Upper Riccarton Learning Community Cluster

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This learning community cluster includes one state primary school, one state secondary school, two state integrated schools and two early childhood providers.




  1. Riccarton School
  2. Riccarton High School
  3. Our Lady of Victories
  4. St Thomas of Canterbury College


Early childhood education (ECE)

There are 75 licensed spaces across the early childhood education (ECE) providers in this cluster, including 14 spaces for children under two years of age. At July 2011, 85 children were enrolled at early childhood services in this cluster, 11 were under two. 39 of the 41 new entrants who enrolled at a school in the Upper Riccarton Cluster in the year to March 2012 had attended an ECE service. All seven Māori new entrant students and seven of the nine Pasifika new entrants had attended an ECE service.


  1. Kidsfirst Kindergarten Lady May
  2. Springs Community Early Learning Centre

ECE services are independently owned and managed.

School governance

There are three types of schools: state, private (or registered or independent) and state integrated schools. State integrated schools are former private schools which, while now “integrated” into the state system, also provide programmes around their particular religious or learning philosophy.

State and state integrated schools, while government funded, are managed by boards of trustees. Private schools receive only partial funding from the Government. Day to day management of all schools is the responsibility of the principal.

The Crown is responsible for property provision for state and special character schools to ensure students have access to their closest school. The proprietors of state integrated and private schools are responsible for their own buildings. The Upper Riccarton cluster includes two state integrated schools.

School boards are required to develop individual charters and annual plans and report their performance against these.

You will be able to access the school charter from your school or at Find a school.

Education Review Office (ERO) reports on school and early childhood performance are publicly available.

Upper Riccarton cluster ERO review cycle

Riccarton School 4-5 years
Riccarton High School 3 years
Our Lady of Victories 3 years
St Thomas of Canterbury College 3 years

School roll changes


Image showing total Upper Riccarton cluster March roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Total cluster March roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.


In March 2010, prior to the earthquakes, the primary schools in this cluster provided teaching and learning to 402 students. While individual rolls have fluctuated, the combined primary roll in this cluster has declined by 48 to 354 at March 2012. 

Individual school March rolls, 2008, 2010, and 2012:

Note: only roll data for primary schools in this cluster is displayed.

Image showing Upper Riccarton cluster – Individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Upper Riccarton cluster – Individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

The following chart shows the ethnic composition of the combined cluster school rolls by percentage of total combined roll


Image showing ethnic composition of Upper Riccarton cluster.

Upper Riccarton cluster: ethnic composition.


Education achievement

National Standards aim to lift achievement in literacy and numeracy (reading, writing, and mathematics) by being clear about what students should achieve and by when. Boards are required to report on learner’s achievement for 2011 in their 2012 Annual Report. You will be able to access National Standards data for your school from the Find a school section of the Education Counts website as soon as this information is available. 

Special Education

Special Education delivers specialist services and support to learners with special education needs across this cluster. This includes support to early childhood education, schools, teachers, parents, families and whānau.

Māori and Pasifika provision

Māori-medium education programmes involve students being taught either all or some curriculum subjects in the Māori language, either in immersion (Māori language only) or bilingual (Māori and English) programmes. There is no Māori bilingual unit delivered by schools in this cluster.  Pasifika (Samoan) language provision in this cluster is delivered at St Thomas of Canterbury College through a language programme. 

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision

ESOL provision for refugee and new migrant learners from non-English speaking backgrounds is provided to 34 primary and 56 secondary learners in three schools in this cluster. 


Technology provision in this cluster is located at Riccarton High School. 

Land – State schools only

School sites sit outside the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) land classification process and will not be given any Technical Category foundation rankings, though the land in the surrounding residential area of this cluster has been classified TC1. Geotechnical assessments on the state school sites in this cluster indicate land issues will not compromise continued education provision. Further Ministry commissioned assessments may be required at a later date, should any of these sites be further developed.

Buildings – State schools only

There are 12 teaching spaces included in the 1,204 square metres (of useable space) of teaching and learning and administration areas across this cluster of state schooling provision. The teaching, learning and administrative space is incorporated into 9 actual buildings. All of these buildings suffered damage during the earthquakes.  Repairs have yet to be made to the building stock. Condition assessments confirm earthquake strengthening will be required, over time, across five buildings within the cluster.

Building condition information – State schools only

Number of buildings

Number of buildings with EQ damage

Number of buildings with strengthening required

Number of buildings with weather tightness repairs required

Number of buildings with both strengthening and weather tightness repairs

Riccarton School












Based on March 2012 rolls – a minimum of eight teaching spaces will be required for ongoing teaching and learning in this cluster, as below.

School rolls and classroom numbers – State schools only

March 2010 roll

Classroom (no.) current (July 2012)

March 2012 roll

Estimated classrooms required at March 2012

Riccarton School











The way forward

Extensive condition assessments and engineering investigations have confirmed all buildings in this cluster remain fit to occupy – unless already isolated. A number of the buildings across this cluster will, however, require remediation and strengthening over the longer-term.  Two are not considered cost effective to repair. This includes eight teaching spaces.

Future planning

The earthquakes provide an opportunity, as outlined in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme [PDF; 881kb], to consider options for revitalising the greater Christchurch education network that go beyond simply replacing what was there. Discussions with schools, communities and providers within this cluster will be key to informing decisions around the future shape of education for the Upper Riccarton education community. Ways to enhance infrastructure and address existing property issues, improve education outcomes, and consider future governance will form part of these discussions.

Community engagement

There will be conversations with boards of trustees to establish how schools in this cluster can not only restore services but also deliver improved outcomes for their education communities. In line with the support signalled in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme [PDF; 881kb] for improved collaboration, this will provide an opportunity to gain further suggestions around shared provision across schools and services within specific areas of interest and the wider community, as appropriate.

Check out the engagement schedule for further details.

Secondary schools

Secondary, state integrated and independent schools located within these clusters will be involved in discussions around the future shape of provision within their education communities.

The Ministry has worked collaboratively with secondary schools on ideas for future secondary school education provision in greater Christchurch.  In October 2013, the Minister of Education announced decisions for the secondary school network.

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