Samuel Marsden Collegiate School -Whitby - 09/07/2015


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

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Whitby is a coeducational private school for students from Years 7 to 13. It was established as a campus of Samuel Marsden Collegiate School (Marsden) in 2005. The board and management of Marsden Karori are responsible for both schools. The executive principal has overall responsibility and works closely with the director of Marsden Whitby who is responsible for day-to-day operations.

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Karori was also reviewed in June 2015 and ERO's review in relation to the criteria for registration largely covered both schools. This report details findings common to both schools as well as those specifically about the Whitby campus.

The school’s Anglican character is incorporated in the values fostered through the curriculum and daily activities. Key qualities that students are encouraged to strive for are being positive, respectful, organised, supportive, prepared, engaged and resilient - PROSPER.

Suitable Curriculum and Tuition

The New Zealand Curriculum guides teaching and learning programmes. Students and their families are well informed about the curriculum and career options. The school endeavours to provide curriculum and career pathways to suit all students.

Curriculum subjects and co-curricular opportunities continue to expand as the school roll grows. Classes are taught from Year 7 by specialist teachers. Leaders continue to review and develop successful transitions and learning pathways. Junior students stay together as a class for most of their learning.

Students appreciate the small class sizes and a school in which everyone knows each other. Positive and respectful relationships underpin teaching and contribute to a supportive learning environment. Senior students speak enthusiastically about the sense of community and the strong school spirit.

High numbers of students achieve the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) which indicates the school’s curriculum and tuition are effective.

A daily tutoring programme includes a variety of activities and support from tutor teachers aimed at developing a range of student skills and knowledge. In 2015 this was extended to include more time for academic mentoring.

Christian values and high expectations for interactions, behaviour and citizenship contribute to a school culture in which students are well engaged in learning and are polite and friendly. In class they confidently share their ideas and ask questions.

Teachers use a good range of strategies, including digital technology, to implement interesting learning programmes. Some teachers and learning areas provide increased student choice and interactive learning.

Teachers and leaders are appropriately planning to extend future-focused teaching and learning approaches. This work is likely to lead to teaching that is increasingly responsive to individual students’ strengths, needs, interests and cultures. Junior classes should be a priority for differentiated teaching strategies targeted to individuals. Student-led learning should further enhance engagement and achievement.

School leaders consider it is timely to expand on The New Zealand Curriculum principles and key competencies and explore how they could be more explicit in the Marsden curriculum.

Leaders have identified that the Marsden curriculum and environment need to be more bicultural with increased reflection throughout the school of te ao Māori. With the support of key staff and board members, they have taken steps to address this.

Suitable premises

The premises and equipment are suitable for the size and type of school. Good quality facilities and resources support the provision of an evolving curriculum. The buildings and attractive grounds are well maintained.

Suitable staffing

All teachers are qualified and registered. Specialist subjects are taught by staff with qualifications and skills appropriate to their fields of expertise. Non-teaching staff include a guidance counsellor, based at the Karori campus, who works closely with the pastoral deans to support students’ wellbeing.

Staff performance is monitored regularly using the Registered Teacher Criteria. A programme is in place to strengthen staff capacity and reflective practice. Leaders consider that a continued focus on teaching inquiry is an appropriate next step.

The school’s managers and board members 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

Appropriate systems are in place to assure the Samuel Marsden Collegiate managing body that its other statutory obligations are being met.

4. Conclusion

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

Joyce Gebbie Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

9 July 2015

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Private School (Years 7-13)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 62%, Girls 38%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā




Other ethnic groups






Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

9 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review 

November 2011

May 2008