The Government expects to decide by early next year if it will build any schools using public-private partnerships.
Infrastructure Minister Bill English says an initial investigation found such partnerships for building schools would deliver only modest savings.
But, he says, the Government will now move to a second-stage business case to examine the idea further.
He says the arrangement could be used to improve asset management in the public sector in general.
Mr English says the stage-two business case will consider which schools might be built using the partnerships.
Education Minister Anne Tolley says they could provide education benefits by freeing principals and school trustees from property management.
She says the Government has a list of schools that might be built using the partnerships and it would be refined during the second-stage business case.