Service academies are school-based initiatives that offer a combination of academic and military-focused education. The purpose of service academies is to:
The target student group for service academies is Years 12 and 13 students who are at risk of disengaging from school. Schools are able to enrol students in Year 11 who are turning 16 during the year and who would benefit from a military-focused programme.
Each service academy is provided with funding for 20 students to complete a 12‑month programme during which time students will be expected to:
The service academies were originally established by the Ministry of Social Development. The original focus was weighted towards social and employment outcomes for disengaged students. The Ministry of Education took over the funding and oversight of service academies in June 2010.
Sixteen service academies receive funding from the Ministry of Education. Eight of these were established in 2007 and 2008.
Another eight academies were established in 2010.
Schools operating service academies receive a grant of $90,000 each year. This funding is to:
Schools report to the Ministry of Education in milestone reports three times a year. The first two reports ask schools to report on aspects such as student numbers, the achievement of individual students to date and an outline of the military-focused courses completed so far. The end of year milestone report includes information about:
In addition to the service academies at the schools named above the Ministry has announced funding for an additional eight. Service academies are seen as one of the ways to keep more 16 and 17-year-olds engaged in education and training as part of Youth Guarantee.
Three additional services academies are funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). These academies, hosted by Opihi College, Greymouth High School and Logan Park High School, are not part of this evaluation.