St Cuthbert's College (Epsom) - 19/08/2015


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.

St Cuthbert’s College is a fully registered private school in Epsom, Auckland. It caters for students from Year 1 to 13. It has a roll of 1384 students, plus 42 international students.

2. Criteria for Registration

St Cuthbert’s College was founded in 1915 and is owned and governed by the St Cuthbert’s College Trust Board. The college continues to meet the registration criteria as set out in the Education Act 1989, providing students with suitable curriculum, premises, staffing, and equipment. Guided by the school motto, By Love Serve, and the values embodied in the College Compass, the school provides high quality education for girls.

Teaching and learning are underpinned by a coherent, well structured curriculum that reflects The New Zealand Curriculum. Curriculum development and delivery is informed by relevant research, and by school self review that includes input from students and families. Since the previous ERO review in 2009, some reorganisation has taken place. The junior school which catered for students in Years 1 to 8 has now been reconstituted to form a junior school for girls in Years 1 to 6 and a middle school for those in Years 7 and 8. This new configuration further assists seamless and well managed transitions for students as they progress through the school.

A senior academy promotes leadership roles for students in Year 12 and 13. Dual academic pathways provide students with a choice of qualifications, with both the National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEA) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma offered. Each pathway is equally valued within the school and expectations for achievement are consistently high.

Programmes at all levels reflect the school’s stated intentions of providing a learning environment which promotes a personalised learning experience across the five elements of the College Compass. The school’s curriculum affirms New Zealand’s identity and is progressive in its perspectives. It looks inwards, acknowledging and valuing tradition, while also promoting future focused perspectives and innovation across all facets of learning. It includes learning that promotes social and environmental awareness. It encourages working together as a community, helping students develop a sense of empathy, personal responsibility and resilience throughout their time at school.

The curriculum is well documented and shared with parents. Timely and focused communication and reporting ensures that parents are well informed about their children’s learning programmes and progress.

High academic achievement continues to be a hallmark of the school. School expectations for student success are realised across curricular and co-curricular programmes in the junior, middle and senior school. The school values of respect, caring about others, service, confidence and resilience are highly evident and infuse all aspects of school life.

The school provides suitable staffing and standards of tuition. Teachers are well qualified and model a commitment to working for the common good of students, staff and the wider College community. Effective teaching is reflected in settled, purposeful class environments. Students are highly engaged in their learning and benefit from creative and inspiring teaching. Students know about their learning and have a strong sense of self-efficacy. Their diverse strengths and abilities are well supported, enabling them to achieve their academic, personal and spiritual goals.

The trust board ensures that students and teachers are provided with high quality premises, equipment and resources. These provisions continue to improve. Developments since the 2009 ERO review include the construction of a performing arts centre and the refurbishment of classroom blocks to provide flexible learning environments and to support ongoing expansion of the curriculum. Resources are well maintained and used effectively for teaching and learning. Learning opportunities are extended through the thoughtful use of digital technologies.

This year, to mark the centenary of the school’s founding, the school has opened the Centennial Centre for Wellbeing. This purpose built facility is designed to foster the emotional and physical wellbeing of students. It includes a well designed student services centre (Beattie Centre), which serves as a hub for the school’s comprehensive pastoral care network. Review and development of the house system and tutor groups has also had a significant impact on students’ sense of belonging and ‘house spirit’ is strong across the school.

The school’s attractive buildings and grounds are well maintained. Systems for monitoring and reviewing health and safety provisions for students and staff are robust.

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 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. ERO’s investigations confirm that the school’s self-review processes for international students are thorough. At the time of this review there were 42 international students attending the school.

International students experience very high levels of pastoral care and support that help to promote their wellbeing and academic progress and achievement. Most international students live in the hostel. This benefits their academic learning, integration into the school community and involvement in the school’s many cultural, sporting and co-curricular activities.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school’s three hostels accommodate 125 students, or nine percent of the school roll. They are owned by the St Cuthbert’s College Trust Board. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Hostel students experience high levels of care and support for their physical and emotional wellbeing. The hostel is efficiently and effectively managed. Students have appropriate responsibilities and participate fully in college life. They have rich opportunities for academic success and to form lasting friendships.

5. Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that St Cuthbert's College (Epsom) meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.


Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

19 August 2015

About the School


Epsom, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Composite Private School (Years 1 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Cook Island Māori












Special Features

School Hostel

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

19 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

October 2009

September 2006

September 2003