Samuel Marsden Collegiate School -Whitby - 03/11/2011

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Whitby 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.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review fully registered private schools, and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for full registration.

This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

2. Criteria for Registration

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Whitby is a coeducational private school for students from Year 7 to 13. The school is governed and managed in conjunction with Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Karori, the board of management and principal being responsible for both schools.

Marsden's Karori campus was also reviewed at this time and ERO's evaluation of the criteria for registration largely covered both schools. This report details findings common to both schools as well as those relating specifically to the Whitby campus.

Marsden Whitby shares the board's vision to develop confident, independent learners in a Christian environment. Key qualities that students strive for are being positive, respectful, organised, supportive, prepared, engaged and resilient.

Suitable Premises and Equipment

The school has undergone significant development since the 2008 ERO review. Additional teaching spaces have been constructed, including a new gymnasium and specialist rooms for science, music and art. These extensions to the premises enable the school to cater for all students including, in 2012, Year 13. The buildings and grounds are well maintained.

The current library facility is limited in size and availability. However this, along with other facilities, is evolving into a more suitable provision of learning resource as the school continues to develop. Close links with the Karori campus help to ensure that Whitby students have access to appropriate learning environments, resources and equipment.

Suitable Staffing

In partnership with the board, the principal and school directors provide future-focused leadership towards achieving the school's strategic objectives and annual development goals.

Teachers are suitably qualified and registered. Heads of department (HoDs) are at the Karori campus. The Whitby director is a member of Marsden's senior management team, with delegated responsibility for day-to-day school management, including appraisal of Whitby staff. Coherent processes to maintain consistent teaching practice are yet to be fully implemented.

Teachers share school-wide professional learning and development with the Karori campus. They also receive professional support related to specific Whitby initiatives and personal goals. A dean oversees implementation of the newly-developed and cohesive pastoral care framework.

Suitable Curriculum and Tuition

The New Zealand Curriculum is the foundation for Marsden's teaching and learning programmes. Religious education and leadership learning are components of the core curriculum.

The learning environment is described by students and staff as family-like. Small classes help teachers and learners to know each other well, and interactions are positive and respectful. Teachers use a range of strategies to engage and challenge learners. Individual strengths and next steps are identified and responded to. Lessons are well paced and build on prior learning.

Programmes at Whitby reflect the school's coeducational character and its locality and context. The director is strengthening community links to further enhance the curriculum through partnership with key agencies and groups, including iwi.

The curriculum is learner-centred, with smooth transitions and clear sequential pathways from Years 7 to 13. Teaching and learning programmes provide a broad, balanced education for students in Years 7 to 11, and offer an increasing range of specialist options in the senior school.

Students make good progress in relation to the National Standards and gain very high levels of success in the National Certificates of Education Achievement, including for merit and excellence endorsements. In Years 12 and 13 students have the option of studying towards New Zealand Scholarship and Cambridge International Examinations.

Students’ ideas, opinions and feedback are valued, actively sought and respectfully considered. Consequently, students confidently question, challenge and critique aspects of their learning, and show initiative in the day-to-day life of the school. Authentic leadership roles are provided throughout the school, and students are well supported as they develop their capacity and skills to be confident, effective leaders.

Parents are well informed about the nature of the curriculum and the progress students make. Personal development interviews led by students help parents and whānau to engage in a meaningful way with students' learning and aspirations. The school website includes regular updates about learning programmes and significant school events.

Fit and proper persons

The school's managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G as being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

3. Other Statutory 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

There are no international students enrolled at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School: Whitby.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School: Whitby does not have a school hostel

5. Conclusion

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

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

3 November 2011

About the School


School, Whitby

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Private School (Years 7-13)



School roll


Gender composition

Males 62%

Females 38%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Other ethnic groups





Review team on site

September 2011

Date of this report

3 November 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

May 2008

1 School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.