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ERO Report 2012



The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.  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.

Wentworth College at Gulf Harbour on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula is a private, co-educational school for Year 7 to 15 students. The school is governed by the Wentworth College Trust Board and has close links with the adjacent Wentworth Primary School that operates under the same principal and managing board.

ERO’s 2009 Private School Review reported on the performance of the school and acknowledged that the criteria for registration as a private school were being met. Students were provided with a broad curriculum and a good standard of tuition. Together with suitable premises and equipment, teachers delivered the school’s stated learning programmes.

About the School

Location Gulf Harbour, Whangaparaoa
Ministry of Education Profile number 484
School type Secondary (Year 7 – 15)
Decile rating¹ 10
Number of International Students 19
School roll 211
Ethnic composition NZ European/Pakeha 86%, Asian 8%, Maori 2%, other 4%
Gender composition Male 48%, Female 52%
Review team on site July 2012
Date of this report 7 September 2012
Most Recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review, October 2009
Private School Review, December 2006
Private School Review, October 2003

1 – Decile 1 schools draw their students from areas of greatest socio-economic disadvantage, Decile 10 from areas of least socio-economic disadvantage. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.


The school’s curriculum continues to be broad and diverse. Academic subjects are complemented by a strong focus on sport, physical education and technology subjects. Students also enjoy the many learning opportunities provided in the visual and performing arts, and in music and languages. Students are guided individually to select learning pathways that suit their goals and their parents’ aspirations.

Since 2009, school leaders have continued to review the curriculum. Learning programmes from Year 7 to 15 are now based on Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Teachers have well planned programmes to implement new CIE courses. Some programmes aligned to the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) continue to be delivered to a small number of students in Year 12 and 13.

The school has high expectations of student achievement. Students make good progress and achieve well. The majority of students entering the school in Year 7 are achieving at and above national averages in literacy and mathematics. Senior students gain worthwhile qualifications in both the NCEA and in the CIE, and ninety percent of students leave school with University Entrance.

The good standard of resources identified in the 2009 ERO report has been maintained. The school is well positioned in the Gulf Harbour community to utilise local resources for learning, particularly in sailing, rowing, golf and outdoor education. High quality facilities in the school’s gymnasium and technology areas, together with increased access to computer technologies, support the curriculum.

Students are confident and cooperative. They benefit from the board’s inclusive vision for education and a caring, supportive learning environment. The pastoral care network, including house leaders and tutor groups, promote student wellbeing. Teachers cater for the diverse learning needs of students and respond to their interests and strengths. Students are well engaged in learning and are motivated to achieve and succeed.

Parents are involved in making decisions about their children’s learning. They receive regular reports about the progress and achievement of students, and up to date information about the curriculum and school events. Parents appreciate the school’s open-door policy and the ease with which they can access school leaders and teachers.

The trust board maintains an emphasis on employing well qualified and specialist staff. Suitable policies and procedures are in place to support teachers and guide their professional learning. The school is ably led by an experienced principal and deputy principal who are respected by students, staff and parents. The board has recently appointed a new deputy principal with responsibilities for fully imbedding the CIE curriculum and continuing to raise student achievement. Assessment for Learning is a new model for teaching that has been introduced in 2012. These approaches have potential for increasing consistency in classroom practice and assisting students take greater ownership for their learning.

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


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


Provision for international students
Wentworth College 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. At the time of this review there were 18 international students attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

The school provides appropriate services for international students. The international student director supports their induction into the school and liaises closely with home-stay families. International students integrate well into school and community life. The principal completes the regulatory self review for the Ministry of Education. It would be useful for the board to strengthen the provision of English language programmes to support international students, many of whom have English as a second language. The overall achievement of international students should be reported separately to the board.


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

Makere Smith
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region (Acting)
7 September 2012

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