Woodford House

Crimson Education has released its annual Top 50 Schools Report which positions four Hawke’s Bay schools among the best in New Zealand.

Woodford House was ranked in 9th place (up from 11th in 2022) and was the only top 10 school not located in Auckland. Lindisfarne College was 11th, (up from 28th), Iona was 39th (up from 46) and Napier Girls was 44th (down from 39th).

It’s the fifth year the education mentoring company has released its rankings to provide a measure of the Top 50 schools in New Zealand based on their ability to prepare students to gain admission to top-ranked global universities.

The three indicators used to determine Crimson’s Top 50 New Zealand Schools 2023 were academics, 70% weighting; diversity, equity and process, 15%; and extracurricular and leadership, 15%.

Woodford principal Julie Peterson says she was delighted to hear the news and extremely proud of staff, students and their highly supportive Woodford House community.

“As a boarding school, the majority of our students live on site, allowing us a unique opportunity to deeply know and understand each girl and mould a personalised learning pathway for her,” says Peterson.

“Whilst a strong academic foundation is our focus, it is extremely important to ground our girls in all aspects of their lives. Rich learning extends throughout four cornerstones of school life, including the sports field, debating room, on the stage and giving service to others.”

Crimson Education offers top students the support they need to gain entry into some of the most prestigious colleges in the world, including Yale, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. 


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  1. Isn’t the ranking done by Crimson a bit suspect, given that Crimson is a for-profit education organisation? The ranking is surely a marketing exercise. Every child in Aotearoa New Zealand should have the best opportunity to succeed in our schools. Highlighting the so-called superiority of private schools is what Crimson is all about – making money from parents and children’s insecurity.

    1. Napier Girls Hifh School is not a private school, so how many other public schools are included in this competition?

  2. Hmm, it seems private, exclusive schools win again! What about the public sector who have to take a whole mixed ability range of pupils. A better measure would be to look at improvement made from an entry level when the pupils enter the school.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly, Robert. Surely the measure of a school is what the pupils gain during their time there, what they leave with compared with what they had when they began. And not just in exam grades but in their ability to contribute as citizens. Susan is right, too: if a parent is trying to decide which private school they should send their child, this scale might be useful, but only as far as the ability to pass exams is concerned.

  4. This is a complete load of bollocks… to announce that these are the TOP schools is mis reporting mis representation and mis information. Every school has reason and student achievement on their own merits. Complete ignorance and lack of integrity reporting

  5. It is a sad state of affair that we still have private schools and in doing so create a class system in education. Why ??$$

  6. None of the Hawkes Bay schools listed in the top 50 are private. One is a state school and three are state-integrated.

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