Bilingual education study award


A Bilingual Education Study Award is an opportunity for a teacher or principal to improve their proficiency in te reo Māori me ōna tikanga Māori and develop their skills as a bilingual or immersion teacher.

The study award provides paid leave to study for one year, and a contribution of up to $2000 towards course fees. You will receive your normal salary while on study leave. This includes permanent salary units and allowances. You need to check with your principal whether any fixed term units and allowances will be paid while you are on leave. The study award funds relief costs to your school or ECE centre while you are on leave.

There are 24 full-time teacher equivalent awards (FTTE) study awards available to teachers and principals in early childhood, primary or secondary education.

Applications for the 2023 Bilingual Education Study Award are now closed. Notifications will be sent on 26 October 2022.

Am I eligible for a Bilingual Education study award?

To be eligible for a Bilingual Education Study Award, you must: 

  • be fully registered as an early childhood, primary or secondary teacher
  • be permanently employed in a kōhanga Reo, ngā puna kōhungahunga, puna reo, licensed ECE service or a state or state integrated school as a Māori medium immersion or bilingual teacher
  • have proficiency in te reo Māori
  • have teaching experience in immersion and bilingual settings
  • be committed to developing your skills as a Māori medium or bilingual teacher
  • provide evidence in your application that you have the approval and support of your employer. 

This year, priority will be given to teachers and principals employed in immersion settings level 1 (te reo Māori use 81-100% of the time) and level 2 (te reo Māori use 51-80% of the time).

If you are employed part-time, you may still apply for a study award, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Your award will be pro-rated to your current full-time teaching equivalent (FTTE). Study leave can be used flexibly, so you will need to let your employer know how this affects your teaching time.

If your registration is subject to confirmation, you may apply if you will be fully registered by the December prior to starting your study. Please contact us if your registration status changes at any time.

If you are a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB), who works in a number of schools, please ask the principal or board of trustees from your lead school to support your application.

You can apply to study more than one qualification in a year, eg complete your post-graduate qualification and start working towards your masters. You will need to provide information on both courses in your study plan.

You can change your course of study after submitting your application, but not substantially. You will need to notify us in writing with the reason for the change, which will have to be approved.

You cannot undertake a study award at the same time as being appointed to a Community of Learning/Kāhui Ako (across community) Teacher role.

Assessment criteria

Your application will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Current percentage of time spent teaching in a reo Māori immersion classroom
  • Potential benefit to your learners from your study, particularly in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori
  • The quality of your application and study plan
  • Previous supported study leave, such as study awards, sabbaticals, fellowships or prestigious awards. A study support grant is not considered supported leave.

Preference is given to applicants who have not had study leave in the last five years, although study to complete a qualification will be considered.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact TeachNZ by calling 0800 165 225 or emailing


New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand