Medbury Preparatory School - 31/05/2019


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Medbury Preparatory 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.

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

Medbury Preparatory School is a private boys’ school for students in Years 1 to 8, located in Christchurch. Its hostel caters for full time and casual boarders.

The school’s vision is to unlock the potential of every boy through personalised learning, world class curriculum delivery and the promotion of traditional Christian standards. Since ERO’s review in 2013 there has been significant change in the senior leadership of the school.

Governance is very effective, with experienced trustees. They consult widely and communicate effectively with relevant stakeholders to contribute to strategic planning. Trustees are future focused in their decision making, while remaining mindful of the Medbury special character.

A capable senior leadership team is managing carefully paced change throughout the school. Leaders are improvement focused and their decisions are research informed. They are supporting a collaborative staff culture through distributing leadership and building internal staff capacity.

Students benefit from effective teaching practices and learn in a supportive environment. Teachers use a wide range of assessment tools and practices to inform their teaching. Boys who are below expected levels are quickly identified, carefully monitored and receive targeted support. Specialist teachers bring expertise to different learning areas. Teachers ensure parents are well informed and actively involved in supporting their children’s learning. The staff collaborate closely to ensure students’ learning and wellbeing needs are met. A specialist student counsellor has recently been appointed. Planning is underway to implement a new programme to enhance boys' wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers have developed a broad and deep curriculum. There is an extensive range of extra-curricular activities available, enabling all students to find a context where they may experience success. The curriculum provides rich extension opportunities, and technology is well used to support learning. Teachers consider the specific needs and interests of boys in their curriculum planning and delivery. There is an increased valuing and visibility of te reo and te ao Māori through the school. Students, especially senior students, experience many leadership opportunities.

The school provides high quality facilities and resources. Recent property developments include new classroom blocks which provide flexible, transparent learning spaces. Specialist teaching facilities and programmes for music, drama, sport, technology and library services are well resourced. Student work is celebrated throughout the visually attractive environment. Students enjoy age appropriate play areas that cater well to boys’ active learning and social interactions. Trustees have engaged in significant long-term property management and development planning.

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 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 six international students attending the school.

International students are very well supported as members of the Medbury family. Over time they make good progress with their learning. Those who are English Language Learners (ELL) benefit from a high quality ELL programme.

There are strong pastoral care systems for international students. The school is welcoming and inclusive of children from different cultural backgrounds. Leaders regularly review how well international students are supported and how well legal requirements are met.

Provision for students in the school hostel

At the time of this review the school hostel accommodated 20 students, 5% of the school roll. It is owned by the school’s Trust Board. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

The hostel provides boys with a caring and supportive environment. This is ensured by:

  • strong pastoral care systems supported by well qualified and experienced staff
  • frequent communication between hostel staff, school staff and parents about boys’ learning and wellbeing
  • a varied activity programme for boarders
  • effective management systems to ensure boarders’ physical and emotional safety.

5 Conclusion

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

31 May 2019

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


Special Features

Hostel provision

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

31 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

September 2013
September 2009
October 2006