Macleans College - 24/06/2014


Students receive a high quality education that prepares them well for future study and career pathways. They experience an all-round education, including extra-curricular activities, designed to promote their wellbeing. The school’s whānau house structure supports sound communication and positive relationships between students, their families and staff.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Macleans College is a large multicultural secondary school in Bucklands Beach. It continues to provide high quality education that successfully caters for the 55 different nationalities represented among its local and international students. The school’s model of eight whānau houses provides a welcoming and supportive environment for student learning, pastoral care and collegiality. Three percent of students identify as Māori, and one percent as having Pacific heritage. Chinese students make up approximately a third of the school roll.

Students continue to be highly successful in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and the Cambridge International Examination (CIE). They benefit from many opportunities to participate in a wide variety of academic, arts, cultural and sporting activities. As noted in previous ERO reports, management and governance are focused on improved outcomes for students. Effective leadership at the various levels of the school promotes and provides for students’ diverse learning needs.

The school is well governed and well led by a team of highly capable professionals. The board of trustees is very supportive of the principal and staff and has a sound understanding of its governance role. The school continues to contribute to community and educational development. Since ERO’s 2010 review, there has been a significant commitment to enhancing literacy and numeracy learning, Māori and Pacific mentoring practices, and the quality of teaching and learning in the school.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school’s use of assessment information is highly effective in sustaining and promoting individual students’ progress and achievement. Evidence-based decision making is robust across all year levels of the school.

School leaders have further reviewed their data analysis tool that provides them with rich information about trends and patterns in students’ needs, progress and achievement. Self-review information is well used by school leaders and trustees to set meaningful academic targets, to allocate resources, and to evaluate the impact of decisions.

Students, including Māori and Pacific students, continue to achieve highly in both NCEA and CIE. The focus on excellence is clearly evident in the upward trend of student NCEA scholarship achievement, reaching 120 in 2013. Analysis of Year 9 and 10 data indicates that students make very good progress over the two years, laying a sound foundation for future success in the senior school and beyond.

School data shows that students at this school have, for many years, exceeded the government’s NCEA achievement goal. School information shows that Pacific students generally achieve very well, and receive support as necessary.

Students are highly motivated and engaged. They respond to teachers’ high expectations for success and are knowledgeable about their learning. Good use of student achievement data enables teachers to teach specifically to fill the gaps in students’ skills and knowledge. Student achievement data is well used at faculty level to inform teachers’ practice. Faculties use the information well to set and monitor specific targets and to further increase students’ success.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported. Strong pastoral systems enable these students to build their confidence and self belief. Students who show particular abilities and talents have extensive opportunities to follow their interests. Many experience high levels of success in a wide range of sporting, cultural and performance events and enrichment programmes offered at the school.

The board is very well informed through regular reporting about Year 11 to 13 student achievement. Sharing further information about students’ progress across the curriculum in Years 9 and 10 would enhance trustees’ knowledge about the effectiveness of teaching programmes.

The school has well established systems that enable parents to engage with teachers and be well informed about their children’s needs, progress and achievement. The school reports high levels of parent interest and involvement in their children’s learning.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

Macleans College’s broad curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting student learning. Students respond well to the ethos of high expectations across all aspects of the school’s programmes.

Student wellbeing is a priority and is valued as the foundation of the school curriculum and successful teaching and learning. The whānau house system, which school leaders describe as ‘eight small schools within the school’, strongly supports students’ emotional and social wellbeing. Each of the eight houses consists of a community of Year 9 to 13 students, a combination of senior and faculty leaders, and teachers from a variety of subject areas. The houses are well led by the whānau house leader. Students benefit from the network of communication among the adults responsible for their care.

The school curriculum is a strongly interwoven model through which students have opportunities to participate in academic or vocational pathways, sport, art and cultural activities, leadership, and service to others. The majority of students follow an academic pathway through either NCEA or CIE. School leaders are emphatic that information and communication technologies (ICT) be naturally integrated to enhance students’ learning programmes. The board has shown its commitment to providing strong foundations for literacy and numeracy through the addition of specific support classes at Years 9 and 10. Teachers have good evidence of student success in these classes. The college is also working on science and literacy teaching and learning in partnership with the local contributing intermediate school.

School leaders are deliberate in their support for teachers to be effective professionals. Robust systems are in place to promote high quality teaching practice. Very good use has been made of the findings from the 2012 staff survey that focused on effective teaching in this school. Findings have informed faculty goals, and have been used to identify professional development and resourcing priorities. Recently reviewed professional learning groups enable teachers to share and inquire into their practice. Leaders are developing further ways of extending staff wellbeing surveys.

Senior leaders use the school performance management system well to promote effective teaching and learning. Ongoing self review, and student input through the appraisal process, helps to ensure that the curriculum and teaching practices remain responsive to students’ needs.

Faculty leaders agree that further investigation into the extent to which the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum are evident in practice in the Year 9 and 10 curriculum could help to enhance the programme. Pastoral leaders are also keen to extend the good processes currently in place for surveying Year 9 students’ wellbeing, so that they include all students in the school.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The board is committed to promoting educational success for Māori. Māori students achieve highly at NCEA and CIE. The school is developing its knowledge and understanding of success for Māori, as Māori.

The school has been strategic in its commitment to extending the teaching of te reo Māori. The board has provided additional resources to appoint two permanent te reo Māori teachers who can develop the curriculum to NCEA Level 2.

A school-wide mentoring system for Māori and Pacific students supports them to be successful in all aspects of their school life. Senior students work with junior students in a tuakana/teina relationship. Senior students meet with the external facilitator once every three weeks to discuss the various aspects of their mentoring role.

The school is beginning to include te reo Māori in some of the whānau house meetings and school ceremonies. They hosted the 2013 Koanga Kapa Haka Festival for local schools. These initiatives promote students’ pride in being Māori. The school is now well placed to use the whānau house system to grow bicultural practice.

Some departments have been specific in reviewing curriculum content to ensure they address the bicultural partnership intent of the Treaty of Waitangi. These departments assist students to investigate the combined knowledge and history of the two partners to the Treaty through personal practice and reflection.

It is timely for the board to review their Treaty of Waitangi policy to align it with the school’s strategic direction. As part of their focus on high quality teaching, leaders could consider the use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to further enhance teaching practices, and to develop their knowledge and understanding of success for Māori as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance on the basis of:

  • an unrelenting emphasis on student wellbeing
  • a commitment to ongoing improvement, informed by reliable evidence
  • strong alignment between the school’s mission and vision statements, strategic and annual planning, professional development, performance management systems, and high expectations of staff and students
  • effective leadership by the principal, the senior management team, and faculty and whānau leaders
  • experienced and supportive trustees, who support the school and are knowledgeable about their governance responsibilities
  • leaders’ ongoing contribution to, and involvement in, community and educational development.

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

At the time of this review there were just over 300 international students attending the school, from 20 different countries. About half of the international students are from China.

The international students are provided with a highly effective educational programme, well supported by a suitable number of specialist staff. They make very good progress in English language learning and generally reach their academic goals. In 2013, international students were awarded seven scholarships in NCEA. Leaders are considering further ways to report to the board about the progress and achievement of international students across the curriculum.

Students take a full part in school life through their involvement in their whānau house and full participation in co-curricular activities. Homestay arrangements are closely monitored by the school.

The international department staff regularly reviews and improves practices in response to feedback from students and their parents. The number of international students enrolling has grown since the last ERO review because the school is seen to be meeting the needs of international students and their families. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Students receive a high quality education that prepares them well for future study and career pathways. They experience an all-round education, including extra-curricular activities, designed to promote their wellbeing. The school’s whānau house structure supports sound communication and positive relationships between students, their families and staff.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

24 June 2014

About the School


Bucklands Beach, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



South East Asian

Pacific other

European other












Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

24 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2010

June 2007

June 2003