Purpose of the Services Academies programme

  • Raise student achievement at NCEA level 2 or higher.
  • Ensure student achievement of level 1 literacy and numeracy at a minimum.
  • Motivate students to stay engaged in learning and training by providing them with the skills and experience to make good decisions about their future.
  • Prepare students to transition into tertiary education, vocational training or employment.
  • Support students to develop their self-confidence through participation in youth life skills and leadership courses.
  • Ensure students are provided with opportunities to develop their sense of identity, language and culture.
  • Improve student attendance at school.
  • Allow students to set goals in relation to their education, well-being, and future pathways in tertiary education, vocational training and employment. 

It is expected that students enrolled in the Services Academies’ programme will achieve the following outcome(s):

  • NCEA level 1 literacy and numeracy as a minimum
  • an NCEA level 2 or higher qualification
  • remain in secondary school education or transition to tertiary education, vocational training or employment
  • demonstrate improved self-confidence and motivation in terms of their decision-making about their future.

You can find more information about service academies on the TKI website. Some additional content is also included in the sections below.

For more information please email service.academies@education.govt.nz 

Target Student Group

The target student group is year 12 and 13 ākonga/students (in particular Māori and Pacific). Schools will also be able to enrol ākonga in year 11 who would benefit from the focused programme. Ākonga will be enrolled as full-time in the Services Academy schools.

Ākonga participating in the Services Academy will come from a range of student groups with similar aims and future aspirations. Some may already aspire to a career in the Defence Force or other uniform service, others will be seeking to enhance their life and leadership skills, and many enrolments will also be ākonga who would benefit from education opportunities outside the classroom.


Schools who are operating Services' Academies will receive a grant of $95,000 (increased from $90,000 in 2019) 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.

There is currently no available budget to support the establishment of any new Services Academies. If your school is interested in establishing a Services Academy in the future please contact Service.Academies@education.govt.nz.


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.

Current Services Academy Schools