ACG Parnell College - 29/11/2019


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that ACG Parnell College 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

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

ACG Parnell College is a fully registered co-educational school for students in Years 1 to 15. The school’s managing body is the board of the Academic Colleges Group (ACG), a private company that owns several schools in Auckland and overseas. ACG is affiliated to the Inspired Education Group which is a global independent school company. The school roll continues to increase and includes greater ethnic diversity. One key factor contributing to roll growth has been the recent merging of ACG Senior College with ACG Parnell College. 

The college continues to provide education to a very good standard for students, and includes suitable staffing, curriculum, premises and equipment. High expectations of staff and students generate a highly focused learning environment. This reflects the school’s goal of supporting students to develop passion for learning and discovering their own potential for personal and academic success.

A cohesive, sequenced curriculum is provided for Years 1 to 10 that follows Cambridge programmes for English, mathematics and science. Other learning areas are supported by the New Zealand Curriculum. During the past two years testing has been reduced for Year 7 to 10 students. Year 12 to 13 students have pathway options through the Cambridge Assessment International Education or the International Baccalaureate (IB), and they may gain scholarships through the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Students and parents have ready access to online information about students’ curriculum programmes and their progress and achievement. There is good support for students as they decide their curriculum pathways in the senior college and beyond school.

Extracurricular opportunities are encouraged, including music and performance, and an increased profile has been given to participation in sports. Learning support and pastoral care help students in their wellbeing and achievement. This support includes tutor and mentoring programmes, relevant programmes for English language learners and the employment of a counsellor.

The generally instructional mode of teaching suits the school’s strong academic focus and is complemented by the fostering of students’ self-efficacy, and ownership of their own learning. ERO observed positive, highly focused, and well-managed classrooms throughout the school. The school’s achievement information indicates high levels of student achievement across Cambridge assessments, and consistently high University Entrance level achievement.

A new principal was appointed in 2017 and has ably led the school through ACG ownership changes and resulting new requirements. He is supported by a capable leadership team that includes continuing and newly appointed leaders. The school is committed to appointing well-qualified teachers with expertise in their specialist areas. ACG and school leaders maintain rigorous quality assurance of staff performance and professional growth.

The college is located over three sites catering for different age groups, and all within close walking distance of each other. The college’s buildings are well maintained and provide facilities conducive to teaching and learning. Classrooms are well presented and equipped with resources relevant to the differing age groups. To access facilities for curriculum programmes, the school takes advantage of local amenities that include the nearby Auckland Domain, museum and Newmarket pools. The college has continued to expand the range of information technologies available to students and staff.

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

3 Other Obligations

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

4 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were 304 international students attending the school. Self review processes are well developed ensuring that the school meets its obligations under the Code.

International students are provided with high quality support for their education and wellbeing from an experienced team of staff within the ACG schools’ international student department. Learning programmes, including those for English language learning, are tailored to their individual needs.

5 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that ACG Parnell College meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

29 November 2019

About the School


Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Private Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 63% Girls 37%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups


Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

29 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

August 2014
March 2010
February 2004