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ERO report on Catholic schools in New Zealand

15 July 2003 Media Statement

ERO report on Catholic schools in New Zealand

An Education Review Office report out today has found that Catholic schools provide an education equal to that offered by other New Zealand state schools.

“The report also says that students in Catholic schools perform well academically compared with other schools,” Minister responsible for the Education Review Office Trevor Mallard said.

“The report is based on a study of the ERO reviews of 71 Catholic schools during the last year. Some of these reviews report that the special character of Catholic schools can provide a strong unifying force for the school community.”

ERO identified the following strengths of Catholic schools:
- Their boards of trustees often show active commitment to providing high quality education for their students;
- There were good working relationships among board, principal and staff;
- Their principals were frequently reported to be providing strong educational leadership;
- High quality teaching practices and programmes were common, although there were also cases where these needed to be improved.

Over the period of the study 10 per cent of Catholic schools were revisited by ERO for a supplementary review compared with 17 per cent for all schools. ERO carries out a supplementary review where a review has raised issues of poor performance.

“This is a positive report for Catholic schools which teach about nine per cent of New Zealand school students. I was particularly pleased to see that literacy and numeracy is a key focus in many schools, which ties in with our Government’s priorities for education,” Trevor Mallard said.

The report, available on, identified safety, personnel management and the achievement of Maori students as areas for improvement.

All Catholic schools are integrated into the state education system. This means they are legally owned by the proprietor and are responsible for preserving their special Catholic character, while the Government is responsible for funding their operational costs.

There are 238 Catholic schools in New Zealand – 190 primary and 48 secondary.


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