Christ's College - 04/04/2019


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Christ’s 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

Christ’s College, located in central city Christchurch, is an established private school for boys in Years 9 to 13. The college’s special character is based on a long-standing connection with the Anglican Church. The governing body of the college supports the executive principal and senior leadership team to meet the learning, wellbeing and other needs of students. Campus facilities include a combination of heritage and modern facilities that reflect the history, traditions and identity of the college. Three boarding houses are located on the college campus, along with seven day-boy houses. The houses for all boys are organised vertically so that strong relationships and connections are fostered throughout the school. Each house supports all boys to develop personal confidence and independence, the value of loyalty to house and school, and a strong sense of identity and community. The school’s vision, mission statement and motto are aligned with core Christian virtues, and reflect a shared purpose of seeing ‘Each boy at his best’.

The college continues to meet the criteria for registration as a private school.

Suitable Curriculum and Tuition

The wider school community of Christ’s College is founded on the Anglican faith. Virtues of faith and character underpin all aspects of college life and are an important part of the curriculum. An extensive review of the curriculum, beginning in 2016, has led to an increasingly holistic approach to students’ learning and wellbeing. This includes a focus on personalisation of learning and an emphasis on the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) Key Competencies and Values, to enhance character values and virtues. The curriculum and standards of tuition meet the learning, wellbeing and other needs of students.

The curriculum is based on the NZC and offers students a wide range of leadership and other opportunities, within and beyond the school. These include sports, cultural events, community service and international exchanges. Students have clear pathways and choices for academic learning. Support services and programmes are targeted to meet identified students’ learning and other needs. Students are encouraged and expected to set high expectations for their achievement and behaviour. The newly-created Centre for Teaching Excellence and Research is leading innovation in curriculum development to meet students’ needs as they evolve over time. Innovative curriculum developments, including globalisation programmes as part of international and student exchange initiatives, are the result of comprehensive school community consultation to meet the aspirations of students and their families.

The college sets high expectations of achievement and success for staff and students. Strong learning foundations are established in Years 9 and 10, to support success in the senior school. The college has sustained exceptionally high academic results over time, in NCEA achievement at all levels, and in the numbers of students who succeed in scholarship examinations. An extensive, annual external survey, involving all stakeholder groups, informs the college about areas of strong, overall school performance and areas for development. It is an improvement-focused mechanism that supports a culture of robust internal evaluation.

Students are engaged in their learning, show respect for staff and each other, and take responsibility for aspects of their own learning. High levels of student motivation to succeed reflect the strength of the curriculum’s goal-setting, mentoring and coaching programmes. Teachers deliver specialist and other programmes of learning that are the result of a reflective teaching and learning culture to meet learning needs. Teachers provide students with useful feedback and next steps to support their academic, personal and wellbeing goals.

The college is continuing to develop its understanding and application of bicultural practices. There is a commitment to strengthening these within the curriculum and as part of daily school life.

Suitable Staffing

The college ensures suitable staffing. Recruitment of staff is considered in relation to the needs of teaching, learning, administrative and other support functions, for the achievement of valued outcomes. Clear, published guidelines for professional practice provide consistent expectations across the school.

From 2019, a new system for teachers’ appraisal will more comprehensively reflect appraisal expectations and meet the Teaching Council’s standards for professional practice. This system now needs to be implemented and embedded. Coaching and mentoring systems and programmes support staff to develop their practice.

Since the 2013 ERO review, a new executive principal, and middle leaders with redefined roles, have been appointed. The executive principal has overall responsibility for the college and its special provisions.

Suitable Premises and Equipment

The college’s governors have attested that they comply with the provision of section 35G in the Education Act 1989, with respect to being fit and proper persons to manage the college. There are robust, regular systems for monitoring, maintaining and reviewing facilities, including health and safety.

Heritage buildings sit alongside modern facilities which were built as a result of damage sustained in the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The governing body is the guardian of the college’s buildings and artefacts. It has prioritised the preservation of the school’s unique history and traditions in conjunction with innovations for success. Sympathetically designed, well equipped, modern dwellings and well-maintained heritage buildings meet the current and ongoing educational and co-curricular needs of students. High quality resources enhance the learning environment for students. The increasing use and availability of digital equipment for staff and students support effective teaching practice and learning opportunities for all students.

Appropriate equipment for all areas of the broad curriculum supports the staff to achieve valued outcomes for students. This includes education outside the classroom and a wide range of co-curricular opportunities.

The college campus is attractive and well maintained. Students and staff respect facilities in ways that reflect their pride in the college.

3 Other Obligations

There are effective systems in place to assure the governing body and executive leadership team that its other statutory obligations are being met.

4 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The college 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 college has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 31 international students attending the college. There were no exchange students. Very good systems are in place to support international students’ learning, health and wellbeing, and sense of belonging. A carefully-developed schedule of co-curricular programmes provides students with opportunities to participate in diverse activities and cultural experiences within New Zealand. Effective levels of support enable students to access the curriculum and to progress and achieve.

Comprehensive information informs families about the curriculum, liaison links and expectations for college life. The effectiveness of this communication is reflected in high levels of student and family satisfaction with their college experiences. Systems, processes and practices to support international students are managed by a number of staff leaders and support staff. They also support teachers and others to ensure that the holistic needs of students are met.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The hostel owner has attested that all requirements of the Hostel regulations are met with respect to the college’s three boarding houses. There are currently 164 boarders. The boarding houses are owned by the Christ’s College Governing Body.

There are very good, consistent systems to support all boarding students’ learning, wellbeing and sense of belonging. Carefully-appointed staff, with defined roles and responsibilities, are highly responsive to each student’s needs and feedback. The boarding houses are effectively managed, and there is regular communication within the hostel and between hostel and school staff. This strengthens the college’s knowledge about each student.

Student leadership and independence are fostered, through the hostel experience. Specific leadership roles within the hostel are sought after by students. Students have good opportunities to participate in activities of their choice. Their views, ideas and expectations are valued by the college which constantly looks to improve aspects of hostel life to meet their needs.

5 Conclusion

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

4 April 2019

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type


School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition



Other ethnicities




Special features

College Boarding Houses

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

4 April 2019

Previous three ERO reports

Private School Reviews

June 2013

November 2009

February 2007