St Paul's Collegiate (Hamilton) - 23/03/2017


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that St Paul's Collegiate (Hamilton) 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

ehas 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

Suitable Premises and Equipment

The school continues to meet the private school registration criteria with regard to suitable premises and equipment.

There is a well-considered, strategic approach to managing and upgrading premises and equipment. Since the previous ERO review in 2012 particular features have been:

  • the development of the Gallagher Agri-business centre of excellence
  • extensive upgrades to the hostel facilities
  • improvements to the Tīhoi Venture School, located on the Western side of Lake Taupō, and modernisation and building of classrooms on the Hamilton campus, some of which have been constructed by students
  • a new music centre that is currently under construction
  • continuing investment in the school’s digital infrastructure.

The board and senior leaders continue to provide a high quality physical environment that promotes learning and wellbeing.

Suitable Staffing and Tuition Standards

The school continues to meet its registration requirements with regard to suitable staffing and tuition. All teachers are certificated.

The school has a culture of high expectations for teachers and students. Teachers establish positive learning partnerships with students, which are supported by their close involvement in both curricular and co-curricular activities. Teachers have strong subject knowledge and depth of experience in successful teaching.

Examples of effective teaching practice observed by ERO include:

  • meaningful feedback and feedforward for students about their progress
  • many opportunities to revisit and consolidate new learning
  • ensuring that students have a clear understanding of the purpose and content of their lessons
  • effective use of digital technology to personalise learning and encourage collaboration
  • interactive discussions that challenge students’ thinking.

Teachers regularly share successful teaching strategies across curriculum areas. Many teachers actively contribute to regional and national education organisations.

Curriculum for Teaching Learning and Assessment

The school continues to deliver a broad and rich curriculum based on its 'our cornerstones' which are academic, sporting, cultural and spiritual endeavour. The Christian ethos provided by the Anglican Church continues to underpin the positive tone and culture of the school, and is particularly reflected in a meaningful programme of service to the local community and international areas of need. In addition, close partnerships with parents contribute to a strong community of learning.

A deliberate emphasis on student wellbeing is supported by the comprehensive pastoral care systems and programmes that promote character education and self-awareness. Tīhoi Venture School is central to the school’s curriculum. It offers a wide range of challenging outdoor education and leadership experiences that encourage independence and self confidence.

Curriculum content is well managed in the interests of students. Continual revision and review has led to ongoing improvement and innovation. Examples include:

  • an agri-business programme, which has been introduced in collaboration with external contributors and is being shared in the wider education sector
  • practical, real-life learning experiences, such as engineering and construction
  • greater cross-curricular links to encourage deeper and more collaborative learning
  • a deliberate emphasis on life skills and key competencies
  • school-wide use of a very effective programme for improving literacy and thinking across the curriculum.

Students with diverse learning needs are well supported and affirmed, and strongly encouraged to be self-managing learners. This is particularly evident in the Learning Enhancement Unit. Students are being well prepared to become active and successful participants in the modern economy.

The school is increasingly meeting national aspirations to become more visibly and positively bicultural.

The school has high expectations for student achievement. In the senior school a range of systems and programmes contribute to close tracking and monitoring of individual student progress and achievement. These include mentoring, fortnightly reports to parents, and regular staff discussions about student needs. Students are encouraged to believe in their abilities and achieve their aspirations. As a result, there are high levels of NCEA achievement and endorsements. In addition, a high number of scholarships are awarded across the curriculum. In 2016 all Māori students achieved qualifications relevant to their year levels.

Teachers use a wide range of nationally referenced and informal assessments to identify the needs of students in Years 9 and 10. This information is used to determine class groupings and inform teaching programmes. Teachers regularly discuss the progress of these students along with strategies to enhance their learning. Students report that teachers take an active interest in their individual progress and achievement.

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. Highly effective distributed leadership has led to ongoing critical reflection and improvement. Clear alignment and communication of school-wide vision, values and priorities results in effective change management and collaborative professional learning. The school is well-supported by well-informed and actively involved trustees who bring a range of relevant skills and expertise to their roles and provide strong support for the school.

Senior leaders agree that areas for review and development include:

  • reviewing and refining annual target setting within curriculum areas and the annual plan
  • strengthening practices for assessment and reporting progress and achievement to the board for students in Years 9 and 10
  • further developing the understanding and implementation of teaching as inquiry with a focus on accelerating student progress
  • continuing to investigate ways to promote students’ ownership and leadership of their learning
  • increasing Māori content across the curriculum.

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 Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (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 ERO review there were 39 international students attending the school and no exchange students.

International Students continue to benefit from high quality education and comprehensive pastoral care. A significant number of international students achieve NCEA and other qualifications. English language tuition, where needed, is designed to specifically cater for individual learning needs. In order to more fully address the requirements of the 2016 code, teachers should now more closely assess all international students’ progress through the year and report overall trends and patterns to the board.

The International Student department is well led by an experienced coordinator and deputy principal, who effectively implement and oversee a range of appropriate monitoring and internal review systems. Students participate in a range of co-curricular activities. They, and in some cases their parents, are readily integrated into the school and its community.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, St Paul’s Collegiate Hostels, accommodates 317 students, 45% of the school roll. It is owned by the Waikato Anglican College Trust. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Recent improvements include:

  • a five year programme of building upgrades of the boys’ hostels
  • a significant increase in staffing
  • the development of a comprehensive policy and systems framework to guide the work of the hostel masters.

Boarders spoken to by ERO reported they were happy and settled in a family-like environment. Regular surveys ensure that student and parent concerns are heard and responded to appropriately.

5 Conclusion

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

23 March 2017

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 82% Girls 18%

Ethnic composition





Other Asian


Other European










Special Features


Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

23 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

March 2012

May 2009

June 2006