Salisbury School (Nelson)

Education institution number:
School type:
Special School
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
School for pupils with learning/social difficulties
Total roll:

67 Salisbury Road, Richmond

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Salisbury School (Nelson)

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 4 months of the Education Review Office and Salisbury School (Nelson) 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.


Salisbury School provides residential care and education for girls aged from 8 to 15 years who have complex learning and social needs. The school is located in Richmond, Nelson and is a member of the Waimea Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning. The vision, of ‘Transformative success leading to greater possibilities in life and living beyond Salisbury for ākonga and whānau’, underpins practices across the day school and the hostel.

Salisbury School (Nelson)’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • well-developed relationships and sustainable educational pathways

  • to broaden and innovate sustainable cross-campus practices and programmes

  • redevelopment of the campus and facilities.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Salisbury School (Nelson)’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate growth of an effective, responsive, localised curriculum, with associated teaching and learning practices.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the school has undergone an extensive revisioning process, fostering students’ greater potential and possibilities in life, which is driving the collaborative creation of a new localised curriculum

  • the developing campus-wide curriculum, purposefully connects residential and day-school practices to provide wrap-around support for girls to achieve their individual goals

  • leaders are growing shared staff’s understandings of the vision, values, pedagogy and practices with a collective focus on promoting positive outcomes for students.

The school expects to see students driving their learning with agency and voice, confident in their identities, and focused on a successful transition to their home schools and communities. The teaching team will be well connected to the residential team in a one-campus approach to creating a collaborative living and learning curriculum. Signature pedagogies and teaching and learning approaches will underpin personalised practices across the campus, fostering well-considered transitions for the students.

Families will experience rich and meaningful partnerships with the school throughout all stages of transition into, across and from the school. Whānau and iwi will engage together in partnership to shape the design of learning practices and learning spaces, surfacing shared priorities and culturally significant aspects of the place-based curriculum.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to grow an effective, responsive, localised curriculum, with associated teaching and learning practices:

  • Students' holistic strengths and needs are at the heart of practice and pedagogy, with a focus on supporting successful transitions and life pathways beyond the school.

  • Strong improvement focused leadership has a systematic, collaborative focus on consistency and capability-building at all levels of the school with clarity of strategic vision, values, aims, goals, roles and responsibilities.

  • Multiple voices, including students and their whānau and families, inform tailored goals, programmes, tools and strategies.

  • Leaders have developed a Learner Capability Framework, designed to identify students’ progress through the curriculum, supporting evidence-based planning and assessment.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • enacting plans to develop professional capability and collective capacity, to implement the Learner Capability Framework and localised curriculum in practice

  • building on well-developed relationships to create purposeful partnerships that foster holistic success for learners, including with whānau Māori and iwi.

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

1 November 2023

About the School

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

This school has boarding facilities for all students, which ERO reports on in a separate Hostel Report.

Salisbury School (Nelson)

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of March 2023, the Salisbury School (Nelson) 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 Salisbury School (Nelson), 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

1 November 2023

About the School

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

Salisbury School (Nelson)

Hostel Report


The Chief Review Officer has the authority to carry out reviews (which may be general or in relation to particular matters) of the provision of a safe physical and emotional environment that supports learning for students accommodated in hostels under section 470 of the Education and Training Act 2020. This function is delegated to review officers who have the powers to enter and carry out review of hostels under section 472 of the Act.


The hostel manager and the hostel owner has attested in the Hostel Assurance Statement that they meet the requirements of the Hostel Regulations 2005.

Boarders are effectively provided with high levels of care and support that contributes to their sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Relationships between boarders and staff are highly respectful and nurturing. Effective practices encourage boarders to develop independence and appropriate life skills to enable them to transition back to their homes and schools. They are provided with a wide range of learning opportunities within and beyond the hostel environment. Careful consideration is given to ensure that boarders are given many opportunities to challenge themselves within a safe environment.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

1 November 2023

About the School

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

Salisbury School (Nelson) - 18/06/2019

School Context

Salisbury School (Nelson) is located in Richmond, Nelson. It provides residential education for female students in Years 3 to 10 on enrolment and who have been identified with complex learning needs. At the time of the review, 11 students were enrolled.

The school states that its vision is: Every girl succeeds. The values of manaaki - kindness, mana tangata - integrity, mahi pono - honesty, whakawhiwhi honore - respectful relationships and manawanui - confidence underpin the school curriculum.

Valued outcomes for students are to achieve to the best of their ability through: experiencing success in learning and life skills; being team players; good problem solvers and sound decision makers; being investigators and effective communicators.

Its current goals and targets for improvement in student outcomes are to increase the engagement and participation of all students in meaningful and future-focused learning, and strengthen collaborative partnerships enhancing learning and achievement.

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

  • progress and achievement against student’s individual goals and learning plans

  • wellbeing.

Recent external issues with the school facing possible closure have been resolved. In 2019, a new pathway to enrolment was introduced. The number of students for whom the school is funded has been reduced to 20. Extensive site refurbishment, that includes both the school and the hostel, is in the planning stage now that the school’s future is confirmed.

The school is a member of the Waimea 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?

Achievement data from 2018 indicates that most students make expected, or better, progress against their individual learning and social goals.

Life skill goals are also set and most are achieved. These goals are well supported, and progress evaluated by the staff who support learning within the hostel setting.

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

Significant gains in learning and wellbeing are consistently evident for students. Reported assessment information clearly shows that most students achieve accelerated rates of progress against the goals set in their individual education plans (IEPs), set across the breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and beyond.

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?

Self-management, social and life skills are successfully promoted through a good range of highly effective teaching strategies and practical learning opportunities. Students take pride in their friendships, achievements, positive learning dispositions and unique strengths.

Responsive and respectful relationships with students, staff and whānau are promoted and modelled by leaders. Positive Behaviour’ practices clearly impact on the girls and their social interactions. Teachers use highly respectful, consistently affirming strategies to successfully promote acceptable social behaviour. Students are supported to understand and increasingly self-manage their actions and responses to others. Staff purposefully foster skills and dispositions that should empower students in their futures.

There is appropriate modification of the NZC to meet student needs. Expectations of how the curriculum will be delivered and what will be the focus in each of the learning areas is clearly described in a guiding document. This gives purpose to the school’s newly revised values, unpacks what the key competencies mean in this setting and forms a basis for the school’s local curriculum.

Students experience a broad and suitable range of opportunities to see, hear and participate in meaningful experiences of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Cultural art and artefacts attractively adorn the campus. An extensive native planting area provides an attractive addition to the environment and opportunities to learn about both nature and the concept of kaitiakitanga - guardianship.

Students benefit from established, powerful relationships between the school and all levels of their extended community. These are utilised to provide additional learning opportunities and enable students to engage as valued members in the local community.

Staff have a wide range of appropriate skills and specialist expertise. Teachers use a highly collaborative approach to tailor effective, consistent strategies, best suited to individual needs. In depth analysis of all students’ needs, strengths, medical situations, and possible actions for support are completed. This information is used to identify appropriate programmes and strategies for supporting each learner.

Assessment procedures and learning progressions are also in place to guide the development of individual IEPs and to accurately track all progress in a systematic manner. Individual development plans and individual transition plans are also in place to support each girl.

Professional learning and refinement of expertise is strongly embedded in staff culture. Staff are continuously involved in capacity building and sharing of best practice that benefit students. The leadership team models continual engagement and achievement, in high-level professional learning and pedagogical innovation. They actively contribute to the wider education sector.

Strong systems and processes ensure smooth day-to-day operations of the school. Leadership and stewardship work well together. Leaders are transparent and considered in their decision making, focused on improving student outcomes and responsive to identified needs. There is a clear shared commitment to advocating for, and effectively promoting, the learning and wellbeing of their students.

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

Appraisal processes support all teaching and support staff to work cohesively on campus wide priorities. Peer critique, critical reflection and professional development are well considered. Deepening understanding and improving practices of teacher inquiry is a next step. Professional learning to further strengthen practice in this area is planned for 2019.

A range of appropriate review and evaluation processes are in place. Policies are reviewed regularly. Recent review of the curriculum and charter involved extensive consultation with staff and whānau. It is timely to evaluate the external changes made to the enrolment system to ensure trustees can effectively fulfil their roles and to maximise the expertise available to support the most vulnerable students.

3 Other Matters

Provision for students in the school hostel

The residential accommodation reflects the school’s special character and provides a whānau environment for the girls. The school curriculum and guidelines support the residential curriculum and staff with clear expectations of the living environment and the learning opportunities provided.

Staff purposefully promote leisure, fun, relaxation and a sense of ownership for students in their own home space. Students follow programmes and individualised routines. Their preferences are prioritised and valued in living arrangements. Residential staff work alongside the school as one campus to support student progress.

Clear procedures and effective communication between the principal and residential support managers contribute to the smooth daily running of the residential setting. Suitable staffing ratios and caring personnel promote each student’s wellbeing and learning.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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:

  • accelerating the learning of those students who needs significant additional support
  • strong, positive relationships that provide a basis for student growth and success
  • delivery of individualised programmes that support student learning and wellbeing
  • highly skilled staff with specialised expertise
  • strong and supportive community links that provide a wide range of additional learning opportunities
  • leadership that supports and grows teacher practice
  • stewardship that is committed to, and advocates for, the learning and wellbeing of students.

Next steps

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

  • further strengthening the teacher inquiry process to support the development of teaching practices.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

18 June 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Special School|Residential school for girls with complex needs

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Māori 1
NZ European/Pākehā 8
Other ethnic groups 2

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

18 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Supplementary Review November 2010

Salisbury School (Nelson) - 27/06/2014


1 Context

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

Salisbury School is a residential school providing education for girls with intellectual difficulties along with social and emotional issues that cannot be adequately met in their home communities. Students’ achievement is significantly lower than their mainstream peers. Over recent years the roll has declined significantly and the maximum roll is now 30 students. Some restructuring of staffing has occurred because of the reduced number of students.

The school has made significant progress in addressing the identified areas for development in the 2010 ERO report. These include:

  • improvements to the performance management system
  • promoting ‘the one campus’ ethos
  • the positive way in which staff manage student behaviour
  • implementation of the school’s curriculum.

Over the past three years there has been a number of changes to the way services for special education are delivered. The school is part of a newly-developed Ministry of Education Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS). Student enrolment in the school is by agreement between the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the students’ parents. At the time of their enrolment the length of stay is determined by what is best for them. This may be extended by agreement.

Despite the uncertainty related to changes to special education, the focus for school staff has remained on teaching and learning, and improving outcomes for students. There is a strong emphasis on student wellbeing and establishing positive relationships amongst students and between staff. Adults across the school have a shared commitment to supporting the overall development of each student. Their backgrounds are valued and taken into account when teachers plan programmes. This results in learning that is relevant to students' individual needs.

2 Learning

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

Teachers know their students well as learners and as young people. They make effective use of learning information to develop comprehensive individualised learning plans that identify students’ academic and social needs. Teachers regularly monitor these plans to ensure that students are achieving their goals. This learning information could be better used to ensure that tasks are sufficiently challenging to promote accelerated learning.

Staff gather a wide range of information about students’ social and personal development. Parents are very well informed about how well their daughter is progressing and achieving in all learning areas, as well as in their social and emotional development.

The board receives summarised achievement information for age groups. The principal and teachers regularly gather information about the rates of progress for individual students. It would be useful to report this information in-committee if necessary to the board, particularly in core learning areas, to show that teachers are making a difference to students’ learning. This would help the board in reporting to its community about how well school-wide goals are being met.

3 Curriculum

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

All students are very well supported to experience success in their learning. Students benefit from a wide range of learning experiences in and beyond the school. Teachers make very good use of local people and places to enrich students’ lives and learning. There is relevant alignment between the school curriculum and the New Zealand Curriculum. The school’s vision of ‘empowering through support to succeed’ is highly evident throughout the school and residential programmes.

Staff have high expectations for learning and engagement. Student wellbeing is a priority and is well demonstrated in curriculum planning and daily programmes.

Other positive features of the school’s curriculum include the:

  • well-developed guidelines and expectations that cover all aspects of the school and residential programmes
  • individual learning programmes for students
  • strong focus on building students’ social skills and key competencies
  • authentic learning contexts that are relevant to the students’ lives
  • emphasis given to teaching literacy and mathematics through all learning areas.

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

Māori students are well supported in their learning. Teachers know their Māori students both as learners and as individuals. Students enjoy the opportunity to be part of the newly-established whānau class where teaching emphasises and values the students’ culture and their interests. The classroom programme is strongly linked to the school’s vision of ‘empowering through support to succeed’ and the school values, in particular manaakitanga.

The school makes effective use of the He Kakano programme to review and make improvements to learning experiences for Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

In relation to the day-to-day operations and management, the school is well placed to improve its performance. The board has a range of skilled and experienced trustees, and they are committed to sustaining and improving the school’s performance for the benefit of the students.

The school has effective professional leadership. The principal has high expectations of staff and has led significant developments in curriculum and strengthening the links between residential and school programmes. There has been a substantial positive change in relationships and school culture.

The performance management process has been significantly reviewed and changes implemented that support the direction for overall school improvement. Of particular note, the appraisal system includes:

  • the cultural competencies for teachers of Māori students

  • links to professional learning and development that relate to the school-wide goals.

The board and the Ministry are working together in relation to the IWS and the proposed new funding model. Discussions are continuing between the board and the Ministry.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel accommodates 17 students. It is owned by the Ministry of Education. The key features of the hostel are:

  • the positive and nurturing relationships that exist between residential staff and the students

  • the wide range of activities that the students enjoy

  • the way in which the residential curriculum focuses on building the students independent and self care skills.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

27 June 2014

About the School


Richmond, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Special school for girls with learning and social difficulties

School roll


Gender composition

Girls: 17

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā






Special Features

Residential Special School

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

27 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

November 2010

December 2008

October 2004