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Education and English classes

By law, parents must send their children to school from ages six to 16, unless they have obtained permission from the Ministry of Education to homeschool.

You can enrol your child from age five, but keep in mind that once they are enrolled, they must go to school.

Contact your school to talk about uniforms and devices (laptops, tablets, etc.) your child may need and let them know if you require some economic support to acquire these, they will give you options.

Pre-school age children (under five years old) can be enrolled at kindergartens, playcentres and childcare facilities. Between the ages of three and five, your child may be eligible for 20 hours per week of free early childhood education.

Talk to staff at your early childhood education centre to find out more.

To find a list of these centres, have a look at the Early Childhood Education tab on the Citizens Advice Bureau community directory

There are 19 primary schools located throughout Ashburton District, ranging from large to small, town and rural. Some schools are full primary which offer education from years 1 to 8 and others offer education from years 1 to 6 only. Children are legally required to begin primary school by age five.

Primary schools in Ashburton are zoned, which means that your child is guaranteed to get a place at your nearest school. If you want your child to go to a school outside the area where you live, you may have to apply, and a place isn't guaranteed.

Get in touch with schools at least six months before your child turns six, to ensure they visit the school and are ready to start after their sixth birthday.

For a list of schools visit CAB's directory

Ashburton Intermediate School covers years 7 and 8 of primary education.  If your child's primary school doesn't have years 7 and 8, your child should attend Intermediate School.

To get in touch, visit their website.

There are three secondary schools in Ashburton District. Ashburton College is a co-educational secondary school for years 9 to 13 located in Ashburton.

Mount Hutt College is a co-educational secondary school for years 9 to 13 which is located in Methven.

Ashburton Christian School is a state integrated school taking children to year 13 and is un-zoned.  They give preference to children whose parents have established a particular or general religious connection.  Get in touch with them to book an interview.

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the secondary school qualification in New Zealand for students in Year 11-13. It is widely accepted by employers in New Zealand and internationally.

To learn more about NCEA and how it works, visit the Ministry of Education's website

Adult and community education

ARA Institute of Canterbury | Te Pūkenga has a campus in Ashburton offering a wide range of subjects with National Certificates and Diplomas.

Other nearby tertiary educational institutes are the University of Canterbury – Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha in Christchurch and Lincoln University – Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki, in Lincoln.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

ESOL classes are available for people who want to improve their English. Education providers will have ESOL available for school children.  English classes are free for residents and citizens.

Ashburton Learning Centre

ESOL classes for adult learners are run by the Ashburton Learning Centre The Centre is located on the corner of Park and Havelock Streets, Ashburton.

ARA|Te Pūkenga

They are a tertiary institute, offering practical, industry recognised qualifications. ARA offers a range of programmes that provide students with English for general purposes, exam preparation or preparation for further academic study.  They also offer customised group programmes for groups of students with specific areas of interest.

To get in touch you can visit their website email call 03 940 8000 or visit them at 37 Alford Forest Road,

English Language Partners

They offer online classes, and you can learn English for work, everyday life and academic study.  They offer part-time classes and cater to all levels.

To get in touch you can visit English Language Partners or call 03 688 9030.

Ashburton Public Library

The Ashburton Public Library offers a free tool called Clarity English to practice and improve your English skills.  All you need is your library card and headphones, if you have them, or buy a pair from the library counter for a small fee.  You can bring your own laptop or use the free computers available at the library. It is located on 2 Baring Square East, Ashburton.

It is an organisation that offers a programme with about 40 educational events during the year, and created a website where you can find learning events happening in the district.  The aim is that through the programme and website all residents in the district can easily find opportunities to 'Keep Learning'.

These events are open to the whole community, usually run by professionals or volunteers with expertise and a willingness to share their passion. They are often free or have a small fee to cover expenses.

Visit to find out more.