Based on 17 reviews and 150 answers
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Former Student
May 15, 2024

Wouldn’t recommend

Now st cuthberts has its good and Bads like every school BUT this I felt different I attended from year5 till year 7 in those three years I got made fun of or not so rather the girls would refer as a joke. They made fun of ur insecurities and things like that the girls were the main problem don’t get me wrong some friends were great but others I couldn’t say anything good like that.

The teachers were lovely (in the junior school) senior not so much in the senior school heaps of homework is laid on u and expected out of the blue this leads to killing your mental Health not to mention all the gossip every girl has about u. Year 7 I actually hated it my energy was going until it was completely gone they worked u recklessly without hesitation.

Overall I wouldn’t recommend maybe the junior school but definitely not the senior
Former Student
Mar 9, 2024

St Cuthberts

Awful, toxic, over competitive environment! Bullying is rife & the school does nothing about it as the parent's run the school. Full of spoilt, entitled disrespectful students. No respect of elders.
Do not send your girls there!
Feb 10, 2024

Five star

Amazing culture.
Top girls school in NZ.
Former Student
Jan 15, 2024

Pleased to get out of there

I had such a shocking experience at this school in the 90s - as did my sister. Bullying was rife among both students and staff and I can not remember being nurtured academically in any particular way at all.

I agree that the reputation appears to be managed by strict selection processes.

It is incredibly snobby and freedom of expression is stifled. Teaching staff seemed pretty disengaged on retrospect.

Lip service at most is done to the values by love serve.

The atmosphere of the school really took a turn downhill when principal Fran Compton left. Appears to living on laurels which are pretty outdated.

Honestly the only good thing about it was that I got to study Latin and the art/design department.
Aug 17, 2023

Watch out for bullying!

The school is great education wise but there is a lot of bullying going on here. It seems the school doesn’t properly punish the perpetrators. After finding out my daughter was bullied in year 5 (3 years ago) we discovered the same 3 girls had bullied 5 others. They have a bad reputation for being their year group bullies. Without naming those involved they are heavily into waterpolo and netball. If each incident was dealt with effectively then this wouldn’t be a repeat behavior. There is a wee group of us now who have banned together and are looking at taking this further.
Mar 27, 2023

Terrible school

As a former student of stcuthberts this school is really toxix, racist, homophobic, the bullying is really terrible the teachers don't care at all about your mental health. teachers assume you're bad at math is you're white and if you're asian they will just assume you struggle in english, if you're maori or any other skin tone they will assume you're poor. most of snobby and bratty
Mar 17, 2023

Don’t Come

The school doesn’t respect the students at all
Mar 16, 2023

Champagne taste, beer budget

The school manages its academic results by selectively enrolling students, and encouraging those who won’t achieve to leave early and not to compete year 13. Teachers are great and care about their students, but the school has champagne tastes on a beer budget. The state of many buildings is not at the same level as its competitors.
Mar 15, 2023

want your girl to go here? don't!

just like all reviews here, cuths is bad. unbelievably discriminatory towards anyone who is not straight and white, unreasonably uptight, all about money (hidden costs everywhere, including uniform, stationery, "building" fees for boarders when you arent even one, taking money out of your account for "mufi day donations", i could go on).

education wise, its better than public schools (considering they teach you the course so you know whats being assessed) and if youre doing ncea its loaded with credits so you CANT fail. students regularly get scholarships, and do well in ib and ncea, however theres only so much you can attribute a students efforts to a teacher.

security wise is very questionable... the school has had leaking a major problem for years now, years. carpark, and basement (which has classes) leak EVERYTIME IT RAINS, everytime. the roberston circle (which used to be open to parents for pick ups) is closed since covid which makes the traffic on either side of the school unbelievably busy and dangerous, not to mention the huge carpark the school owns is not open to parents due to it being "unsafe" for parents to use it, and drop their kids off, which makes the road adjcent to it extremely busy and hard to navigate.

outdoor enviroments are not much.
outdoor facilities are mainly the field, hockey turf, and tennis courts (which i guess are nice for those who do sports at the school), outdoor facilities for students in their free time to, for example, eat? very limited. as you all know in new zealand, its unbelievably hot in the summer, benches at the school are few, shadey spots are none. the only escape is to eat inside where its stuffy and loud!

school information
classes are confusing to choose, and the class options are diminishing due to the schools "movement" towards the future, knocking out classes that are deemed irrelevant in place of new ones.

staff and teachers are fine.
"fine" is the word when you cant find any other qualities to compliment them on. they are average, nothing outstanding, just like any other teachers! the only decent departments are languages, and (maybe) social science and science. language department has teachers who are great at the language they teach, mostly engaging with students, and supporting. social science department is okay, teachers know their history, and the sorts, nothing to write home about but defintely better than some other departments. english department is terrible! with most teachers not knowing how to connect to students or control them, compliants being made and not being dealt with. science department is alright, teachers know their specialities, are engaging, with the few teachers not knowing their stuff, not supportive of student's studies and overall unknowlegable for a teacher pulling it down. music department is bad, with only say, 1-3 teachers are engaging, the rest are plain, boring, and depressing. art department is fine, teachers can be engaging and very constructive however note that art is very structured and gives little freedom until senior years.

indoor enviroment is busy! the main building is always busy, sometimes dangerously busy with hallways packed when going to the next class. insanely noisy during intervals, and bells placed inappropriately, deafening those near! there are air cons in most rooms, in those that dont its either really cold or really hot, you cant change it. wish they would use the money they get to actually improve the campus, water stains on the ceilings everywhere, flickering lights, more seating for students indoors and outside, more accessibility for stairs and elevators.

food and meals is terrible! utterly horrible! cuths has changedd catering companies and the prices SKYROCKETED, a small mince pie? $5.50, a 500ml drink? $5.00, rice with katsu chicken? $11.5
the prices are insane! and unaffordable for those who buy on a daily basis, now the prices may be this high to afford the costs of building the new cafe, however the new cafe is TERRIBLE! does not blend into the school, food is below average (chicken is stale and dry, rice is dry, pies warmed up are not warm,) and the school boasted about it being catered by a person appearing on masterchef! unbelieavable. boarders regularly complain about food, that they would rather starve if they did not have a choice.

activites, the school eh. the school offers a wide range of activites, has a big team of waterpolo and hockey. however, the school does take most credit when you win an achievement, its frustrating to see up and coming athletes only for them to sign up at the school and they get all your efforts.

other problems: the school will send you to counselling for absolutely any mention of a mental illness, even the counsellors are baffled why you are sent to them for having a "phobia"
kahunui: some families send their daughters here just on this basis! and its! not! worth! it! :D
seriously, its a month in a bush, hiking and excercising while flatting with 7 other girls in a house. it is WIDELY known at school that people try to get out, and cant even with proper medicial reasons you are forced down there (a 4 hour drive from auckland) til you are pushed to your limit. girls try to h*rt themselves down there just to get home! its madness how this has continued to go on. it is also compulsory, which is insane as a month away from a minor should let the caregivers to agree, but nope if your caregiver doesnt agree to let their girl go to kahu, the school forces them to, and if you dont? well! good news, you did not finish year 10! its $2.5k for the whole trip, and the people paying for it should have the right to refuse!!

no expression allowed: no dyed hair (even if its blonde or black), only 1 earring stud allowed from y11-13, no jewellry. the school is very monotone and straight laced, also extremely homophobic, and racist (considering about 80% of the girls are asian, they face racism from the higher ups, and they dont even try to hide it).

their "traditions" are so-called strong, however are outdated and need to keep up with the times. assemblies are twice a week, insane for when nothing important is said during them, and mandatory chapel, house service (which is in your own time aka the weekends) and opening day.

upper mangement is terrible, utterly racist, homophobic, and corrupt and are disconnected from the school. they do not have the schools interest in mind and do not understand the girls needs.

no student ive ever talked who has been to/currently at has liked st cuths, and sure, it academics may be great however ALL other aspects are lacking. i have more to say about cuths, but if my points above did not convince you to pull ur girls out from cuths, it would be a waste of my time to write more.
Feb 20, 2023

terrible school

this school is downright awful, horrible students and the teachers are either insanely strict or don't care at all and just let you fail. i absolutely would not recommend you send your kids here because its a terrible environment for social interaction especially for people who are out of the norm in any way, not to mention the ridiculous fees and uniform prices.
Former Student
Feb 6, 2023

Not Sure What To Rate

St Cuthbert’s has many flaws, but they mainly lie with the way senior management handles things.
The teachers are incredible and put huge amounts of effort and energy into giving their students the best education and school experience possible. There is a lot of pressure to succeed academically, which has terrible impacts on mental health, but the majority of this pressure comes from other students and senior management, not the teachers.
Bullying is fairly common at St Cuthbert’s and the way that this is dealt with is usually pretty ineffective. Especially the way that reports of homophobia, racism, etc are dealt with.
I think that’s partly just luck though because I know many people who loved St Cuthbert’s and had an amazing experience throughout.
There are so many amazing students and people make lifelong friends at this school. The education is very good. The school just falls short when it comes to inclusivity and taking care of the students.
Feb 5, 2023


Growing up at the same school

I have been at the school since the beginning and I have loved each year of learning and sports and music and friends
Former Student
Feb 3, 2023

please avoid cuths lol

unbelievably discriminatory against everyone who’s not cis straight and white. breeds mental illness and neglects to even pretend to care about their students. disgusting uptight school. nobody who goes to cuths enjoys going to cuths. please do not go here 💀
Oct 30, 2021

Unhappy middle school years

I attended in the 80's and felt forced to leave just before starting 5th form due to needing to escape the on-going bullying by Beryl Skeen, the music teacher. A few years earlier I was inappropriately touched by one of the dad's invited to a father/daughter sports day but didn't report it due to the lack of support between students and the senior teachers. The school has likely changed since then but after that episode I was never the same and disconnected.
Former Student
Oct 24, 2021

Its alright but only cares about money

Honestly, academically St Cuths is a really good school, the students get scholarships and has an endeavour program that is better than most private schools.
The traditions and rules are great, it teaches a sense of pride in history whilst also keeping everyone looking uniform and clean. (I don't understand the uniform complaints? They're better than others and look fine on all body types)

The school itself is good with good classrooms and student areas (except the student bathrooms are disgusting, with leaks all over the floor, no mirrors in some, and missing toilet seats despite student complaints).

The main issue is diversity! In junior school there are zero Maori or Pacifica! The rest is about 80% Asian and 20% European. This is terrible! Surely there should be more than 2 racial groups making up a school, or at least a diverse range of students that represent all of NZ. In senior school, it's not much better, no wonder St Cuths ranks amongst the worst for diversity.

St Cuthberts only really cares about money, and the school demographic is literally 2 races and that's it.
I'd recommend (at least for a junior age) sending your kids to Dio or St Kents to be in a diverse environment where one race doesn't make up 80% of the class.

For a school that tries to pride itself on not being pretentious, it's got a long way to go to get there.
Former Student
Apr 26, 2021

Don’t send your kids to St Cuthberts College

St Cuthbert's College has a great reputation and has just been named top high school in the country for 2021 but to be completely honest the only positive thing I have to say about this school is about its academic rating. Most girls succeed to a high level academically and there is a high percentage of UE Entrance and course endorsements.

As a former student of the college I can confidently say I have never talked to a single girl, current or past, who has loved it and most don’t even like it.

For starters it is extremely racist. The teachers, senior management, the principal, everyone. Multiple teachers have used slurs such as the n word and so has the principal with only one forced apology and no consequences. There is an assumption that all Asians have difficulty with english, that all Māori and Pacific Island students are poor, and that basically anyone who isn’t white is less than.
For the first 3 and a half years that I was at the college, the Te Reo Māori room was in a closet with tiny windows that were unreachable, holes in the ceiling and an electrical cupboard that was definitely not safe. All of the students could not fit at the desks and there were sometimes students sitting on the floor in the hallway outside. To shove the indigenous language of this country into a closet is testament to what the college is truly about despite what they will tell you.

Secondly, it is an extremely toxic environment for anyone to exist in. The amount of bullying that goes on in that school is almost shocking considering how much they promote their motto ‘By Love Serve’. I know so many girls who have left the college with body image issues as a result of the bullying they endure and the pushed ideal body type. It is a damaging way for a girl to grow up especially those who have been there since age 5 and from my knowledge the school does nothing about it.

Thirdly the homophobia. This is something that I found was never discussed. If you want to take a girl to ball, regardless of your relationship with them, you have to go to the school counsellor and your parents have to sign a form. There is no reason for this to happen other than homophobia which is disgusting considering how many girls identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, publicly or not. This can be detrimental to a students mental and emotional well-being.
I would also not recommend boarding as all of the girls have said that often the food is inedible and they’ve had to order food and sneak it in to avoid going hungry.

There is no freedom of expression. Girls are allowed to wear one stud earring per ear, no other jewellery, no dyed hair in any unnatural colours. None of these things impact education and only stop people from being who they are and expressing that externally. Everyone is made to look the same, do the same and be the same like robots.

Honestly that’s just the beginning. I wouldn’t want any student to go to this school as I know the impact it will have on their mental, emotional and even physical health. Especially if the student is a POC or a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. They are unsafe there and it is so wrong to make them feel that way. Keep your kids safe.
Sep 12, 2020

not as good at it seems

people often send their kids to this school because of its academic rating and the schools's overall "good reputation" however as a student there, i can assure you its really not what it seems:
-racist isn't unheard of here, multiple teachers have used slurs and such without any consequences to doing so. no apology, nothing.
-again, racism. you would think that a school which receives so much support and half it's money from asian families wouldn't have any issues with racism against asians (especially Chinese) but there has been many instances of racism against Chinese students coming from school staffs. (assuming that their English is poor because of their race, telling students to 'take their Chinese ways back to china'
-self expression. the school itself is very traditional, almost to a point where its absurd and completely ridiculous. no nail varnish, no more than one piercing per ear, no bracelts, necklaces etc. hair must be tied up and no obvious dyed colors. How does all that affect anyone's education? it doesn't. schools will tell you to "be yourself. express yourself the way you want to" but then list more than a FEW of the things you're not able to do.
-money hungry. this school has beyond enough money yet they try to make a profit off everything.
Market Road, Unknown, Auckland
Justine Mahon
09 520 4159

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