Auckland Grammar, Epsom Girls Grammar and Rangitoto College are among the first schools to join the scheme that will pay some teachers and principals more to raise achievement in groups of schools.
The Government announced the first 11 communities, or groups, of schools to join its $359 million Investing in Educational Success initiative.
Seven of the communities would be in the South Island and four in the North Island.
They included two groups in Napier, two in Auckland, three in Nelson and Marlborough, two in Canterbury, one on the West Coast, and one covering six area schools in Otago and Southland.
Move not prompted by money
Principal of Hampden Street School in Nelson Don McLean said money was not why his school opted into the $359 million scheme.
"We've got some great teachers in our school, and i know there's others in the cluster that are experts in their fields as teachers.
"Why should we have them just in our school?"