Enrol in a School

Choosing the right school for your child is exciting, full of hope and promise, and at times daunting. Many children have the option of more than one local school to go to. If you do have options, then choosing the right school for your child is important and can make a big difference to their happiness and wellbeing, as well as how well they do at school. One such choice is a Catholic education.

The principal handles enrolment in a Catholic School. If a child is to be a preference student, he or she must obtain a signed preference certificate. These certificates can be and must be signed by your parish priest or Bishops agent (see below for information on who these people are).

Catholic Schools in New Zealand have a maximum roll which is a number established by the Proprietor and agreed to by Government as to the number of students a school can legally enrol. Of this maximum roll a Catholic school can legally enrol only a small percentage (normally 5%) of non-preference students. The other 95% must be preference students.

Criteria for Preference of Enrolment in Catholic-Integrated Schools

  • The child has been baptised or is being prepared for baptism in the Catholic Church.
  • The child’s parents/guardians have already allowed one or more of its siblings to be baptised in the Catholic faith.
  • At least one parent/guardian is a Catholic, and although their child has not yet been baptised, the child’s participation in the life of the school could lead to the parents having the child baptised.
  • With the agreement of the child’s parent/guardian, a significant familial adult such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle who is actively involved in the child’s upbringing undertakes to support the child’s formation in the faith and practices of the Catholic Church.
  • One or both of a child’s non-Catholic parents/guardians is preparing to become a Catholic.

For more information contact the Diocesan Catholic Education Office:

Teresa Edwards
[email protected]
06 354 1780 ext 853

Agents of the Bishop, who may sign preference certificates on his behalf:

  • Parish Priests
  • Assistant Priests
  • Priests appointed under canon 517/1
  • Deacons and lay persons appointed to pastoral care under canon 517/2
  • Ethnic chaplains who liaise with parish priests or their delegate
  • Local committees appointed by the Bishop or by any of the above agents of the Bishop.


Contact your local Catholic school for more information.

Have a question? We can help. Get in touch with the Diocese.