Education.

What to do when a new English language learner arrives?

Welcoming new families into your school provides the opportunity to gather rich information about English language learners in addition to information normally collected at enrolment. 

To ensure eligibility to enrol, the school will follow the procedure outlined in Ministry of Education Circular 2017/01  Eligibility to enrol in New Zealand schools

This circular is about the eligibility requirements for enrolment in New Zealand schools. It includes advice on verifying eVisas which in some cases have replaced Passport stamps; and changes to recording International Group Students for state and state-integrated schools.
This circular replaces 2012/01.

[Schools are required to] gather information that is sufficiently comprehensive to enable evaluation of student progress and achievement; to identify students and groups of students ... who are at risk of not achieving.


You can gather background information using a supplementary enrolment form to guide discussion: 

Additional guidance:

It is also good practice to find out about languages and culture:  

  • New to New Zealand (Scroll down page to heading “Books”) provides information about a range of ethnic groups living in New Zealand, including geography, history, religion, language and culture. Relevant pages can be given to students and teachers to support building of knowledge.
  • Cultural Villages helps students introduce their countries of origin or to support other students learning. This can be used as a model for students to create their own cultural village.

Updated on: 16 Apr 2019