Waiheke Island Steiner School - 04/05/2018


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Waiheke Island Steiner 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.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools between 6 and 12 months after they have been provisionally registered, and to report to the Ministry of Education for the Secretary to consider full registration.

This ERO review follows the provisional registration of the school by the Ministry of Education in May 2017, and focuses on whether the school now meets the criteria for full registration as a private school.

The school is managed by the Waiheke Island Rudolf Steiner Education Trust.

2 Criteria for Registration

Waiheke Island Steiner School is a small private school currently catering for 29 students in Years 1 to 6 in three composite classes. The Steiner Waldorf philosophy guides the school’s practices, environments and curriculum. The Trust and staff have a strong commitment to providing “education that embraces the outdoors and natural world as a classroom and an education that helps children become well balanced, creative, compassionate human beings”.

The daily programme follows the Steiner curriculum, which is sequential, and specifically considerate of children’s readiness for learning. It includes regular arts and practical skills experiences. Teachers adapt the curriculum to include learning about and experiences in the local island context. Every Friday class programmes offer children opportunities to experience the natural world around them. Parent helpers assist teachers with these programmes, which are away from the school site.

Parents have regular opportunities to talk with teachers about their children’s learning. The school’s website and parent handbook provide families with a useful overview of Steiner education and the way the school operates.

The school has suitable staffing. At the end of 2017, the Trust and staff selected a teacher to take the role of principal. This has proved to be a necessary initiative to manage the multifaceted requirements of running a school. Teacher appraisal processes and support from an external mentor have been set up. The principal plans to adapt appraisal documentation to meet the Education Council’s new requirements.

During ERO’s observations of programmes, capable teacher practices were evident, following the unhurried approach of the Steiner philosophy. Teachers’ interactions with children were respectful and peaceful, providing a model for children’s interactions with their peers. There is sufficient equipment available to assist teaching. Teachers are building up the range of resources to support children’s learning. ERO discussed with the chair of the Trust and the principal the benefits of developing an inventory of resources and equipment.

The school is currently sited on Fossil Bay Farm and shares the site with Fossil Bay Kindergarten, which is also managed by the Trust. The premises provided are suitable for the current roll number. The Trust is seeking a long-term option so that the school can grow and offer more spacious environments for children. At present there is limited outdoor space on the school site for children’s outdoor recreation and learning.

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

The principal has applied for entitlement to obtain police vets for non-registered staff and adults who assist the school to support children’s learning.

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 Conclusion

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

4 May 2018

About the School


Oneroa, Waiheke Island

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 11

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

4 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports