The national student number is a unique education number allocated to all children when they enrol with an education provider. This isn’t something new - it currently happens when each child starts school and is used throughout their education for funding and research purposes. National student numbers are in use already in primary, secondary and tertiary education.
From 2013 every child will automatically be allocated a national student number when they enrol in an early childhood education service. The same number will continue to be used when your child enrols at school.
National student numbers are needed in order to introduce the early learning information system.
The early learning information (ELI) system is an electronic information system for early childhood education. It is being introduced in late 2013 to replace current paper-based ways of gathering information for monitoring, research and funding purposes.
ELI will enable information to be collected by each ECE service and submitted to the Ministry of Education. This information will be about where, how often and how long children attend early childhood education.
The law limits access to the information collected. Only authorised users such as early childhood education services, schools and the Ministry of Education will be allowed access.
The Education Act permits the national student number to be used for the following purposes only:
(Education Act 1989 (section 344))