Northern Health School

The Northern Health School is one of three schools set up by the Ministry of Education to provide educational support for children with high health needs.

The school covers the northern part of the North Island from Whangarei to Rotorua, and New Plymouth to Gisborne. Trained teachers work with students in hospitals and in the community.

The school for Starship Child Health is on level three of the Starship building. The school also operates in the Child and Family Unit on level one, and in Ronald McDonald House.

What we do:

  • Establish whether children meet the school's eligibility criteria
  • Assess the education needs of students
  • Provide an educational programme tailored to meet these needs
  • Support the programme through regular contact using home visits, classroom or bedside teaching, post,  email and phone calls
  • Co-ordinate and liaise between students, parents, their regular school and any other services involved with the student
  • Assist the student to return to their regular school.

Referral Expectations

The school caters for children from year one to 13 who have been, or are expected to be, absent from their regular school for ten days or more due to illness.

They remain on the roll of their regular school while they are working with us and in most cases will transition back to their regular school as their medical situation allows.

After discharge from Starship hospital, children will need a specialist's medical certificate in order to qualify for a community health teacher.

This information has been provided by, helping people better understand and use New Zealand health services.