Wellesley College - 21/04/2017

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Wellesley 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 www.ero.govt.nz/Reviews-Process.

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.

Wellesley College is a private Anglican primary school catering for boys in Years 1 to 8. It was founded upon Christian values over 100 years ago. At the time of this ERO review, the school had a roll of 357 students. Since the May 2013 ERO report the school leadership team has changed, with the appointment of a new principal in 2015 and a deputy principal in 2016. The school is governed by a board trustees appointed by Diocese of Wellington. At the time of this review the board comprised mainly parents of boy’s attending the school. 

2 Criteria for Registration

Suitable Premises and Equipment

The premises and equipment are suitable for purpose.

An appropriate range of classrooms and facilities create positive learning spaces. They support the successful delivery of the curriculum and promote student engagement. Ongoing property development continues to improve the premises and environment. Since the May 2013 review the school has added additional classrooms and built a new multipurpose hall to accommodate sports, assemblies and to also function as a chapel.

The spacious, well-maintained grounds, and access to the neighbouring parklands, offer students opportunities to practise and participate in a wide variety of sports and physical activities. Teachers are making increasing use of the local natural surroundings to extend the curriculum.

The board has a strong emphasis on ensuring that systems are in place that promote safe physical and emotional conditions for the boys and staff. Good financial provision supports and suitably resources teaching and learning across the school.

Teachers are conscientious in creating positive, attractive and informative learning environments for students. There has been considerable investment in increasing boys’ access to computer technology to enhance the curriculum.

Suitable Staffing and Tuition Standards

The school is suitably staffed and provides suitable tuition standards.

Teachers are all fully registered, with current practising certificates. Specific teachers cater for students with additional learning needs and those who are at risk of not achieving National Standards. Extra staff extend the range of curriculum opportunities. There are clear and consistent expectations for teachers to guide their practice and performance, daily operations and classroom management.

A structured appraisal system has been introduced that focuses on teacher reflection, feedback and supports ongoing improvement of practice. This is at an early stage of implementation. Continuing to build teachers' understanding of effective appraisal and fully implementing the strengthened process is a next step.

The senior leadership team works collaboratively to support teachers to implement the curriculum and build their capability to promote learning, engagement, progress and achievement. The school supports appropriate professional learning for teachers, both individually and collectively. 

Suitable Curriculum

The curriculum is suitable for teaching, learning and assessment.

Wellesley College has a broad and balanced curriculum, underpinned by Anglican values that reflect the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum. Relationships are affirming and respectful. The school is inclusive and values diversity. Students’ success is celebrated.

The school community has reviewed and reaffirmed the traditional vision of 'each boy has every opportunity to excel'. The focus is to build on the foundations of the strong tradition and culture and to develop future-focussed learning. Boys experience a range of academic, cultural, social, spiritual and sporting opportunities. There is a clear focus on literacy and numeracy, with a strong emphasis on other learning areas that include arts, digital technology, physical education and science.

Teachers and leaders have high expectations for boys’ success. High levels of achievement are reported by the school, and data provided indicates that most students are achieving at or above expectations in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Many boys are shown to be making good progress.

Students are encouraged to take responsibility for and make decisions about their own learning. The consistent schoolwide approach to inquiry learning, provides opportunities for students to follow their strengths and interests.

Parent involvement in students' learning and in the life of the school is valued and encouraged. They are a part of students’ goal setting for improvement. Achievement in a wide range of learning areas is reported to parents twice yearly. Parents are involved and supportive of the range of opportunities to meet and discuss their child’s learning.

The school is introducing new assessments and systems to more clearly show students' achievement. Teachers are exploring ways to use this information to track progress and make decisions about next steps for teaching and learning. They are focused on strengthening their effectiveness in making overall judgements against National Standards. Working with other schools for moderation purposes should support this.

3 Other Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its statutory obligations are met. Practices and procedures promote student physical and emotional safety, and ensure the successful operation and management of the school.

The board and senior leaders have strengthened the framework for strategic planning that sets the direction for school improvement and development. The board and leaders have a cycle of review to ensure that over time current policies are updated in line with the obligations of new legislation.

There is good communication with the board through the principal's reports, where detailed information is shared about the school events, activities and curriculum delivery. The principal and trustees have identified that including more information about student achievement outcomes and progress is a next step. This should better inform decision making.

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.

4 Conclusion

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 April 2017

About the School 

Location

Days Bay, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

4149

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

357

Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

6%

82%

1%

11%

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

21 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

May 2013

May 2010

March 2007