Rangi Ruru Girls' School - 16/06/2015

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Rangi Ruru Girls' 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
  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
  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
  4. has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school
  5. has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents
  6. has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F
  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

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its statutory obligations are met. Rangi Ruru Girls’ School managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G in respect to their being fit and proper to manage the school.

Rangi Ruru Girls' School is located in Merivale, an inner suburb of Christchurch. Its special character is as a private and independent, Presbyterian Church school for girls in Years 7 to 13. Twenty percent of the girls attending the school are boarders.

Since the 2010 ERO review, there have been significant changes in the way the curriculum is delivered. This includes strengthening practices that promote students’ self-directed learning and the use of a wide range of technologies in a modern learning environment. Small class numbers and high adult-to-student ratios help to ensure the teachers know the best ways to support each student's learning.

The majority of students achieve at or above national norms. Students who have specific learning needs are well catered for with targeted teaching programmes. There are many opportunities for students to be challenged through the school’s wide range of extension programmes.

The school culture is based on well-understood values, positive relationships, care and wellbeing. Students are well supported by a range of qualified pastoral-care staff and specifically focussed programmes to meet their needs.

Students experience a wide range of curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities to extend their interests and knowledge. They have many opportunities to share their ideas and make decisions about their learning pathways. Effective links with the local and wider community support authentic and meaningful learning. This includes social actions such as finding ways to support local, national and international causes.

The managers and teachers have developed a highly reflective and evaluative culture of ongoing improvement. They are working to further embed recent initiatives and to integrate a coherent curriculum that focuses on wellbeing for girls.

The buildings and premises are suitable for teaching the school’s curriculum. They comply with local authority regulations and provisions of the building code.

Since the 2010 ERO review, there has been significant rebuilding, strengthening and modernisation of all buildings. Most of the buildings have either been replaced or redesigned as a result of the 2011 Canterbury earthquake or to meet the school’s future focus and strategic vision.

The buildings and grounds effectively support students’ interests across the breadth of the curriculum. The new buildings have been well designed to reflect modern learning practices and the school’s well-established traditions. The colourful and comfortable furniture in flexible learning spaces caters for differentiated teaching and learning styles.

The school’s technology policy of students bringing their own device (BYOD) is effectively meeting the needs of student learning. It is supported by staff expertise, current software, the school’s ICT infrastructure and the use of clear guidelines. The modern, high quality resources and equipment are well organised and easily accessible.

Rangi Ruru is suitably staffed to support the age range, curriculum and size of the school. There is a good balance of specialist, general and itinerant teachers who provide a range of opportunities to meet the needs and interests of the students.

3. Other Obligations

The strong, stable leadership team is strategic and future focused. The board, principal, managers and teachers work collaboratively to improve and develop programmes to meet the diverse interests and abilities of students. A detailed and robust performance management system assists teachers to better support students' learning.

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. Eighteen international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review. The school has attested that it complies with the Code.

Managers have developed comprehensive policies and procedures that are regularly reviewed to meet the requirements of the Code.

Most international students live in the boarding house. This enables better student integration and immersion into the New Zealand culture. Students enjoy friendships within the boarding house and are included in a wide range of activities in school hours and weekends.

Students are well supported for their English learning needs. The new International Dean is reviewing current systems, including the orientation process and monitoring of student progress over time.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school boarding house accommodates 98 students. This is 16% of the school roll. The boarding house is owned by the Rangi Ruru Board of Governors Inc. Girls’ School. The hostel owners have attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

There is a very welcoming and friendly environment in the boarding house. Students:

  • live in comfortable and spacious areas that meet the needs of different age groups
  • are provided with a good range of activities and opportunities
  • have a wide variety of healthy food options that cater for different needs and nationalities
  • are very involved in decision making, including meal options and activities.

5. Conclusion

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

16 June 2015

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

325

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

612

Number of international students

18

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other ethnicities

78%

5%

9%

8%

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

16 June 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

August 2010

September 2007

August 2004