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Our School


It was in March 1877 when Mr. Robert Graham held a petition for a new school. During that time, facilities for education were already provided by the schools at Mt. Hobson, Tamaki West, Onehunga and Panmure. On May 27 of the same year, the first meeting was held at the Ellerslie Hotel and it was then that the school committee was elected. The construction of the school began sometime in June and we opened our doors to parents and students in November 12, 1877. Mr. Thomas Howells was the first principal of the school in 1878 and in June of 1880, they bought a four-roomed cottage for the staffroom.

After 2 years, the roll had reached around 150 and there was a need to build a new classroom. After a few years, the roll continued to grow that it was difficult to accommodate everyone in the school. Our rooms back then, were uneven in size which leads us to use the largest room for four standard classes. The Board accordingly applied to the government for a new classroom and our plea was approved in 1910. The new classroom was built a year after.

By October of 1913, we only had enough room to accommodate 304 students and we had 395. There was the problem of overcrowding again. The Board came up with the decision that we needed a separate infant department and our request was granted in January 1914. The modern system for drainage was installed in 1926 and in 1930, we already have our own dental clinic. We had the electric lighting installed in 1936 and applications for new classrooms were submitted in 1938 and 1939. We received the grant for these new classrooms in 1940 and we were able to use them on August 4, 1941. Our Assembly Hall was built in 1956.

We had our playground extended in 1955. We had it extended to the area behind the Bowling Club which includes access to the Main Highway. In 1957, we had a swimming pool constructed for the use of staff and students. Our school continued to grow with the construction of new buildings and facilities – caretaking shed, new toilets, furniture storage, side entrance, etc. There was a rapid growth in our roll in 2002 and with this, we had more constructions and improvements.

1995 - 1998

  • Canteen - 1995
  • Adventure playground and Fitness trail - 1993
  • Rooms 11-15 - 1996
  • Rooms 16 & 17 - 1997
  • Rooms 18, 19 & an upgrade in the Administration area - 1998

2005 - 2007

  • Roll count is at 500
  • 22 classrooms
  • 2 specialist teachers in Music and Technology
  • Music specialist teacher for Year 1-6 every week in class group
  • 3 orchestras, 2 choirs, 1 band
  • New senior playground build

2008 - 2009

  • Roll count is at 490 students in 5 teams
  • Management team has 7 members
  • Server room with air conditioning was built to meet the growing I.C.T. demands
  • Upgrade of security and fire systems
  • Introduction of an 8th curriculum “Languages” – Spanish, French and Maori offered at Year 8/7 level
  • Environmental science – introduction of Worm Farm, composting and ‘Trees for Survival’ planting

Ellerslie School Principals

Thomas Howells1879
H.R. Hyatt1879 -
Robert M.Mitchell1879 - 1882
Rev. Geo Brown1882 - 1886
James E. Waygood1887 - 1893
Evan R. Lillington1893 - 1902
Mr Collins1902
Joseph Wooller1902 - 1920
James Vulgar1920 - 1934
Joseph G. Gasparich
1934 - 1936
John Marsh1937 - 1950

W. J. Barham1951 - 1958
J. W. Hook1959 - 1960
W. R. Hill1961 - 1963
R. W. Jessup
1964 - 1967
W. Beach
1968 - 1976
John Goddard
1977 - 1979
Marjorie Butters
1979 - 1987
Jo Wilson
1988 - 2005
Christopher Magner
2005 - 2016
Lisa Harland
2016 - 2019
Nick Butler2019 - Present


Click on the team buttons below for a list of teachers, guardian groups & email addresses. 

Ellerslie School Map 2024

Board of Trustees

All schools must operate under the provisions of the Education Act of 1989. Boards of trustees govern all state and integrated schools in New Zealand. 

The boards are made up of:

  • elected parent and community volunteers
  • the school principal
  • a student representative
  • a staff representative
  • and in state integrated schools – representatives of the property owner.

Independent schools are governed by committees, trustee boards and management boards acting on behalf of the owners.

Boards of Trustees

The Board governs the school, employs the staff and manages school property.  Every board must establish a charter which sets out the aims and objectives of the school.  Boards of trustees are then accountable for meeting the objectives in their charter and for managing the funds they receive from the government to run the school.  They are required to present an annual report to the Ministry of Education which is available for you to see.

The Principal

The role of the principal is to manage the day-to-day activities of the school within the policies set by the Board.  A principal is also usually responsible for assessing staff performance.


Parent groups also provide support to schools. Parents are encouraged to help out however they can at their child’s school. Check with your school to see how you might be involved.

The Ellerslie School Board

Our Board consists of parents elected by parents of pupils for a 3 year term, the Principal and a staff representative, elected by fellow staff members.

Presiding Member / Personnel

Dipak Govind


Nick Butler

Staff Representative / Health and Safety

Shelley Bardsley

Finance and Fundraising

Ruth Goldwater


Corrina Gibbons-Hurunui

James Dench


Steph Bond

Cultural Responsiveness

Lou Dennis

The Board meets at 6:30pm on the 3rd or 4th Monday of each month, excluding January. The Board welcomes members of the public who wish to attend meetings. Anyone wishing to address The Board however can only do so with prior agreement from the chairperson.

Scheduled meetings for 2024

  • 18 March 2024

  • 20 May 2024

  • 17 June 2024

  • 19 August 2024

  • 16 September 2024

  • 21 October 2024

  • 18 November 2024

Education Review Office (ERO)

Ellerslie School Volunteer Hub

The Volunteer Hub consists of our school’s whānau and members of  Ellerslie community who volunteer at one or a variety of school fundraising events, social events or projects.  Every volunteer opportunity provides a great way to meet new people in and outside school, have fun, make a difference, and be a part of our fantastic community.  There is no minimum number of hours that people need to volunteer for.  Every hour given is very much appreciated and counts.  

An outline of what our volunteers help with:

  • Fundraising: Trivia Night, raffles, Ellerslie Fairy Festival, Pizza & Mufti days

  • Social: School discos, Ellerslie Santa Parade, School sports teams 

  • Projects: School crossing duty, Walking School Bus, Chip Packet Project NZ, Trees for Survival

The Volunteer Hub meets twice a term for those that are available, and shares news and volunteering opportunities on their What’s App and Facebook page.  Please contact Sarah, School Engagement Coordinator, at if you are interested in joining, or please pass on details to those that you think might be.

Ellerslie School Supporters – promoting our community who supports us

Last year we launched 'Ellerslie School Supporters (ESS)' to ensure businesses, Trusts and community groups who support us are promoted effectively through various channels including at events, in our newsletters, website, and social media.

Support can be given in many forms including:

  • donating products or services to use in school or fundraising events

  • time given to help at our school-crossing

  • giving a talk to students about a specific topic or profession

  • monetary - towards a key fundraiser for the year eg school minibus or sunshade

  • placing an advert in our newsletter which is sent to over 550 families fortnightly and throughout our community.


Every term

PIZZA  & MUFTI - Every term







If you want to know more please contact

Current Key Sponsors:

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