Last updated on February 1, 2024 at 02:23 pm

From 1 February 2024, Google, Yahoo and Xtra email services will require bulk email senders to have additional email security protocols in place to help reduce spam and phishing emails. This means schools and kura will need to take action to ensure emails, such as newsletters, continue to reach parents, caregivers and whānau and don’t get flagged as spam.

The protocols required will depend on how many emails your school sends a day:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework) – all schools
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) – recommended for all schools, required if you send more than 5,000 emails a day or have a roll over 2,500
  • DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) – required if you send more than 5,000 emails a day or have a roll over 2,500 

More information about these changes can be found on the Ministry’s website here. You can also email [email protected] if you have any queries.


The changes to Google, Yahoo and Xtra email services will impact schools and kura using N4L’s Mail Relay service (provided by Mimecast). If the relevant protocols aren’t in place it means emails could be blocked, end up as spam or show as undelivered. The protocols from Google’s announcement that are required for Mimecast are:

  • SPF records
  • DKIM records

Not every school will need to implement both features, the announcement states that it depends on how many emails are sent to Gmail accounts. It’s best for each school to decide whether they need to implement one or both protocols.

These changes are performed on the DNS record, and although N4L can’t make these configurations for you, we may need to provide the relevant information from Mimecast to successfully configure the DNS record – particularly the DKIM key. We’re happy to help you check your records and provide the information you need to use Mimecast with SPF and/or DKIM.

Guidance and FAQs regarding these protocols can be found here. You can also find the Google announcement here.

If you’re unsure whether your school uses Mail Relay please get in touch with our Customer Support team to assist you on 0800 LEARNING or at [email protected].