Tauranga Boys' College

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Education institution number:
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Boys School)
Not Applicable
Total roll:

664 Cameron Road, Tauranga

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School Context

Tauranga Boys’ College is a secondary school providing education for students from Years 9 to 13. The school has a diverse ethnic roll of 1843 students, including 26% Māori and 4% of students with Pacific heritage.

The strategic overview focuses on learning opportunities that meet the diverse needs of students, growing teacher capability through personal inquiry and providing an inclusive culture by being ‘better than before’. Annual targets prioritise the raising of academic achievement for all students and includes specific targets for Māori, Pacific, priority students and academic excellence. Alongside, enhancing attendance and engagement of students.

In 2018, the college and their community completed a wide review that resulted in the development of a graduate profile. Desired competencies and values in the profile then informed modifications to curriculum, assessment and timetable structure to enable students to be best prepared for successful pathways.

The school’s mission and vision are to be ‘a school where we are committed to excellence and equity’ through being ‘Best for Boys|Tama Tū Tama Ora’. These encompass being ‘better than before, leaders in boys' learning, tūrangawaewae and respecting the past while creating the future’. Key competencies for boys include: to approach complex challenges with critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaboration and cultural understanding. Alongside this, students are encouraged to embody the ‘Good Man Qualities’ of whakaute, atawhai, pūmau, manawaroa, manawanui and pono. The school works alongside the iwi of Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, and Ngāti Pūkenga.

Since the 2014 ERO review, most senior leaders remain in their roles. The teaching team is made up of new and experienced practitioners. A new board chair was elected in 2015, he remains in his role and there is a mix of new and experienced trustees. There has been a significant increase in the school roll.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
  • engagement data
  • wellbeing information for students
  • achievement in reading, number and writing at Years 9 and 10
  • sporting and cultural participation.

Tauranga Boys’ College is a member of the Tauranga Peninsula Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is achieving excellent outcomes for the large majority of students and is working towards equitable outcomes for all.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation enrolment-based achievement data shows that most students achieved well at NCEA Levels 1 and 2, and a large majority of students at Level 3. These patterns of achievement show consistency over time for students at Level 1, and improvements at Levels 2 and 3.

Enrolment-based data in 2019 shows that the majority of students achieved University Entrance (UE). The majority of students gained NCEA with merit or excellence endorsement at Level 1. Over time rates of endorsements have improved at Levels 1 and 2. The school continues to gain high numbers of scholarships. In 2019, students gained 24 scholarships in a wide variety of subjects.

In 2019, the large majority of Māori and Pacific students achieved at NCEA Level 1, and most at Level 2. The large majority of Māori students achieved Level 3. Over time the rates of attainment have improved at Level 1 and 2 for Pacific students and at Level 2 for Māori students. Since 2015, NCEA merit and excellence endorsements for Māori students have significantly improved. Overall, Māori and Pacific students achieve at significantly lower levels than their Pākehā peers at NCEA Levels 1, 3 and UE. Over time disparity has narrowed for Pacific students at Level 1, and for Māori students considerably narrowed at Level 2, and continued at Levels 1, 3 and UE. In 2017 and 2019 Māori students attained comparable rates with Pākehā students at Level 2. In 2019 Pacific students also attained comparable rates with their Pākehā peers.

School leavers’ data shows that most students leave the college with a minimum of an NCEA Level 2 qualification. Since ERO’s evaluation in 2014 there has been significant improvement in more Māori students remaining at school and achieving this qualification. There is ongoing disparity, however, for Māori and Pacific students leaving with NCEA Level 2 compared to Pākehā leavers.

Most students in Year 9 achieve well in relation to curriculum expectations in reading, and the majority of students in writing and numeracy. Faculties in the school have collated Years 9 and 10 data related to curriculum levels and made these reports available to the board of trustees. Strengthening the analysis of trends and patterns of student progress and achievement in relation to curriculum levels at Years 9 and 10 and reporting this to the board is a key next step.

The school surveys all the students about their engagement and wellbeing. Analysed information shows the initiatives and strategies to enhance engagement are having a positive impact on achievement and attendance, especially for Māori and Pacific students. Deliberate acts to improving students’ wellbeing are effective for most students.

Students have a high level of participation and success in a wide range of sporting and cultural activities which contributes to their development in the broad achievement areas valued by the school.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school’s collated achievement information shows effective acceleration for many students who need this.

Strategies and initiatives to accelerate students who began Year 9 in 2018, and continued to Year 10 in 2019, that were below curriculum expectations were effective in writing and reading, and highly effective in numeracy. Acceleration information shows that the programmes for these students were most effective for:

  • Māori and Pacific students in reading and numeracy
  • Māori and Pākehā students in writing.

This acceleration information shows that disparity is narrowing for Māori and Pacific students in relation to Pākehā in reading and numeracy. However, it is widening for Pacific students in writing.

In 2018, programmes and interventions to accelerate progress and achievement of those students in Year 10 who were below curriculum expectations were effective in writing and numeracy. These initiatives were most effective for:

  • Pacific and Pākehā students in writing
  • Māori and Pākehā students in numeracy.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leadership collaboratively promotes and pursues the school’s vision, goals and targets. Leaders and teachers are advocates for students’ holistic wellbeing. Strategic appointments and purposeful initiatives are targeted towards raising achievement and success. The distributed leadership model extends opportunities for teachers to grow leadership practices that further support equity and excellence. Student leadership is widely encouraged and facilitated in all aspects of school life.

Positive and affirming learning-centred relationships are built on a strong foundation of success, the ‘Respect Code’ and the ‘Good Man Qualities’. These actively contribute to building and extending students’ leadership, resilience and confidence. An accepting student culture strongly encourages students to care and support one another. Almost all teachers take part in cocurricular activities and events to support student’s involvement in sports and culture. Parents can access a wide range of learning information. Students’ voice is actively sought, analysed and used to make changes in practice and programmes to better meet their needs.

Rich and diverse experiences across the broad curriculum promote student engagement and active participation in all aspects of school life. Students are supported to know, understand and explore future pathways for learning and employment. Success and achievement are celebrated schoolwide. Boys take pride in receiving and recognising the success of others.

A wide range of achievement information is gathered to identify and support successful and meaningful transitions for students with additional needs. Personalised programmes are developed, alongside parents and whānau, for these students that support responsive individual pathways through the school.

A deliberate and strategic approach to build leaders’ and teachers’ capability in culturally responsive pedagogy to raise and promote Māori success is evident. Raising the importance and implementation of te ao Māori across the school is evident. Aronui, the college’s bilingual programme responds well to whānau aspirations for te reo Māori learning. It is also strengthening the knowledge and value of tikanga, te reo and te ao Māori throughout the school. The contribution of Aronui into the wider school community is strengthening students’ sense of belonging.

Teachers participate in a wide range of professional learning and development opportunities to extend their knowledge of high-quality teaching practice. There is a coherent approach to building teacher capability. The inquiry process is supporting collaborative ways of working for improvement in student outcomes. Teachers and leaders lead, contribute and participate in the wider education community. This includes being active participants and contributors to the establishment and ongoing success of the Tauranga Peninsula Kāhui Ako.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Continuing to deepen the analysis and use of achievement information to inform ongoing improvement in equity and excellence is needed. This includes:

  • reframing annual targets to include all students below expected levels from Years 9 to 13
  • identifying the intended acceleration outcomes for these students
  • enhancing school-wide systems to track and monitor the progress and achievement of these students
  • recording and regularly reporting to the board on the rates progress.

There is a wide range of evaluation processes that are undertaken across the school. Further extending trustees and all leaders understanding and use of coherent strategic internal evaluation to better know the impact of change and improvement is likely to strengthen decision making for sustainability.

3 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 review there were 54 long stay and 27 short stay international students attending the school. They come from a number of countries including Germany, Japan, South Korea and China.

International students access relevant and extensive curriculum experiences and subject choices aligned to their individual pathways to tertiary study, including opportunities to participate in co-curricular activities. The director and assistant director of international students, the tutor and specialist teachers work collaboratively to build positive and productive relationships with students further enhances the successful integration of these students into Tauranga Boys’ College. Deliberate strategies and events support the international students to contribute to extending all students understanding of cultural diversity and the world around them.

High levels of pastoral care and student success are a priority for the school. Well-considered processes for monitoring and responding to student wellbeing, academic progress and achievement are in place. Effective internal evaluation in the international department informs ongoing improvement of processes, practices and systems to enhance students’ experiences.

4 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Tauranga Boys’ College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • effective leadership practices that have established a collaborative and empowerment culture for learning
  • purposeful connections with whānau and wider community that enhances meaningful learning pathways
  • an inclusive and caring culture focused on wellbeing that celebrates success and embraces diversity
  • broad curriculum pathways that are responsive to students’ interests, learning needs and aspirations to facilitate equitable and excellent outcomes.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • deeper analysis of achievement information to evaluate the impact that strategies, initiatives and interventions have on acceleration of learning particularly for at-risk students.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

16 June 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Males 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori 26%
NZ European/Pākehā 61%
Pacific 4%
Other ethnic groups 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

16 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014
Education Review June 2011
Education Review June 2008


School leaders and teachers at Tauranga Boys’ College provide high quality education for a large and diverse student population within a well-ordered, caring, inclusive and welcoming environment. Students can experience success through a rich curriculum, multiple learning pathways, and an extensive programme of co-curricular activities appropriate for boys.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Tauranga Boys' College is a large secondary school catering for boys in Years 9 to 13 who come from Tauranga and the surrounding rural areas. The school has a roll of 1771 students, of whom 26% identify as Māori. Most Māori students whakapapa to several iwi in the local area in particular Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, and Ngati Pukenga. There are 44 international fee paying students.

At the time of the previous ERO review in June 2011, the principal was new to the role. Since then, he has established himself as an effective professional school leader. The senior leadership team has been re-structured. A school house system and vertical form classes have been introduced to enhance a sense of belonging and support for student wellbeing. Property developments have included a new technology block and refurbishments to other learning areas.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO and has responded well to the areas for review and development in the last ERO report. Recent initiatives have included the introduction of academic coaching to more effectively monitor student progress, attendance and retention. It also guides student decision-making about learning pathways. Participation in a Ministry of Education (MOE) contract - Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) - has resulted in a focus on school-wide values centred on respect for self, others, and the school environment. Teachers have been involved in the development of clear expectations to guide classroom practices that meet the needs of boys. In addition, there has been ongoing development of the curriculum to respond to the diverse strengths and interests of students.

An important school priority has been the introduction of a number of initiatives, including strengthening partnerships with whānau, to improve the engagement and achievement of Māori students. The board of trustees has co-opted a Māori representative who is making a valuable contribution to the development of the bicultural dimension in the school.

The principal and board are providing clear, strategic direction for school governance and improvement. Students benefit from a positive and caring school culture. Senior leaders and staff know students well. School leaders and teachers set high expectations for learning and behaviour. The school’s vision and values emphasising respect, a sense of belonging, and being ‘better than before’, are strongly promoted and are highly visible throughout the school.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school makes very good use of student achievement information to make positive changes to learner’s engagement, progress and achievement. Effective school-wide systems and processes monitor and track student progress and achievement. Good quality data is being gathered and analysed to:

  • set strategic goals and targets at school wide and curriculum department levels
  • inform self review and decision making about learning programmes
  • identify trends and patterns over time for cohorts and targeted groups of students
  • inform student goal setting and monitoring of their own progress
  • provide information for parents about the progress and achievement of students.

School systems and practices ensure that leaders, teachers, students and their parents have ready access to a range of good quality information relating to students’ wellbeing, progress and achievement.

An important next step for teachers is to extend and embed the use of student achievement information to inform planning to meet the specific needs of groups and individual students in their classes. This would assist in further raising achievement, particularly of priority learners.

The school develops collaborative relationships with students and parents prior to entering Year 9 and during their time at the school. This includes using student achievement and other information to place students in appropriate classes and programmes. The school is able to show, through school-wide and curriculum data, that students make good progress in Years 9 and 10.

Overall achievement in the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) has shown improvement since the last ERO review in 2011. In 2013, students achieved above national comparisons for boys in Levels 1, 2 and 3. The school is committed to raising Māori student achievement and the results for Level 1 NCEA showed improvement compared to 2012. An increasing number of Māori students stay at school to Year 12 and 13 and these students experience success. The school is able to track and monitor the destination of those Māori students who pursue tertiary and trades related courses and employment.

The school is proud of the high number of scholarships and endorsements in NCEA obtained over the last five years. In 2013, students gained 43 scholarships. Significant numbers of students succeed at local, regional and national levels in a range of sporting, cultural and other academic pursuits.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum very effectively supports student learning. Students benefit from a broad and holistic curriculum provided by knowledgeable and experienced teachers. The curriculum is further enriched by opportunities for students to experience success, develop leadership skills, and participate in a wide range of sporting, cultural and co-curricular activities. There are many ways in which the school rewards and celebrates student success for both academic and non academic achievements.

A flexible approach to timetabling allows multiple pathways across learning areas. Students and their parents receive good quality advice and guidance in relation to subject and career choices.

A particular strength of the curriculum is the way in which learning programmes are designed to respond to the varied needs of groups of students. These include:

  • accelerate learning programmes including opportunities to study at university level
  • a high performance sport programme
  • specialised programmes such as inquiry learning, and learning through sport-related contexts
  • programmes designed to promote tikanga and te ao Māori within the school such as Te Whānau a Aronui, te reo, bone and wood carving, and Tama Tu, Tama Ora.
  • courses that enable students to be involved in vocational, trades-based and work experiences and participation in tertiary programmes.

High quality support is provided for students with special learning needs by a skilled and dedicated team of teachers and teacher aides. This includes junior and senior learning support classes for students with high needs. These classes place a strong emphasis on literacy, numeracy, practical life skills, and promotion of independence. A careful and deliberate approach ensures that students are well integrated into the full life of the school. In addition, a designated learning centre provides opportunities for students in mainstream classes to receive literacy support.

Student learning and wellbeing are strongly supported by an extensive and well co-ordinated pastoral care network that includes access to counselling, health services including a school nurse, and good use of outside agencies. There has been a deliberate approach to promoting a safe and inclusive school culture focused on respect, and encouraging students to support each other in vertical form classes and through programmes such as peer mentoring. Student learning, progress and wellbeing are monitored and supported through an academic coaching programme provided by form teachers.

In classrooms, students are settled and engaged in their learning. Examples of effective teaching practice included:

  • positive and supportive learning relationships
  • varied learning activities including group work, hands-on activities and practical experiments
  • teachers sharing the purpose of the learning and providing verbal feedback to individual students
  • effective use of information and communication technologies(ICT)
  • the use of inquiry learning and literacy strategies.

School leaders and teachers demonstrate a strong commitment to further improving their professional practice and supporting students and each other to be successful. They have ongoing opportunities to engage in meaningful professional learning, and reflect on their practice.

Teachers have been involved in the initial development of an effective teaching profile that sets expectations for classroom practice. Senior leaders have identified and ERO agrees that in order to further raise student achievement, an important next step is to refine, strengthen and embed these expectations and practices.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori as Māori.

Since the previous ERO review, there has been a sustained and strategic approach to improving educational outcomes for Māori students. Significant aspects include:

  • a focus on engaging with Māori students, their whānau and iwi to promote a greater sense of belonging and connectedness
  • increased visibility of bicultural perspectives in school protocols, environment and documentation
  • professional learning and development for leaders, teachers and trustees to promote culturally responsive leadership and practices
  • the promotion of Māori language , culture and identity in areas of the curriculum
  • celebrating success and raising the aspirations, engagement and profile of Māori students through a range of strategies
  • Māori students benefitting from the high number of Māori teachers and role models within the school community.

Māori student leadership in a variety of positions, inspiring other students to succeed.

The school is aware that improving the achievement of Māori students in NCEA in relation to that of other students remains an important priority. Senior leaders recognise and ERO agree that there is a need for teachers to focus on accelerating the progress of Māori students, especially in Years 9 and 10.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Key factors contributing to sustainability are:

  • the high quality school leadership provided by the principal and his senior leaders
  • effective leadership of curriculum delivery and school-wide initiatives
  • evidence-based self review that is systematic, planned and well utilised to inform decision making, future direction and ongoing improvement
  • trustees who bring a range of appropriate skills and experiences to their role and are providing high quality governance and strategic direction
  • robust systems and practices to ensure a safe and positive school environment
  • close and collaborative partnerships with parents, whānau and the wider community.

A strength of the school is the focus on responding to the diverse needs of its students and wider community. The school’s history, traditions, philosophy and supportive community relationships contribute to promoting success for boys.

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 confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international learners is thorough.

At the time of this review there were 44 international fee-paying students in the school. These students are well supported by a very experienced Director of International Students, a Home-stay coordinator and an administrative support person. Policies and procedures are clearly documented and regularly reviewed.

Students have access to high quality education programmes including a well planned English as a Second Language (ESOL) programme that is related to their particular needs. Students participate in sporting and cultural activities and are able to take up leadership roles within the school. There is a strong focus on ensuring students wellbeing and pastoral care. Their progress is carefully monitored and they receive strong support in planning their learning pathways.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


School leaders and teachers at Tauranga Boys’ College provide high quality education for a large and diverse student population within a well-ordered, caring, inclusive and welcoming environment. Students can experience success through a rich curriculum, multiple learning pathways, and an extensive programme of co-curricular activities appropriate for boys.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

23 September 2014

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā










Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

23 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

June 2008

November 2004