ACG Parnell College

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Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that ACG Parnell 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.

2 Criteria for Registration

ACG Parnell College is a fully registered co-educational school for students in Years 1 to 15. The school’s managing body is the board of the Academic Colleges Group (ACG), a private company that owns several schools in Auckland and overseas. ACG is affiliated to the Inspired Education Group which is a global independent school company. The school roll continues to increase and includes greater ethnic diversity. One key factor contributing to roll growth has been the recent merging of ACG Senior College with ACG Parnell College. 

The college continues to provide education to a very good standard for students, and includes suitable staffing, curriculum, premises and equipment. High expectations of staff and students generate a highly focused learning environment. This reflects the school’s goal of supporting students to develop passion for learning and discovering their own potential for personal and academic success.

A cohesive, sequenced curriculum is provided for Years 1 to 10 that follows Cambridge programmes for English, mathematics and science. Other learning areas are supported by the New Zealand Curriculum. During the past two years testing has been reduced for Year 7 to 10 students. Year 12 to 13 students have pathway options through the Cambridge Assessment International Education or the International Baccalaureate (IB), and they may gain scholarships through the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Students and parents have ready access to online information about students’ curriculum programmes and their progress and achievement. There is good support for students as they decide their curriculum pathways in the senior college and beyond school.

Extracurricular opportunities are encouraged, including music and performance, and an increased profile has been given to participation in sports. Learning support and pastoral care help students in their wellbeing and achievement. This support includes tutor and mentoring programmes, relevant programmes for English language learners and the employment of a counsellor.

The generally instructional mode of teaching suits the school’s strong academic focus and is complemented by the fostering of students’ self-efficacy, and ownership of their own learning. ERO observed positive, highly focused, and well-managed classrooms throughout the school. The school’s achievement information indicates high levels of student achievement across Cambridge assessments, and consistently high University Entrance level achievement.

A new principal was appointed in 2017 and has ably led the school through ACG ownership changes and resulting new requirements. He is supported by a capable leadership team that includes continuing and newly appointed leaders. The school is committed to appointing well-qualified teachers with expertise in their specialist areas. ACG and school leaders maintain rigorous quality assurance of staff performance and professional growth.

The college is located over three sites catering for different age groups, and all within close walking distance of each other. The college’s buildings are well maintained and provide facilities conducive to teaching and learning. Classrooms are well presented and equipped with resources relevant to the differing age groups. To access facilities for curriculum programmes, the school takes advantage of local amenities that include the nearby Auckland Domain, museum and Newmarket pools. The college has continued to expand the range of information technologies available to students and staff.

The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provision 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 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 304 international students attending the school. Self review processes are well developed ensuring that the school meets its obligations under the Code.

International students are provided with high quality support for their education and wellbeing from an experienced team of staff within the ACG schools’ international student department. Learning programmes, including those for English language learning, are tailored to their individual needs.

5 Conclusion

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

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

29 November 2019

About the School

Location

Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

2085

School type

Private Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

984

Number of international students

304

Gender composition

Boys 63% Girls 37%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
other ethnic groups

21%
30%
8%
41%

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

29 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

August 2014
March 2010
February 2004

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that ACG Parnell 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. 

2 Criteria for Registration

The criteria for registration as a private school under section 35A are that the school:

  • has premises that are suitable
  • 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
  • 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
  • has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school
  • has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents
  • has suitable tuition standards and
  • has managers who are fit and proper persons to be managers of a private school.

ACG Parnell College is a co-educational school for students from Year 1 to 13, located in the inner city Auckland suburb of Parnell. The school occupies purpose-built and modified premises, with suitable facilities for delivering the school's stated curriculum.

Review Findings

ACG Parnell College has been regularly reviewed by the Education Review Office since its establishment in 1998. Previous ERO reviews have commented on the school’s positive environment for learning and high standards of student achievement.

The school continues to be well led and managed. Students enjoy an attractive and well maintained environment and make good use of local public facilities for recreation and learning purposes. The school’s curriculum is well documented and shared with parents. Expectations of teachers and students to strive for excellence are a key feature that sustains the school’s performance.

Other key features of the school that have been sustained include:

  • modern purpose-built facilities that enable teachers to deliver a well planned and resourced curriculum
  • high levels of achievement of senior students in the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) system and New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) framework
  • individualised tutoring and pastoral care systems that support students’ progress and learning
  • actively engaged parents and families who have good communication and access to school leaders
  • well managed programmes of professional learning and development for teachers
  • high standards of tuition that support students’ diverse learning needs.

Outcomes for students are very positive. They gain knowledge and skills and achieve qualifications across all areas of the curriculum that foster successful life-long learning. Students have opportunities to be leaders and to learn collaboratively with peers. The school celebrates the progress of all students and is proud of the very high standards of achievement gained each year in national and international examinations.

The junior school curriculum prioritises literacy and numeracy, with a strong emphasis on the teaching of writing. Additional learning support is provided for students for whom English is an additional language. Children’s progress is assessed regularly and closer attention is given to any student who is achieving below expected standards.

School management is improvement and goal focused. Senior leaders have clear responsibilities, and carry out quality assurance and monitoring roles. The leadership team, ably led by the principal, encourages a reflective and professional culture amongst the staff. Teachers share their expertise and willingly engage in new learning. Feedback from parent, staff and students contribute to ongoing school improvement.

Recent school-wide developments have focused on:

  • using student achievement information to inform planning and teaching practice
  • sharing learning expectations and success criteria with students
  • reporting student progress and achievement to parents
  • teaching critical thinking skills as an integral part of the school’s curriculum
  • including digital technologies in teaching and learning
  • offering National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) Scholarship examinations as an incentive for extending very able students.

Senior leaders have also usefully aligned the NZ Teacher Council Registered Teacher Criteria with the school’s own key performance indicators. This process supports beginning teachers to gain full registration and enables experienced teaching staff to maintain a current practicing certificate.

Curriculum leaders continue to explore the best use of digital learning devices. There is general agreement that a blended e-learning approach would best complement the school’s expanding electronic communication resourcing and infrastructure.

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 Statutory 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.

The 37 international students on the roll of AGC Parnell College are in Years 1 to 8. The school also provides programmes for another 88 international students in Years 9 to 13 on behalf of the ACG New Zealand International College.

The interests and needs of international students are well met. They are supported to improve their English language skills and to achieve well in other curriculum areas. Staffing includes an experienced director and school-based manager who reports to the principal.

International students are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities and involve themselves in the wider life of the school.

ERO’s investigations confirm that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

5 Conclusion

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

18 August 2014

About the School

Location

Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

2085

School type

Registered Independent Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

750

Number of international students

37

Gender composition

Boys 58% Girls 42%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Pacific

Other European

Other Asian

Other

2%

45%

16%

13%

2%

11%

6%

5%

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

18 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

Accountability Review

March 2010

February 2004

March 2001