Scots College - 10/12/2018


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Scots College 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.

Scots College is a fully registered private school catering for a current roll of 871 boys from Year 1 to 13. Presbyterian values and beliefs underpin the vision. The college seeks for each young man to achieve his academic, spiritual, physical, cultural and social potential for the greater good and the service to others.

Since the July 2014 ERO report, the college has been restructured. A preparatory school caters for students in Years 1 to 6, with a middle school for students in Years 7 to 10 and a senior school for students in Years 11 to 13.

The Board of Governors and Headmaster provide clear direction through their strategic statement to guide ongoing college development. Significant consultation, research and review has informed the implementation of their strategic goal aligned to future focused learning. Expected outcomes seek to foster transferable skills and approaches to learning that further promote learner success and build their preparedness for a changing world.

Criteria for Registration

Suitable Premises and Equipment

Premises and equipment suitably support delivery of the curriculum and the number and age of students. The board of governors and college leaders strategically manage property and resourcing decisions to cater for current students and continued growth in roll numbers, boarders and international students.

Resourcing promotes appropriate breadth of the curriculum. Students learn in well-equipped classrooms with suitable access to facilities for science, the arts and technology. Equipment supports them to participate in a wide range of sporting, recreational and creative pursuits. Outdoor areas and grounds are well maintained. Access to digital devices and on-line learning, within and beyond school, supports students to self-manage their learning and achievement.

Suitable staffing and tuition

The college is suitably staffed and provides suitable tuition. All teachers are registered and qualified, including trained in the provision of the International Baccalaureate. Staff appointments reflect the curriculum priorities of the college.

Students are provided appropriate tuition matched to their age. Advice in relation to careers and pathways supports their aspirations. Staff express high expectations for student learning, achievement and success. Classrooms are calm and orderly. Teaching strategies encourage purposeful engagement in learning. Curriculum guidelines foster a shared understanding of expected practice between teachers.

Professional learning and development for teachers and leaders is aligned to the college priorities. Internal and external expertise is accessed to facilitate development of agreed practice. Coaching and performance management guide the development of professional practice. Clear alignment between college strategic priorities and department and teacher appraisal goals demonstrate a coherent approach in managing ongoing improvement.

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.

Suitable Curriculum

The college curriculum is suitable for all year groups. It incorporates The New Zealand Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate programmes. Students are provided with a wide range of subjects, courses and options.

The preparatory, middle and senior schools have comprehensive curriculum statements that cover or link to teaching programmes, learning and assessment practices. Clear expectations are provided to students and parents in relation to the curriculum and achievement. Department and teacher planning are appropriate. Students undertake a project for exhibition at the end of Year 6, and a community project at the end of Year 10, demonstrating the breath of their learning. At senior level they make a choice to study for either qualifications through National Certificates of Educational Achievement or International Baccalaureate diploma. Nearly all students gain University Entrance.

Suitable systems and processes support the college to meet the pastoral needs of students. There are expectations for the positive inclusion of students and processes for restorative practice. Students' transition in, through and out of the college are supported. The school is committed to further strengthening pastoral care as they prepare for a longer term co-educational strategy.

Leaders, teachers and governors develop reciprocal partnerships with the local and wider community, other educational institutions and organisations.

2 Other Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its statutory obligations are met.

3 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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 58 international students attending the school and six exchange students.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough and contributes to further developments. Policies and practice suitably guide provision for international students. Individuals and parents receive relevant information prior to enrolment. Orientation is well planned and implemented. Access to relevant curriculum experiences are provided, and include extensive participation in co-curricular activities and experiences outside the college. Individual student plans are developed to match their needs and aspirations for study. Processes for monitoring and responding to student wellbeing, academic progress and achievement are appropriate.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Gibb House, currently accommodates 110 students, 13% of the school roll. It is owned by Scots College. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met. The majority of students board for seven days. Policies and procedures clearly detail guidance and expectations to support operational management, health and safety practices.

Boarding facilities are of a high standard. The college has an appropriate range of personnel and services to promote and respond to the pastoral and wellbeing of students. Orientation suitably supports them as they enter the boarding facility. Boarders live and learn in positive environment supported by the shared values of the college. Hostel staff know students well fostering positive relationships and interactions. Routines and expectations are well defined and regularly revisited. Students' nutritional and individual dietary needs are appropriately planned for and met. They engage in a wide range of planned recreational activities. Their academic progress and achievement is well supported. Self-review practices, including Information gathered from students and parents, informs change.

4 Conclusion

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

10 December 2018

About the School


Miramar, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Private Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Special features

Private boarding hostel (Years 7 to 15) Chapel

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

10 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

July 2014
June 2011
October 2007