Garin College - 01/12/2017


Garin College is a state integrated Catholic secondary school. The school roll is 515. This includes 46 Māori, 9 Pacific and 37 international students. The off-site hostel (Garin College Boarding Hostel) has 51 students. The school is part of the Waimea Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

There have been considerable ongoing changes in school leadership. A new principal was appointed in June 2016, after a relieving principal. The school’s executive leadership team, which includes senior leaders, is newly formed, with some members acting in reliever roles. Some middle leaders are also new to their roles, including newly established year-level deans. Most trustees and proprietors are experienced in their role.

Since the 2014 ERO review the school has:

  • significantly developed and improved its governance framework
  • redeveloped and strengthened its pastoral care system for learners
  • clarified roles and responsibilities for leaders and teachers
  • made good use of some specific external reviews
  • continued to support senior students to achieve well.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school’s inclusive culture of care and support for learners and their learning, strongly promotes equity and excellence. Māori learners are very well supported to succeed and experience their language, culture and identity within the school. There is considerable depth and breadth within the school’s curriculum. This effectively supports learners to succeed and excel, and is responsive to their needs and interests. School leaders have implemented improved systems to better support students with additional learning needs.

The next steps for the school are to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation
  • rationalise the school charter and make it more coherent
  • extend the use of student learning information to track, monitor and evaluate the sufficiency of progress for individual learners, groups and year levels.

At the time of this review learners were achieving well. Senior students achieve well at all levels of NCEA with a large proportion gaining merit or excellence endorsements.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

This school responds effectively to Māori and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Overall, most students stay at school until their 17thbirthday. Retention for Māori learners is increasing. Most school leavers achieve NCEA Level 2 or higher. Almost all students gain NCEA literacy and numeracy as they progress through the senior school. All Māori and Pacific learners gained NCEA Level 1 in the last two years. Most of these learners gained Level 2 in 2016. Senior assessments are managed well. There are good systems in place to ensure school assessment judgments are dependable and therefore useful for decision making.

The school’s junior achievement information, mid 2017, shows that most Year 9 and 10 students are achieving at or above the school’s expectations for reading and mathematics. It was not clear how well groups of learners were achieving within this.

Learners who receive specialist services are well supported to make progress towards their goals. Systems for reporting this could be strengthened.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school’s inclusive culture of care and support for students and their learning strongly promotes equity and excellence. The ways in which the staff demonstrate the school’s Catholic values in their relationships with students ensures that all learners are well provided for. The recently introduced pastoral care structures, systems and processes are enabling deans to more effectively monitor and support learners and communicate with parents and whānau.

Leaders and teachers are more closely scrutinising achievement and engagement information to better support students. Students with additional learning needs are receiving a more coordinated approach to their programmes and provision. Overall, school structures and processes are providing increasingly well for proactive monitoring and reactive support for learners and their wellbeing.

Māori learners are very well supported to succeed and experience their language, culture and identity within the school. This can be seen in the:

  • adaptation of programmes to meet learner needs and interests
  • many opportunities taken for student leadership
  • way in which the school’s special character is integrated into learning.

The school’s EOTC ‘Journey’ programme for learners throughout the school ably supports tuakana teina relationships and embedding the Garin values. Effective teaching practices and classroom programmes underpin learner success.

The board has provided considerable support for school leaders to strengthen school systems through creating new roles and responsibilities. Leaders have streamlined processes to ensure smooth day-to-day operations and to maximise learners’ opportunity to learn and achieve.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

School processes to identify internal development priorities are beginning to contribute to improved outcomes for learners.

The school needs to continue to strengthen internal evaluation. Leaders have developed an internal evaluation framework which is in the early stages of implementation. It is now timely to fully evaluate the new systems and approaches the school has introduced. Consistency of implementation of practice should be a key area to investigate within internal evaluation. This should be informed by appropriate stakeholder consultation. Stronger evaluation practice should provide leaders and teachers with valuable information about what is and what is not working well to support learners’ achievement of equity and excellence.

The charter (including student achievement targets), strategic and annual plans should be rationalised and refined to reflect the school’s current priorities, and be well-aligned to other key school documents. This will better reflect the school’s focus on equity and excellence for learners. Greater coherence of these priorities through the school and its reporting systems should better inform the board and support its decision making.

Leaders and teachers should extend the use of student learning information to track, monitor and evaluate the sufficiency of progress individual learners, groups and year levels are making. This should be reported appropriately. Trustees have identified, and ERO agrees, that they need to be better informed about the progress and achievement of students in Years 9 and 10.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel provides off-site boarding for boys and girls (Francis Douglas house and Mother Teresa house, respectively). At the time of this review, 51 boarders were on site, making up 10% of the school’s roll. The hostel is owned and managed by the Garin College Hostel Trust. The hostel owner has attested that all requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Hostel staff strongly promote the value of whanaungatanga/inclusion and relationships. There are highly effective systems for monitoring and responding to the safety and wellbeing needs of boarders. Systems are in place to consider and respond to the opinions and ideas of boarders and their families. Boarders experience positive relationships with each other and with hostel management and staff. New boarders are welcomed and supported by staff and senior boarders to engage confidently in hostel living. The hostel supports students well with their school learning well. This includes effective communication with teachers about students and their wellbeing. Hostel leaders ensure there is regular communication also with parents and caregivers. Regular hostel reports could have a greater focus on reporting successes of students.

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 37 international students. From time to time the school hosts short stay students.

The school has reviewed its policies and procedures to be assured they are in line with the new Code.

International students are suitably welcomed and supported to be very well integrated into the life of the school including activities outside the classroom. Key staff members work with the students to identify their goals. Teachers support students to improve their English language skills where necessary and achieve their learning goals. Pastoral support staff members monitor students’ wellbeing and help them to have a positive experience at the school.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to build teacher capability to evaluate the sufficiency of learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation and coherence of school priorities.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop in response to a request by the school.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

1 December 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Integrated Years 9 to 15 school

School roll


Gender composition

Girls: 53% Boys: 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 9%
Pākehā 75%
Pacific 2% 
Asian 7% 
Other 7%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

1 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2014
Education Review September 2011
Education Review December 2008