Saint Kentigern Girls' School - 31/01/2020

Private School Review Report: Saint Kentigern Girls' School

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

Saint Kentigern Girls’ School is one of three schools governed by the St Kentigern Trust Board. The school provides for 199 girls from Years 1 to 8. It continues to provide suitable curriculum, premises, staffing, equipment and standards of tuition. A sound framework of policies and procedures guides the school’s operations.

The school’s values and religious education programme support the board’s Presbyterian mission and purpose. The board provides an environment that supports girls to enjoy healthy, encouraging and rewarding educational experiences.

The broad curriculum is shared with parents in a parent handbook, publications and the online learning environment. There is a strong focus on integrating the school values of respect, integrity, service, excellence and love. The curriculum is based on the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), with an appropriate schoolwide focus on literacy and numeracy. There is an increasing emphasis on practices that reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Service to others is an important part of the curriculum.

Specialist teachers offer a wide variety of high quality learning experiences. There are also many opportunities for girls to experience co-curricular activities. Years 7 and 8 girls are encouraged to develop and extend their leadership capabilities.

Most girls achieve the school’s academic expectations. Extra support is provided for those girls who are not working at expected levels. The Unique Pathways programme extends and enhances girls’ learning. Girls with English as an additional language are supported to increase their oral literacy.

The school’s premises and classroom resources support teachers to deliver the school’s curriculum effectively. The buildings and grounds continue to be well presented and maintained. All students have opportunities to enhance their learning using digital devices.

Staffing levels are generous and classes are small. Teachers are suitably qualified. Focused professional learning and development aligns closely with the school’s vision and direction.

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 Pastoral Care of International Students 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.

The school’s practices and processes provide good support for pastoral care and quality of education. School leaders make appropriate provision for monitoring their work with international students. Further consideration could be given to reporting to the trust board on progress and achievement of international students.

5 Conclusion

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

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

31 January 2020

About the School


Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

other ethnic groups




Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

31 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

December 2014

September 2010