Queen Margaret College

Education institution number:
278
School type:
Composite
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
621
Telephone:
Address:

53 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington

View on map

Queen Margaret College - 04/02/2021

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Queen Margaret College meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in clauses 2 to 6 Schedule 7 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Introduction

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 clauses 2 to 6, Schedule 7 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Clause 9, Schedule 7 of the Education and Training Act requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools and to report to the Secretary for Education on whether each school meets the criteria for registration.

More information about ERO reviews of private schools can be found on ERO’s website https://www.ero.govt.nz/how-ero-reviews/ero-reviews-of-schools-and-kura/private-and-independent-schools/.

The criteria for registration are that the school —

a) has premises that are suitable, as described in clause 3, Schedule 7; 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 [clause 2(b), Schedule 7); 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 (clause 2(c), Schedule 7; and
d) has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school (clause 2(d) Schedule 7); 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 clauses 2(e),(f) and 5, Schedule 7; and
g) has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in clause 6, Schedule 7) to be managers of a private school; and
h) is a physically and emotionally safe place for students (clause 2(h), Schedule 7).

When an ERO report identifies an area within the criteria for registration that is not meeting the criteria at the time of the ERO review, that will be reported, the Ministry will be informed and the Ministry will follow up the issue with the school.

ERO’s Judgement

a) The school has premises that are suitable as described in clause 3, Schedule 7;

Meeting

b) The school 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

Meeting

c) The school 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

Meeting

d) The school has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school

Meeting

e) The school has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents

Meeting

f) The school has suitable tuition standards as described in clauses 2(e), (f) and 5, Schedule 7

Meeting

g) The school has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in clause 6, Schedule 7) to 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.

The school’s manager has attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G in respect to their being a fit and proper person to manage the school.

h) The school is a physically and emotionally safe place for students

A safe place is one in which risks to student safety are regularly assessed and evaluated with a view to eliminating, or at least reducing, harm. A safe place is one where clear policies exist and are acted upon to eliminate or minimise harm.

ERO’s judgement is based on the quality, intent and regular review of the school’s policies and procedures.

The school has regularly reviewed policies and procedures to provide for a physically and emotionally safe place for students.

Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Queen Margaret College meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in clauses 2 to 6 Schedule 7 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code and has completed an annual self-review of its implementation of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 28 international students attending the school.

The school's annual self-review process is effective. A range of stakeholder perspectives are gathered to inform sustained improvement. Processes for orientation to the school are well considered. Students’ pastoral and wellbeing needs are well supported. All international students gain the National Certificate of Educational Achievement or International Baccalaureate qualifications.

Students are actively involved in the life of the school and participate in a range of sporting, cultural and social activities both in the school and the wider community.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Queen Margaret House, accommodates 34 students, 5% of the school roll. It is owned by Queen Margaret College Incorporated. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met. 

ERO reviews the extent to which the hostel provides a safe physical and emotional environment that supports learning for students accommodated in hostels. 

Queen Margaret House is a purpose-built boarding establishment licensed for 42 students from Years 7 to 13. It is situated on the Queen Margaret College school site. It was opened in January 2018. This is its first ERO review. 

Students who board at Queen Margaret House range from Years 7 to 13. Some are international students. Students are either five or seven day a week boarders.

Hostel students are well provided for. The board and hostel manager have developed systems and processes to manage and support students’ physical and emotional safety to enable them to learn and progress at the school. 

Queen Margaret House provides: 

  • a ‘home away from home’ 
  • a range of opportunities for students to attend events and activities beyond the school  
  • close monitoring of students’ physical and emotional wellbeing. 

There is effective communication and there are positive relationships between hostel management staff and school leaders, centred around provision for hostel students and their learning. There are clearly articulated expectations for hostel students. These are well-known and followed by students. The planned upcoming survey of hostel parents/caregivers and students will provide valuable information to inform future hostel developments.         

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

4 February 2021

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Queen Margaret College - 21/10/2015

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Queen Margaret 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 —

  1. has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and
  5. has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and
  6. has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and
  7. has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

2 Criteria for Registration

Queen Margaret College is a private Presbyterian school providing education for girls from Years 1 to 13. It also has an attached pre-school which accommodates 30 children. The College is located in Thorndon, Wellington. The school is registered as a charitable trust and is governed by the Queen Margaret College Board of Governors. It continues to meet the criteria for registration as a private school.

Curriculum and Tuition

The school curriculum is based on a combination of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes and The New Zealand Curriculum. A seamless IB framework has been developed which consists of the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the two-year IB Diploma programme. Girls sit the National Certificate of Achievement (NCEA) in Year 11 and can choose from continuing with NCEA or completing the IB Diploma in Years 12 and 13.

The curriculum is guided by a clear vision focused on promoting passionate learners, resilient women and future leaders within an inclusive Christian environment. Key learning outcomes of the IB programme, such as inquiry, communication, reflection and caring behaviours are evident throughout the school.

Girls benefit from a holistic education and a broad range of extra-curricular activities. Students enthusiastically participate in meaningful learning experiences in a range of contexts. Teachers make good use of the school’s proximity to the city. An international perspective in programmes is enriched by opportunities for overseas exchanges.

Aspects of New Zealand and Māori culture are included in the curriculum. Students' bi-cultural heritage is further promoted through recent initiatives. Ongoing consultation with students and their families is likely to assist the school to ensure that Māori learners’ identity, language and culture are appropriately promoted.

Teachers in the junior school give priority to the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills. They use assessment well to inform their teaching and classroom organisation. Learning support is provided to students who require additional assistance. Students are identified for a range of extension programmes across the school.

The foundations for successful learning, that are established in the early years and extended throughout the middle school, contribute to a highly effective curriculum. Virtually all school leavers achieve University Entrance. Many students gain excellence and merit endorsements in NCEA. In 2014, 13 New Zealand Scholarships Awards were achieved. Since 2011, all IB Diploma candidates have gained the qualification, with many receiving high scores.

A range of teaching strategies and conditions contribute to high levels of student engagement and support students to understand, and take responsibility for, their learning. A high proportion of students are involved in the many opportunities available for leadership, performance and sporting activities. Respectful and positive interactions between teachers and students are evident.

The school’s curriculum is communicated well to parents, families and the community.

Suitable staffing

All teachers are qualified and registered. Clear guidelines and high expectations are in place to promote best practice. Students, including those in the junior school, benefit from a range of specialist teachers. Teachers are well supported by a variety of professional learning and development opportunities to improve their practice. The appointment of a lead teacher of e-learning demonstrates the school’s focus on supporting teachers to use digital technology to enhance student learning.

Since the November 2011 ERO report, changes have been made to the school’s leadership structure to support the three distinct IB programmes. Three Heads of School, under the oversight of the College Principal, manage both curriculum and pastoral care. ERO agrees with leaders' plans to continue to review and develop pastoral care and academic mentoring processes.

A sound performance management process is in place. The teacher appraisal model is focused on developing teacher capacity. Leaders appropriately seek and make improvements to the framework, in line with evolving Education Council requirements and current best practice. Teacher inquiry that makes greater use of student outcome information continues to be a focus for development. ERO affirms this direction.

Suitable premises and equipment

The school is well resourced. Specialist facilities and a wide range of equipment, including digital technology, continue to support student learning. Recent building developments include a sports complex with full-sized gymnasium, classrooms and a Year 13 common room.

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

3 Other Obligations

Appropriate systems are in place to assure the school’s managing body that its other statutory obligations are being met.

4 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were 19 international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the code.

This review confirms that the school’s systems and processes for the education and care of international students are comprehensive. International students are well integrated into the school. The effectiveness of programmes of learning is evident through the quality of academic success these students achieve.

5 Conclusion

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

278

School type

Private School ( Years 1 - 13)

School roll

671

Number of international students

19

Gender composition

Female 100%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Chinese
Indian
Other ethnic groups

69%
  5%
  7%
  5%
14%

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

21 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2011
August 2008
July 2005