Ficino School - 11/06/2018


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Ficino School 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 fully registered private schools and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for registration.

This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

2 Criteria for Registration

Ficino School is a small private school located in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden that provides education for students from Year 1 to Year 8. The school continues to provide students with suitable premises, staffing, equipment and standards of tuition. Students learn through a suitable curriculum which is shared with parents through newsletters and parent meetings. A sound framework of policies and procedures guides the school’s operations.

The school is managed by a trust board. The school’s ethos and curriculum are modelled on those of St James independent schools of London, and the Cambridge International Primary Programme (CIPP) for mathematics, literacy and science. The board of trustees undertakes to provide an environment that supports students to enjoy healthy, happy and rewarding education experiences.

The school provides a broad curriculum including extensive learning opportunities outside classrooms. Achievement results in literacy and mathematics indicate that most children achieve very well. Those students identified as not working at expected levels are provided with extra support. A specialist teacher supports children who are English speakers of other languages to access the school’s curriculum. Children identified with special abilities are offered enrichment and extension classes.

The buildings and grounds continue to be well presented and maintained. Beyond regular maintenance, several improvements have been made to the buildings and property to promote children’s safety. Additional playground facilities have enhanced children's outdoor experiences. The school has also established an early learning service on the school site.

Teaching methods reflect the school’s ethos of respect and mindfulness. While following the prescribed CIPP plans, teachers are responsive to children’s ability levels. Years 7 and 8 students are largely taught by subject specialists. Across the school, teachers’ strengths and interests are used to teach subjects such as art, music and physical education.

Junior students regularly set goals to self-assess their writing progress. School leaders agree they could extend the opportunities for other students to develop greater ownership of their learning. This could include following up on a goal-setting trial undertaken in 2017. This would align well with the school’s aim to foster a ‘thirst for knowledge’ and ‘a passion for inquiry’ in children.

Staffing levels are generous with small classes and high ratios of teachers to students. Teachers are suitably qualified. Additional part-time teachers help students to access the broad curriculum. The school’s formal appraisal process is focused on teachers’ development as reflective practitioners.

The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provisions 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 Code of Pastoral Care of International Students 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 was one international student attending the school.

The school’s practices and processes provide good support for pastoral care and quality of education. The school leaders make appropriate provision for monitoring their work with international students.


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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

11 June 2018

About the School


Mt Eden, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Middle Eastern
other Asian
other European


Special Features


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

11 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

October 2013
April 2010
March 2007