ACG Sunderland - 15/10/2019


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that ACG Sunderland 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 Sunderland 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 is increasing and includes greater ethnic diversity than previously.

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 fostering in each student a clarity of purpose to achieve their full potential.

A cohesive, sequenced curriculum is provided for Years 1 to 10 that follows Cambridge programmes for English, mathematics and science. Years 1 to 6 students now have more science learning each week. Other learning areas are supported by the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Global perspectives and New Zealand contexts are increasingly used in curriculum courses. Years 11 to 13 students have pathway options through the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).

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.

Extra-curricular opportunities are encouraged, including music, performance and camps off site. Learning support and pastoral care help students in their wellbeing and achievement. This support includes tutor and mentoring programmes and relevant programmes for English language learners.

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 the CIE system.

The principal has ably led the school through ACG ownership changes and resulting new requirements. He is supported by a capable leadership team. 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 school’s buildings are well maintained and provide attractive, functional facilities that are 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. 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 57 international students attending the school. Self review processes are well developed to ensure 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 Sunderland 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

15 October 2019

About the School


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Private Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other European
Pacific groups
other Asian groups
other ethnic groups


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

15 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

June 2014
November 2010
December 20007