Mt Hobson Middle School - 13/06/2013


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Mt Hobson Middle 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 —

  1. has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and
  5. has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and
  6. has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and
  7. has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

2 Criteria for Registration

Mt Hobson Middle School, in Auckland, is a small private school for girls and boys in Years 7 to 10 owned by the Villa Education Trust. The school continues to provide students with suitable premises, staffing, equipment and standards of tuition. Students learn through a suitable curriculum that is based on The New Zealand Curriculum. A sound framework of policies and procedures guides school operations.

The school is situated in a renovated villa. The campus is fully maintained and provides a variety of teaching spaces for small class and individual learning. A second campus in Parnell, known as the Central Auckland Middle School, operating at the time of the 2010 ERO review, was closed in 2011.

Christian philosophy and values influence the positive ethos of the school. Students enjoy small class groups and purposeful learning environments that are enhanced by respectful relationships between teachers and students. The principal, who is also the academic manager, has high expectations for student progress and achievement.

The school offers students a broad education that emphasises English, mathematics and science. The learning programme provides a balance between structured class teaching and independent project work. The curriculum supports the school’s emphasis on individualised learning where students have some choice of learning context. Extensive use is made of community facilities and resources that include libraries, museums, galleries and sports facilities. Community service activities are designed to help students to develop empathy and consideration for others.

Teachers are suitably qualified and bring a range of experience to their teaching. They work cooperatively to implement an integrated, project-based programme. Efficient timetabling maximises the use of school facilities and resources. Specialist teachers provide expertise in the visual arts, music and technology. Teachers participate in ongoing review and development of teaching and learning programmes. There is an advice and guidance programme to support provisionally registered teachers to obtain full registration.

Teachers know their students well. Individual based plans are developed for all students to guide their learning and monitor progress. Teachers use appropriate assessment tools to determine student achievement and report to parents regularly on progress. They have also begun to report student achievement in relation to the National Standards for students in Years 7 and 8. Students are well supported to make the transition into the school and on to senior secondary schooling.

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 Statutory Obligations

Good systems are in place to enable the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

4 Other Matters

Provision for international students

Mt Hobson Middle School is providing its international students with a good standard of education and support. The Trust business manager is responsible for the pastoral care of international students. The school provides English language support where appropriate. Classroom teachers cater for students’ individual learning needs in small class settings.

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. At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is appropriate.

5 Conclusion

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

13 June 2013

About the School


Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Private (Years 7 to 10)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 46

Girls 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā






Review team on site

April 2013

Date of this report

13 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

March 2010

January 2007

October 2003