Macleans College - 24/09/2018

School Context

Macleans College is a co-educational school catering for students from Years 9 to 13. The school roll includes four percent Māori students and two percent Pacific. Chinese students comprise 33 percent of the roll.

The school is founded on eight whānau houses. Each whānau house comprises a large building with a variety of teaching spaces and a commons area which acts as a social space. Each ‘whānau’ is an extended family of approximately 300 students which operates as a mini school within the larger school. On arrival a student is placed in a form class assigned to one of the whānau houses. The student remains in that form class and whānau house for the duration of their time at the college.

The school’s mission is to educate every student to achieve their full potential as a whole person and enable them to make a lifelong positive contribution to society. The ‘Macleans’ Values’ of manners, articulate, courage, loyalty, effort, authority respected, no lies, and sympathy and service, underpin the vision.

The board’s strategic intent is to:

  • deliver quality teaching and learning

  • prioritise extra-curricular activity to foster students’ holistic development

  • recognise the whānau house as fundamental to the delivery of pastoral care for students.

Leaders and teachers report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Authority framework

  • achievement within the Cambridge Qualifications framework

  • progress and achievement in literacy and mathematics in Years 9 and 10.

Since the 2014 ERO review, the board has appointed a new principal along with three new senior school leaders. Macleans College continues to offer dual qualification pathways providing students with the options of National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). The College is part of the Eastern Learning Network which presently has a focus on developing in-school coaching and mentoring programmes for staff.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Students achieve excellent educational outcomes.

The school’s achievement information shows sustained high levels of academic achievement in both NCEA and CIE for all groups of students, including Māori and Pacific learners. The school continues to increase achievement levels with an upward trend in the number of excellence endorsements at Levels 1 and 2 in NCEA and A grades in CIE. The school is justifiably proud of its increasing scholarship achievement, gaining 167 scholarships in 2017. Over 90 percent of students achieve University Entrance.

School data shows some disparity of achievement between boys and girls. A school-wide focus on boys’ learning and engagement is highly evident. Some positive trends are emerging that show this disparity is reducing.

Year 9 students are tested on entry and placed in broad achievement bands for mathematics and literacy. It is notable that a significant number enter in the top achievement band for mathematics. The school caters very well for this group through extension programmes. School data shows that Junior School students, across all achievement bands, respond very positively to the guidance they receive from teachers and peers. This is evident in the improvements they make in their learning.

Students achieve very well in relation to the school’s broader valued outcomes. Most students:

  • embrace learning and academic challenge

  • have a strong sense of belonging and willingly contribute to the life of the school and the learning of their peers

  • show respect for themselves, others and the environment

  • are confident and demonstrate a strong sense of self-worth.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is very effective in responding to those students whose learning progress needs acceleration.

Student achievement data is very well collated and analysed. The school identifies students who would benefit from targeted support so that they make more accelerated progress. Interventions for students, with a particular focus on literacy and numeracy, are overseen by the learning support team. Data show that these students make very good progress and achieve success in academic qualifications over their time at school.

The school’s whānau system provides good support for students whose learning needs acceleration. It does this by connecting learners closely with each other, and their teachers. Classrooms are settled and purposeful places for learning. Teachers across faculties collaborate to support the progress of individual learners. Targeted peer mentoring programmes, where older students support the learning of younger students, build students’ confidence and engagement in the learning process.

The school is proactively working towards improving parity for boys in literacy through various initiatives. Teachers promote and use strategies that encourage students’ active participation in their learning as part of their strategic approach to addressing any disparity in academic outcomes.

Over half the school’s students are bilingual or new learners of English. These students benefit from highly effective English language programmes that progressively step learners into mainstream subjects. The school’s data show that these students go on to achieve academic success.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has a strong vision for education. Its values and traditions, together with the board’s strategic intent and high expectations for every student, provide a sound platform for continuously enhancing equity and excellence. School governance practices drive and enhance the vision very effectively. As a result, there is a coherent and successful approach to improving outcomes for all learners.

School leadership is highly effective. Leaders ensure an orderly and supportive environment that contributes to student learning and wellbeing. Senior leaders are leading the school community to develop a curriculum that is responsive to the changing needs of the 21st Century learner, who is a participant in a bicultural society. A strategic approach to developing the middle leadership group as leaders of learning is strengthening conditions for equity and excellence in the school. Student leadership is a further strength of the school and is now focused on developing students’ sense of efficacy and agency in relation to their learning and wellbeing.

Teachers benefit from a strategic and coherent approach to building their professional capability and collective capacity to deliver the curriculum. The board and school leaders have strengthened the ‘Teaching and Learning Team’ to grow a professional community focused on collaboration and inquiry to support responsive and adaptive teaching practice. There is a deliberate move towards more student centred teaching and learning practices. Appropriate professional learning and development opportunities and robust appraisal processes play an integral part in supporting the school’s strategic direction.

Students experience a rich and broad curriculum that enables them to excel academically and develop the skills of lifelong learners. There are growing opportunities for them to pursue various learning pathways. School leaders continuously revisit and adapt subject options to better cater for students’ interests and capabilities. The school expectation that every student will participate in extra curricula activities adds breadth to the curriculum and fosters the holistic development of learners.

The school has made significant progress with its bicultural curriculum. All students take compulsory Māori Studies in Year 9 and have access to te reo Māori programmes through to Year 13. The board and leaders’ commitment to recognising the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand is evident in the appointment of two specialist teachers of Māori, regular professional development for staff and the inclusion of culturally responsive teaching practice in the school appraisal system. Māori students enjoy learning as Māori and achieve success as Māori.

Comprehensive pastoral care systems support students to be confident and connected learners. The open communication between form teachers, class teachers, whānau leaders and senior leaders creates a strong network of support for students. A well-resourced and capable student advisory team provides further support for students in times of need. Students also play an important role in supporting peers and their wellbeing.

Internal evaluation is used very well to improve outcomes for students. Robust quality assurance and monitoring processes are in place to ensure school expectations are met. Deep internal evaluation practices across the school include student and teacher voice, the use of inquiry questions, and link to the school’s strategic goals. Internal evaluation is strongly evidenced based and incorporates well analysed student outcome data.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Senior leaders continue to explore ways to support the school’s focus on enriching learning for students. The school has decided to disestablish NCEA Level 1 and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) for Year 11 students, in the year 2020. Further developments will focus on developing a Year 9 to 11 integrated curriculum. School leaders appropriately consider this an opportunity to enhance a curriculum that is targeted towards the needs of the Year 11 learner, with relevant student outcomes.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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 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 343 international students attending the school.

ERO confirms that the school’s internal evaluation process for international students is thorough. The school has highly effective systems and practices to ensure the quality of education and pastoral care of international students. Students’ progress and achievement is well monitored, and their course selections are personalised. Students integrate well into the school’s education community.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a vision for education that improves academic outcomes for students

  • school leadership, at all levels of the school, that is responsive and actively supports equity and excellence

  • systems and strategies that develop confident professional teachers and responsive and adaptive teaching practice

  • internal evaluation practices that support ongoing improvement.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the priority for further development is to create a Year 9 to 11 integrated curriculum that is targeted to the requirements of the Year 11 learner.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

24 September 2018

About the school


Bucklands Beach, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Southeast Asian
other European
other Asian
other ethnic groups


Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

24 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review June 2010
Education Review June 2007