Why choose a Private/Independent School?

There are many reasons to choose an independent education for your child. Here, we look at a few of the key reasons that parents choose our Member Schools.

New Zealand private schools are among the best in the world

Our schools are consistently rated top in the English-speaking world for reading, maths and science achievement. They also offer strong pastoral care programmes, and a wide range of co-curricular activities, and have the freedom to innovate. All this means that students at our Member Schools receive a great all-round education.

Better educational standards

A 2011 survey commissioned by the Independent Schools Council on why parents send their children to independent schools found that the most common answer was “Better standards of education.” 

Mark Harrison, a consultant with expertise in education issues, claims that “the private school advantage” comes from better teaching, policies, school organisation and educational practice. 

“Private or independent schools in New Zealand reach higher levels of student achievement when students of the same ability level are placed side by side. Independent schools also show better outcomes for young people from minorities and low socio-economic groups. Mostly, the advantages of attending an independent school come from the school’s high level of autonomy, better governance and a competitive drive on the part of school to provide quality education in return for tuition fees.”
(Source: http://www.nzs.nz)

Academic achievement

Independent schools overall have very good academic results. In 2018, students from our Member Schools gained 30% of all NZQA Scholarship Awards, the most prestigious academic secondary school awards in the country. This is a remarkable achievment considering that independent schools educate less than 4% of the school age population in New Zealand. Our schools also produced all the Top International Baccalaureate Scholars in New Zealand for 2018.

Smaller class sizes

On average, our Member Schools have substantially smaller class sizes than state schools. This means our teachers are more able to focus on the needs of individual students. It also facilitates strong pastoral (i.e. emotional and social) care by teachers and staff.

Top quality teaching staff

Our Member Schools attract highly qualified and talented teachers from New Zealand and overseas. We have many exceptional school leaders too – you can read about some of them here.

Catering to special interests and needs

Many of our Member Schools offer particular areas of focus or specialisation. These include but are not limited to:
Learning Support Programmes
Performing Arts 
Gifted and Talented
Dance Schools
Agribusiness Centres
IT Hubs
Sporting Academies (Tennis, Football, Sailing, Cricket, Rugby, Cycling, Aquatic, Equestrian etc)
Rowing Teams
Outdoor Education
Elite Athlete mentoring
If your child has a particular interest or need, please contact us and we can advise you on which of our Member Schools could be a good fit.

A wider choice of qualifications

Many of our Member Schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge International as well as NCEA. These challenging and internationally-focused qualifications can be highly beneficial, particularly if your child plans to pursue further study or work overseas.

Read more about the choice of qualifications here.

No school zoning concerns or long waiting lists

For some parents, paying the tuition fees at an independent school is less expensive than buying an in-zone house to attend a popular state school.

Boarding facilities

Several of our Member Schools offer boarding facilities. This can be very appealing, particularly to families living rurally.
To see which of our schools offer boarding, visit our online directory (link to come).

Special Character

Our Member Schools are all highly individual – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You can choose the school which best fits with your child’s personal needs and your educational philosophy. 

To get a sense of the special character of our schools you can visit our Member School Profiles (link to come).

Read a parent's point of view: `Why we sent our daughter to an Independent School'