Carncot Independent School - 30/05/2014

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

d)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 school is fully registered as a private school and is located in central Palmerston North. It is a non-denominational school first established as a co-educational school around 1903. In recent times it became established as a girls' school. In 2013, boys were again invited to enrol. It is owned and operated by the Carncot Trust on a non-profit making basis for the benefit of students.

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

Suitable premises and equipment

The school meets the criteria for suitable premises and equipment.

The board effectively manages property, finance and personnel. Trustees continue to ensure that students learn in a high quality school property with ample learning resources. Modern, attractive and well-maintained, purpose-built facilities promote academic learning and individual participation in a range of cultural, sporting and recreational activities. There is a genuine commitment to ongoing development of the school property. Maximum use is made of the available ground space.

The school is well resourced in all curriculum areas and in specialist teaching classes. Since 2013 boys have been able to enrol and library resources have been extended to cater for their interests and needs. The Information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure has been strengthened and extended.

Past Pupils and Friends of Carncot Association members support and inspire current students, maintaining a “Hall of Fame” of past students and offer donations for the benefit of the school.

Suitable curriculum

The Carncot Independent School curriculum meets the criteria for suitability.

It is clearly based on The New Zealand Curriculum. It reflects the school’s vision and values for teaching and learning. A strong focus on literacy and mathematics is a priority. Curriculum overviews are developed on an annual basis after teachers, at full staff and in junior and senior teams, discuss students’ needs and interests and past learning topics. Key competencies are well integrated into unit planning.

Specialist teachers of mathematics, art, languages, music and physical education deliver a wide spectrum of programmes. These cater for students' special interests, talents and abilities. In addition teachers provide students with an extensive range of clubs, sports, cultural activities and the arts.

Good quality partnership exists between the school and families. Parents can be involved in a range of in-school activities. Parents are regularly consulted and well informed about the school’s operation and learning programmes. The curriculum is made available to parents.

Suitable Staffing

The school is suitably staffed for teaching the age, range and year levels of students. Ratios of students to teachers are low. Since 2011 an additional teacher has been appointed and a sixth classroom is now operating.

Self-review processes are established at both governance and school operational levels. It is used to make decisions and inform actions. Reflective processes are evident. Consideration to documenting the outcomes of change is a next step for development and should further enhance review and evaluation.

A sound appraisal system is well implemented. Next steps for development are identified and strengths are acknowledged. Outcomes of appraisal are well used to support learning experiences and opportunities for student learning.

Suitable Tuition

Suitable tuition standards are evident in this school.

Teachers’ use a wide range of teaching practices to promote high levels of student learning and engagement. Classroom planning is effective. Well-planned lessons maintain student interest. Thinking skills are well developed in ongoing class discussions. Positive, respectful and friendly relationships between students and staff prevail. Opportunities for students to work cooperatively and to share their learning with each other are provided. These contribute to supportive classroom environments, conducive to learning.

Students are deeply engaged in their learning and value being challenged to take risks. They contribute confidently to high level learning conversations. Students speak knowledgeably about the school values.

Well-presented classroom displays support student learning and foster a sense of belonging.

3 Other Statutory Obligations

There are effective and robust 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 Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there was one international student attending Carncot School.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the code.

The school’s highly responsive and robust processes support international students well. Ongoing review and an appreciation of the significance of culture, contribute to high quality pastoral care for students. Appropriate tuition is available for learners of English as second language. International students’ learning and welfare is effectively supported in classroom and in co-curricular opportunities.

5 Conclusion

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

30 May 2014

index-html-m2a7690f7.gifAbout the School


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Private School (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 77, Boys 13

Ethnic composition

NZ Pākehā/European




Other European

Other ethnic groups







Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

30 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

May 2011

May 2008

June 2005