Westmount School - Northland Campus - 09/08/2013

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Westmount School Northland Campus meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

1 Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

ERO reviews of private schools are significantly different in process and more limited in scope and reporting than those for state and state-integrated schools, focusing as they do on the Criteria for Registration set out in section 35C of the Education Act.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989 requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for registration. The schools are privately owned and the legislative requirements are significantly different to those for state and state-integrated schools. Private schools are not required to follow the National Education Goals or National Administration Guidelines.

What does apply in place of the legislation imposed upon state schools by the Education Act is the contract between the persons paying for the tuition of the child at the school – the parents – and the school authority. Those are matters between the parent and the school’s governing body. More information about ERO reviews of private schools can be found on ERO’s website www.ero.govt.nz/Reviews-Process.

The criteria for registration are that the school —

a)has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and

b)usually provides tuition for 9 or more students who are of or over the age of 5 years but are under the age of 16 years; and

c)has staffing that is suitable to the age range and level of its students, the curriculum taught at the school, and the size of the school; and

d)has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and

e)has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and

f)has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and

g)has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

2 Criteria for Registration

The Westmount Northland Trust provides suitable premises, resources, staffing, curriculum and standard of tuition.

The Northland campus of Westmount school opened in 2005, and caters for students from Years 3 to 13. Currently the roll is 94, including 22 students in Years 3 to 6 at a satellite campus in Whangarei. Eleven teachers are employed at the Kerikeri campus, and one teacher at the Whangarei satellite campus.

Both Kerikeri and Whangarei sites are purpose built and include recreation and sporting facilities. The buildings and grounds are well maintained through high levels of community support. Adult community volunteers support teachers and students in a number of programmes and activities. Good quality and sufficient resources are readily accessible, including the technology required for distance learning programmes.

All teaching staff are qualified and registered teachers. They are well led and work as a cohesive team to promote best outcomes for students. Teachers are well supported to develop good teaching practice. The school’s strategic goals encourage teachers to reflect on their teaching practice to meet the diverse needs of students. All teachers participate in Westmount School professional development that is focused on improving teaching and learning. Current teachers’ performance management is based on the New Zealand Teachers’ Council registered teacher criteria.

The school continues to provide students with a suitable curriculum developed in accordance with The New Zealand Curriculum, and the Brethren ethos and values of the Westmount Schools. Students are provided with opportunities to expand their learning horizons through the broad curriculum. Teachers use students’ interests well to help develop suitable learning contexts.

Westmount School has a focus on business-orientated courses. The curriculum extension programme is a weekly, whole-school programme that enables all students to widen their learning experiences in academic and practical ways. Students also take responsibility for ongoing school maintenance through curriculum extension learning.

Since ERO’s 2009 review, the school has begun to extend their focus on self-directed learning to include students in Years 9 and 10. Teachers have also participated in professional learning aligned to differentiated learning for students. Student achievement data is well used to inform teaching and learning, and to provide appropriate programmes for students to support their diverse learning needs. Leaders are keen to further analyse student achievement information, particularly in Years 3 to 10, to enable them to further evaluate the impact of teaching and learning over time, and to replicate effective teaching practice.

There is a high expectation that students will achieve their best. Teachers, assisted by teacher aides, provide additional support where needed to promote student progress and achievement at all year levels. Students’ progress in Years 3 to 10 is well monitored and shared with parents through reporting and portfolios. Student achievement data shows that students at all levels make good progress during their time at school. Leaders and teachers are justifiably proud of the high levels of student attainment in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement in Years 11 to 13. A large number of students have achieved merit and excellence in various subjects.

Trustees are interested in using the information they have about their school leavers to further evaluate the effectiveness of, and implications for, their school curriculum.

The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G in respect to their being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

3 Other Statutory Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

4 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Westmount School Northland Campus meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in theEducation Act 1989.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

9 August 2013

About the School

Location

Kerikeri, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

472

School type

Private Registered Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

94

Gender composition

Girls 51

Boys 43

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

94

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

9 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

July 2009

June 2006