Marlborough Boys' College

Marlborough Boys' College

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within six months of the Education Review Office and Marlborough Boys’ College working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website.


Marlborough Boys’ College is a state school, located in Blenheim. It provides education for boys from years 9 to 13. The school’s vision is to inspire and empower their learning community to be the best they can be. This vision is underpinned by the RIPR values: whakanui | respect, whakauru | involved, whakāhi |pride, and kawenga | responsibility.

Marlborough Boys’ College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are: 

  • Hauora: develop a culture of belonging and engagement for all stakeholders with a focus on wellbeing.
  • Being the best we can be: ākonga are given an equitable opportunity to excel in their learning.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Marlborough Boys’ College’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the impact on student achievement, agency, and engagement, of embedding the graduate profile throughout teaching, learning, and pastoral care.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • to weave the graduate profile and cultural narrative throughout teaching, learning, and pastoral care
  • to focus decision making within the kura and identify, measure, and celebrate student achievement based on the graduate profile
  • the need to continue to support the diverse learning needs of ākonga and their varied intended pathways beyond school.

The school expects to see all ākonga:

  • engaging in learning that embraces local pūrākau | stories, mātauranga |knowledge, and opportunities
  • developing skills across the curriculum and articulating their progress towards the four porowhita of the graduate profile: kaihanga rerekētanga | innovators, kaiwhakatere | navigators, tū rangatira | leaders and ākonga taumano |life-long learners
  • demonstrating greater agency in their learning, progress, and pathways
  • progressing towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate the impact on student achievement, agency, and engagement, of embedding the graduate profile throughout teaching, learning, and pastoral care.

  • Strengthened links with iwi and mātauranga (through work on Ngā Kawatau me ngā Tūmanakotanga o Te Tauihu and Haerenga with all kura within Te Tauihu | Top of the South) and community consultation, have informed the school’s strategic direction.
  • The graduate profile was developed in consultation with ākonga, whānau, staff, community, and iwi.
  • Systems of tracking student progress and achievement are used to identify which ākonga need to make accelerated progress and to collaboratively plan to address their learning needs.
  • The recent implementation of vertical whānau classes has grown positive, tuakana-teina learning relationships with kaiako | teachers and peers which are promoting the culture of ākonga becoming the best that they can be.
  • Kaiako have unpacked the porowhita to establish where they are already delivered in learning programmes and to identify further opportunities. 

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • continuing to work with iwi to develop kaiako confidence and capability to develop and deliver learning programmes incorporating the graduate profile, local pūrākau | stories, mātauranga |knowledge, and opportunities
  • targeted professional learning to develop teaching practices which better engage all ākonga
  • consulting ākonga and whānau to determine what success in these skills looks and feels like, how to monitor them and show valued progress
  • analysing achievement, agency, and engagement data to evaluate the impact of embedding the graduate profile throughout teaching, learning and pastoral care.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years. 

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

23 February 2024

About the School

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

This school is planning for a future co-location with Marlborough Girls’ College on a new site.

Marlborough Boys' College

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of November 2023, the Marlborough Boys’ College Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Further Information

For further information please contact Marlborough Boys’ College, School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

23 February 2024

About the School 

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

Marlborough Boys' College

Provision for International Students Report


The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.


The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 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 report there were two international students attending the school. 

The school is rebuilding its programme for international students and has begun to use self-review processes and networks to identify actions needed, and to sustain positive outcomes for students. International students are well cared for, well integrated into the school community, and have opportunities to participate in a variety of co-curricular activities. Students are mentored effectively to make the appropriate choices for their pathways and supported academically. 

The International Director liaises regularly with an assistant principal and reports annually to the Board. As a result, school governance and leadership are informed about international students’ wellbeing, learning, and engagement.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

23 February 2024

About the School 

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

Marlborough Boys' College

School Context

Marlborough Boys’ College is a state secondary boys’ school for Years 9 to 13. It is located in Blenheim and serves the surrounding Marlborough area. It has a roll of 892 students, of whom 20% are Māori.

The school’s vision is ‘To inspire and empower our learning community to be the best they can be’. Planning towards future co-location with the school’s sister school is well under way. The co-location vision statement is ‘Embracing opportunities for our community of learners’ (Kia whai hua mō tō tātou hapori ākonga).

The vision statements are supported by values that encourage ‘Young Men of Marlborough (to) strive to be: Respectful, Responsible, Involved, Proud, The best they can be’.

The school states that its strategic priorities are to:

  • provide a safe and positive learning environment for all stakeholders with a focus on the promotion of school values, especially pride and respect
  • raise academic expectations and achievement for all, with a focus on priority learners including Māori, Pasifika and students with special education needs
  • increase opportunities and participation in the arts, sport and leadership/service
  • plan for a seamless transfer to a new site with inspirational learning programmes complementing state of the art facilities that recognise both our long history and bicultural and multicultural facets of our school.

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

  • achievement in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)
  • school leaver qualifications and destinations.

Since the 2016 ERO review there has been significant changes to staffing, leadership and the board of trustees.

Other significant features of the school’s context include:

  • whole school professional learning and development (PLD) initiatives, including Poutama Pounamu (Mauri ora), Digital Fluency and Collaborative teaching
  • student access to an Alternative Education facility
  • the New Zealand School of Wine Growing, as part of the broad, localised curriculum.

The school is part of the Piritahi Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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 has ongoing work to do in order to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. The school is supporting the majority of students to achieve its valued outcomes. A small majority of students achieve academically at or above expected NZQF levels over time.

School learning information for Years 9 and 10 shows that:

  • over time, a significant number of students are below the expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics, on entry to the school
  • the school is at the stage of gathering data for analysis and there is limited information that shows progress and achievement for these students.

School achievement information for NCEA Levels 1 to 3 shows that for the period from 2015 to 2018:

  • almost all students achieve literacy (Years 11-13), and numeracy (Years 12 and 13)
  • Year 11 numeracy achievement is declining
  • most Level 2 students and the majority of Level 3 students achieve NCEA Levels 2 and 3
  • there is significant disparity for Māori students in relation to other students’ achievement at all levels.

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

Limited available information shows accelerated progress for some of those students who need this. The school has planned, but is yet to fully embed, systems to track and monitor progress and accelerated progress.

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?

Progress-focused leadership within the school is driving a culture of review and improvement. A reflective approach to change management practices promotes strategic use of external expertise and the strengths of staff and teams within the school.

Partnerships with other local education providers underline the school’s genuine appreciation of its increasingly diverse school community. Curriculum and wellbeing initiatives, including the Theory of Change innovation, have been aligned with strategic priorities.

A broad, diverse and responsive local curriculum is increasingly student centred and focused on meeting learner needs and interests. Faculties regularly monitor and assess student achievement, using a variety of assessment tools. Research-based initiatives that are flexible and adaptive are aligned with strategic priorities to achieve valued student outcomes. The wide range of responsive programmes is providing multiple learning pathways for students. There are emerging options for students to be involved in their learning choices. Teachers are empowered to work collaboratively and to develop and implement new learning programmes.

Pastoral leaders and teachers have systems in place to identify, and respond to, the wellbeing of groups and individuals. The school effectively manages student transitions into, within, and out of the school. Students have significant opportunities to experience leadership roles.

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

The school has taken some steps to address identified areas for improvement in the last ERO report in May 2016. The board and school leaders have identified, and ERO’s evaluation confirms, that the school needs to continue to:

  • embed systems to monitor and regularly report on progress of students who require their learning to be accelerated
  • monitor the progress of all Year 9 and 10 students, and evaluate junior achievement data, to know needs and improve student outcomes through informed decision-making
  • initiate established action plans from inquiries and internal evaluation and ensure they are consistently monitored over time
  • focus on improving culturally responsive practices by ongoing consultation with iwi and whānau to strengthen authentic partnerships, increase the visibility of te ao Māori within the school and further develop teachers’ capability to support Māori learners
  • proactively reduce the disparity between Māori and other students’ achievement
  • ensure all students’ cultures, languages and identities are acknowledged and valued within the school
  • build knowledge of, and strengthen, evaluation processes and systems to know how effective programmes are in meeting learner needs. This includes:
  • health and safety practices
  • student wellbeing
  • how well the school is meeting school values and valued outcomes.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

Marlborough Boys’ College 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 the review, the school had 60 international students, 4 of whom were long term and 56 short term.

The international students programme is well organised. Students receive appropriate care and support to successfully participate in the school’s academic and wider curriculum. The international students programme is inclusive and personalised to meet the needs and interests of each student. The school continually reviews its programme to ensure it meets its statutory obligations and the aspirations of students and their families.

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 Marlborough Boys’ College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • a broad, diverse and responsive curriculum that is increasingly focused on learner needs and interests, and a leadership model that empowers students and teachers to develop and implement new, relevant programmes
  • improvement-focused and reflective leadership across the school that provides targeted PLD and utilises internal and external strengths to meet school priorities
  • a pastoral network that prioritises the wellbeing and other needs of students.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to embed cohesive and transparent systems to monitor, report and evaluate the progress of all Year 9 and 10 students, to improve student achievement
  • continuing to focus on improving the visibility of culturally responsive practices that consolidate authentic partnerships with whānau and iwi, build teachers’ capability to improve Māori student achievement, and acknowledge the cultures, languages and identities of all students
  • actively addressing the disparity for Māori students as compared to other students’ achievement
  • strengthening evaluation processes and systems to know the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives, including health and safety practices, student wellbeing and how well the school is meeting school values and valued outcomes.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

28 April 2020

About the school

Ministry of Education profile number288
School typeSecondary (Years 9-13)
School roll892
Gender compositionBoys: 100%
Ethnic compositionMāori 20% 
NZ European/Pākehā 68%
Pacific 5% 
Other ethnicities 7%
Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)Yes
Provision of Māori medium educationNo
Review team on siteOctober 2019
Date of this report28 April 2020
Most recent ERO report(s)Education Review May 2016
Supplementary Review November2012
Education Review July 2010