Diocesan School For Girls

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Education institution number:
67
School type:
Composite
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
1600
Telephone:
Address:

Clyde Street, Epsom, Auckland

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Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Diocesan School for Girls 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
Private and independent schools | Education Review Office (ero.govt.nz)

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)

The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provisions as described in clause 6, Schedule 7 of the Education and Training Act 2020 in respect to their being fit and proper persons 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 Diocesan School for Girls 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 provider to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) 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 35 international students attending the school.

Diocesan School for Girls has high quality provision for international students. There is a strong team approach to the provision of pastoral care and English language support. The school has been very responsive to the care and wellbeing of international students impacted by Covid-19 border closures during 2020/2021.

Student progress and achievement is closely monitored and regular reporting systems are in place for parents and the Board of Governors. Students are well integrated into the school community and participate in a wide range of co-curricular activities with opportunities for leadership, contribution to self-review and sharing of their cultures.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Innes House, accommodates three percent of the school roll. It is owned by Diocesan School for Girls Board of Governors. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

  • Responsive relationships within the hostel and between hostel and school promote an inclusive emotional environment that supports learning.
  • The hostel layout and equipment provide a comfortable and secure environment.
  • The director and her staff are responsive to the needs of the girls.
  • High quality security systems help to ensure that the girls are safe.

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

12 May 2021

About the School

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

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Diocesan School for Girls 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.

Diocesan School for Girls is a fully registered private school in Epsom, Auckland. It caters for students from Year 1 to 13. It has a roll of 1249 students, plus 49 international students.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review fully registered private schools, and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for full registration.

This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

2 Criteria for Registration

The school was founded in 1903 by Bishop Neligan, the then Anglican bishop of Auckland. In keeping with the founder’s intent, the school continues to provide high quality education for girls. The school supports girls to pursue personal excellence in their entire academic, sporting, cultural and spiritual pursuits. The school’s purpose statement “be more than you ever imagined” is fostered by the board, school leaders and staff and is highly evident in the systems and practices within the school.

The school meets the criteria to have a suitable curriculum. The curriculum offers students a dual pathway. The curriculum for Years 1 to 6 is the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate. In Years 7 to 11 the New Zealand Curriculum is taught. Students in Year 12 and 13 choose between National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and Baccalaureate Diploma qualifications. Academic success for each girl continues to be a fundamental expectation.

Since the 2010 ERO report, the curriculum has been expanded and deepened to provide a more holistic focus on the student as a successful learner, balanced with a caring focus on girls' well being. Pastoral care is woven into every aspect of the school curriculum. Fostering the understandings of a sense of care for one self, each other, and the community is very evident in the curriculum.

Programmes that teach citizenship, mindfulness and ethics are supporting the school’s intent to develop the skills young women will need to successfully navigate a changing world. The new digital design faculty effectively links to and supports learning in other curriculum areas. There are increased learning opportunities that grow students’ cultural knowledge as a response to New Zealand’s increasing diversity and preparing students to be global citizens. Girls have many leadership roles and opportunities where they can express their views to improve and influence young women's lives.

The PYP is now fully developed and well implemented in the Junior School. Class programmes recognise the young girl as a capable and confident learner, where students lead, think about, and inquire into their learning. Teachers work collaboratively within the high school faculties to find new and innovative approaches to stimulate and challenge students’ deeper cognitive engagement.

The expansion and deepening of the curriculum is resulting in continued high academic achievement across the whole school. The school is justifiably proud of girls’ academic achievement in national and international qualifications in the Senior School.

Generous staffing supports the delivery of the curriculum and the standards of tuition are high. Specialist teachers enrich learning opportunities for all students. Very good performance management systems set high expectations and effectively acknowledge staff capabilities as learners, leaders and teachers. There is an extensive range of opportunities for teachers to investigate improvement to practice that support the school’s appraisal system. Teachers take advantage of the opportunities available for academic research and sabbatical. Staff review the impact of their teaching on outcomes for students and display a strong sense of professionalism and commitment to providing high quality education. All teachers are registered with the New Zealand Teachers Council.

The board of governors ensures that students and their teachers are provided with high quality premises and equipment to support the curriculum. Since the 2010 ERO review, the board has successfully managed the completion of several new facilities. These include the building of a large underground car park, an international standard all-weather turf area for sport and recreation, new tennis and netball courts, and the purchase of properties to extend the hostel facilities. Planning stages are complete for more significant campus developments that include a performing arts centre and opening up campus access to the chapel.

The school’s high quality and extensive self-review practices ensure ongoing development and improvement. Very good use is made of external expertise in the school’s review processes. The principal shows strong leadership in responding to review outcomes and enacting the purpose statement “be more than you ever imagined”.

The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G in respects 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. Systems for monitoring health and safety provisions are extensive and indicate a high level of commitment to student and staff welfare.

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. ERO’s investigations confirm that the school’s self-review processes for international students are thorough. At the time of this review there were 49 international students attending the school.

Diocesan School for Girls has high quality provision for international students. The school is very responsive to the aspirations, interests and needs of these students and their parents. There is good provision of pastoral care and English language support. Students’ progress and achievement is closely monitored. Comprehensive reporting systems to parents and the board are in place. Students are well integrated into the school community, with opportunities for leadership, contribution to school self review and the sharing of their cultures.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Innes House, accommodates 50 students, 4% of the school roll. It is owned by the Doris Innes House Trust and the Diocesan School for Girls board of governors. The board took over the management of the hostel from the trust in 2010. Since the 2010 ERO review the hostel premises have been extended, allowing for more girls to board. A restructuring of staffing responsible has also occurred. The hostel owners have attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

In 2014 the school’s self-review systems triggered additional refinement of hostel management and pastoral care provision practices. Although some improvements are noted, the board of governors has identified plans to restructure the hostel staffing to ensure that student management practices align with the school’s high expectations for student well being.

Conclusion

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

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

22 June 2015

School Statistics

Location

Epsom, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

67

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

1249

Number of international students

49

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European

Pacific nations

other ethnicities

2%

70%

1%

27%

Special Features

School Hostel, Early Childhood Foundation Class

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

22 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

May 2010

May 2007

May 2004