Rotorua Boys’ High School in the Bay of Plenty region emerged as the biggest winner of the night at the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards ceremony held in Parliament, as it took home the top prize, the Supreme Award.
They also won the Excellence in Leading award. The judging panel said:
“This entry was impressive in that the school had established a boarding hostel which is growing in numbers and is meeting the needs of the students. Having teachers as house-masters is innovative, creating a learning and pastoral environment for the students’ holistic development.
The school demonstrated that there have been significant shifts in the outcomes for these students and that the hostel provides 24-hour learning opportunities. There is a strong element of whānau infrastructure and involvement with the hostel. The entry shows the students are thriving in this environment.”
Rotorua Boys’ High School supported achievement of their students in the school’s hostel through effective leadership and culturally responsive teaching and learning.
The school and Tai Mitchell Hostel set out to remove the disparity of educational achievement by focusing positively on Māori potential.
Teachers as housemasters created a learning and supportive environment for the students’ holistic development. Strong whānau involvement has provided increased educational opportunities for the students.
As a result, there have been significant shifts in outcomes for the students and they are thriving in this environment.
The school received: a combined prize worth $59,000, professional development opportunities, and they will represent New Zealand at an international education event.
The other winners are:
-Excellence in Engaging – Holy Family School, Porirua
-Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa, Rotorua
-Excellence in Health and Wellbeing Education – Tiaki Early Learning Centre, Rotorua
-2019 Education Focus Prize: Excellence in Māori-medium Education – Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, Auckland
Ministry of Education Acting Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement, Pauline Cleaver, congratulates all the winners and says they are a testament to the great teaching that’s happening around the country to support learners to succeed.
“Their hard work and dedication to education excellence have changed the lives of children and young people, and will have a lasting impact not just to them, but to their whānau and the community they belong to,” she says.
The Education Excellence Awards celebrate groups of teachers and educators working together, and with students, whānau and communities to deliver excellent outcomes for children and young people. This year saw a total of 20 finalists across all categories.


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