ACG Tauranga - 09/10/2015

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that ACG Tauranga 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.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools between 6 and 12 months after they have been provisionally registered, and to report to the Ministry of Education for the Secretary to consider full registration.

This ERO review follows the provisional registration of the school by the Ministry of Education in , and focuses on whether the school now meets the criteria for full registration as a private school.

ACG Tauranga is a provisionally registered composite (Years 1 to 13) private school located in Pyes Pa, Tauranga. It is governed by the Academic Colleges Group (ACG) board, based in Auckland, who have responsibility for the appointment of the principal and establishment of the school. The ACG framework of policies and procedures continues to underpin and guide sound practices that ensure effective management, administration and operation of the school.

The ACG board and ACG Education Council’s confidence in the leadership of the school is well placed. The principal is creating a caring school culture that affirms and values students, staff and their families. She is the professional leader of the school and is a member of the ACG principal’s council, which reports to the ACG Education Council who are in turn, responsible to the governing board.

The school opened in February 2015 with 18 students in Years 1 to9 with plans to extend to Year 10 in 2016. The student roll at the time of this ERO review was 31 with a staff of 13. There is a principal, deputy principal, six permanent teachers, three part-time specialists for music, art and Spanish, and two support staff. The school is located in new, purpose-built facilities on an extensive site that will allow for future growth and development including a high school (extension to Years 10 to 13) and an early childhood centre.

Currently there are four classrooms comprising of a Year 3/4 class, a Year 5/6 class, a Year 7 class and a Year 8/9 composite class. There is an intention to open a Year 1/2 class as enrolments grow. A specialist science teacher for Years 3 to 9 students operates out of a purpose-built science laboratory.

2 Criteria for Registration

This is the first ERO review of ACG Tauranga and the school meets the criteria for registration in terms of suitable premises, equipment, staffing tuition and management. The principal and staff continue to define and develop core values of excellence, integrity, innovation, respect and courage. They believe that students need specific learning and innovation skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity to be competent as successful life-long learners in the 21st century.

School buildings and grounds provide for a safe and efficient school environment and allow for effective curriculum delivery. Well-designed classrooms provide generous teaching spaces, with natural lighting and Wi-Fi access in all rooms. In addition, classrooms allow for ample display areas for learning prompts and student’s work. The school provides specialist teaching rooms for subjects that require them, including literacy, mathematics, science and art rooms, and a multi-purpose room. Good systems are in place to ensure student and staff safety.

The school has been established with new and attractive furniture and equipment, which supports and enhances classroom teaching and learning. Administrative technologies enable efficient school management. Students benefit from a range of sports equipment and extensive outside areas for play and recreation.

Teachers are well qualified and have relevant experience in their curriculum areas. They are all registered, and non-teaching staff are police vetted. Teachers demonstrate high levels of educational knowledge and competence. A high quality performance management system has been developed. The principal is appraised by an external appraiser, and the ACG Academic Quality Manager then appraises teaching staff. All staff are enthusiastic and committed to develop and deliver a curriculum which meets the identified needs of students. Relationships of mutual trust and confidence among teachers, students and parents have been successfully established.

ACG curriculum is closely aligned to the Cambridge International programme for planning, delivery assessment and reporting for English, mathematics and science. Other curriculum areas include humanities, physical education and health where there is a deliberate inclusion of local contexts such as New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. A feature of the school is the specialist teaching of science, Spanish, art and music at most school levels. Student success and achievement is celebrated.

ERO observed students learning in settled, purposeful learning environments and saw positive interactions amongst teachers and students. A feature of the classrooms is the small number of students and their high levels of engagement in learning. Teachers encourage students to express ideas and contribute to class and group discussions. They provide consistently high quality tuition standards and class programmes which challenge and motivate students.

Parents are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement through regular meetings, phone calls and written reports. They appreciate the availability of the principal and teachers for informal conversations to discuss aspects of their children’s learning. The school’s newsletter informs parents about coming events and school activities. Regular written communication from the principal reports on student activities and achievement. The school encourages students, parents and staff to support a charity.

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

3 Conclusion

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

9 October 2015

About the School

Location

Pyes Pa, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

707

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

31

Gender composition

Girls 18

Boys 13

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 25

Other European 3

Other Asian 2

Other 1

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

9 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports