Appendix 2: Expectations of Service Academies

The following table is taken from the Memorandum of Understanding between schools and the Ministry regarding the expectations for the provision of service academies for 2010 and 2011.

Service Academies in schools - 2010 and 2011 

Service Academies are military focused programmes in schools. They are about creating opportunities for young people who might otherwise leave school and find it difficult to find a job or continue with their education.

Expected Outcomes

Students enrolled in the Service Academy are expected to:

  • work towards and attain NCEA Level 1 Mathematics and English as a very minimum, as well as other appropriate credits from the National Qualifications Framework.
  • return to mainstream education, go on to tertiary education or gain sustainable employment (this may be in the Services but could also be in other areas of employment) on completion of the programme.


The intention is that selection of students for Service Academies will give priority to Year 12 and 13 students who are disengaging, at risk of disengaging or have disengaged from education and would benefit from a disciplined military-focused programme.

Note that school principals and academy directors would have discretion to decide whether other students turning 16 during the year, at their school, or from their community, would benefit from the Service Academy programme.

Service Academies should accommodate up to 20 students.

Note that schools may choose to recruit additional students but there will be no additional funding provided for these students.

Schools will have the discretion to re-fill places if students decide to withdraw from the programme during the year.


Students enrolled in the academy will:

  • be enrolled full time at the Service Academy school
  • continue to attend school full time, primarily on the school site.

When students do external training courses, such as the induction course at the Military base, boards of trustees can use section 71 of the Education Act 1989 to approve this. This section allows boards to approve students undertaking courses or making visits outside school premises.

Programme structure

The Service Academy will offer a twelve month programme, broken down as follows:

  • At least one third of students’ time is to be spent on curriculum subjects including English and Mathematics, and other subjects appropriate to the needs of individual students and which will provide credits from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • Another third of students’ time will be spent on military-focused courses and activities. These courses include the military Youth Life Skills programme provided by the New Zealand Defence Force.
  • Schools will have the discretion to manage the remaining third of students’ time for either subject classes or military-focused courses to suit the needs of the students.

The Academy Director will develop and maintain an individual assessment plan for each course participant in the Service Academy, outlining:

  • expected outcomes for the individual students
  • each student’s aspirations and expected goals
  • a clear career pathway at the completion of the programme

The Academy Director will also develop a Progress Report template that will clearly outline;

  • the participants’ development pathway
  • the participants’ goals
  • the participants’ learning needs as they arise
  • any barriers that arise for the participants and how these will be addressed
  • any qualifications or external programmes that the participant has completed.

Student achievement will continue to be reported through the normal channels used for all other students at the school. Likewise, reporting to parents, caregivers, family and whanau will be conducted in the same manner as the school uses for all other students.


The school will employ a full time Academy Director who will report to the principal and be responsible for running the programme. The Director should have a military background and have experience working with young people.

Note that schools may choose to employ an assistant director to assist with running the programme.

If the Service Academy staff are not registered teachers, schools will need to apply for a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) from the New Zealand Teachers Council.

The Course Director’s duties and responsibilities, as a minimum, must include:

  • Development and implementation of the Academy training programme.
  • Oversight and management of the day to day activities of any staff assigned to the Academy.
  • Provision of mentoring, development and leadership for the students of the Academy.
  • Development and maintenance of individual plans for students.
  • Provision of pastoral care to the students for the duration of the course.
  • Establishment and maintenance of appropriate working relationships with New Zealand Defence Force staff.
  • Management of all safety, health and well being requirements associated with any programmes the academy runs including compliance with all health and safety regulations.


Schools will provide a classroom specifically for the Service Academy students.

Access to a gymnasium should also be available.


The Ministry of Education will fund each Service Academy at the rate of $90,000 per full calendar year. Funding will be available as part of the student entitlement paid quarterly to schools.

It is anticipated that the funding is used to fund the costs of:

  • a full time Director for the academy
  • transport to Service Academy related courses
  • uniforms
  • relevant courses purchased for students at the academy.