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Services academies

Services academies are military-focused programmes delivered within secondary schools.

The purpose of a services academy is to:

  • encourage students to stay engaged in learning by providing a motivating and disciplined programme;
  • help students to gain improved qualifications and help them prepare to move successfully into the workforce or further education and training.

Target student group

The target student group is year 12 and 13 students (in particular Māori and Pasifika boys) who are at risk of disengaging or have disengaged from school. Schools will also be able to enrol students in year 11 who would benefit from a military-focused programme. Students will be enrolled as full-time students in the Services Academy schools.


Schools who are operating Services' Academies will receive a grant of $90,000 each year to support the Services Academy. This funding is to:

  • employ an Academy Director to run the Academy. The Academy Director will be employed by the school Board and report to the Principal;
  • cover costs of uniforms, travel to courses and purchasing additional courses for students.

In addition to the school funding, the Ministry of Education contracts the New Zealand Defence Force to provide courses for Services Academy students.


Each services academy will offer around 20 students a twelve-month programme. Students will be expected to:

  • work towards NCEA Level 2 and attain a minimum of NCEA Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy, as well as other credits from the National Qualifications Framework appropriate to their interests and career choices;
  • participate in a range of motivating and challenging learning experiences provided in association with the New Zealand Defence Force's youth development unit. These include a two week induction course, a leadership course and advanced leadership course, a coast to coast course and other outdoor based activities.

Services academy schools

The following is a list of schools that currently operate services academies:

Aurora College Invercargill
Flaxmere College Hastings
Gisborne Girls’ High School Gisborne
Glenfield College Auckland (Northshore)
Greymouth High School Greymouth
Haeata Community College Christchurch
Horowhenua College Levin
Huntly College Huntly
James Cook High School Auckland
Kaitaia College Kaitaia
Kelston Boys’ High School Auckland
Murupara Area School  Murupara
Northland College Northland
Trident High School Whakatane
Makoura College Masterton
Mana College Porirua
Naenae College  Lower Hutt
Onehunga High School Auckland
Otahuhu College Auckland
Queen Elizabeth College Palmerston North
St Paul’s College Auckland
Tamaki College Auckland
Tangaroa College Auckland
Tikipunga High School Whangarei
Tokoroa High School Tokoroa
Tongariro School Turangi
Wairoa College Wairoa
Waitakere College Waitakere
Whanganui City College Whanganui

For more information about joining a service academy, please contact the schools directly.

For more information about service academies in general, please email service.academies@education.govt.nz .