Based on 8 reviews and 71 answers
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Mar 4, 2023

This school ISN'T transparent nor TRULY supportive

This school prioitises far too much on its Music department, and culutrally boxes its students - it also uses Pasfika culture for money and reputation.
The new principal doesn't acutally act, and many of the staff feel they're not respected or listened.

This school lacks transperency, and only focuses on Music.
All other departments which have a REAL impact on society are left in the dust.

Don't bring your childern here.
Tawa College has gone sour.
Feb 13, 2023

Tawa College is not a good school

Below average school. Only positive aspects are the variety of options and courses they offer in comparison to other schools in the same region. Teachers feel a bit biased, generally favor students over others. The canteen meals are not interesting and the special lunch meals are disappointing in taste. School feels disconnected, unless you knew someone from before it’ll be really hard to find friends. In order to be part of an activity you’ll require to be part of a specific group, the school doesn’t promote activities that involve every student, when they do, it’s so poor administrated and promoted barely anyone decides to take part in it. Timetables feels a bit extra as many things could be improved as well. The school has old buildings, not somewhere pleasant to be, students have to sit in corridors due to the school not having indoor places for students apart from classrooms which are always kept closed and library. Porirua College offers a whole living room with small kitchen in every house color where students can be during break times. Most of the times windows are kept open due to poor ventilation system, for this reason if it’s a cold day you better bring extra clothes.
Former Student
Aug 1, 2021


I had a decent experience, did discover that I had epilepsy while there and even had a seizure while doing a school assessment. Honestly felt that music got too much attention (but percussion group was lit and Mr Casbolt was a lad) and the rest of the school just kinda got shunned. Other than that it wasn't the worst 5 years of my life and got better as it went on after quite a bad time at Tawa Intermediate.
Former Student
May 22, 2021

Music or sports only.

Only go here if you want a career in music, sports, or some form of communication.

Tawa college is decently well known for being amazing in certain aspects, many students have gotten into Ivy league schools after participating in Tawa's music programmes, sports progreams, and race unity speeches.

However, if you have no interest in this type of thing, avoid this school at all costs, even if it means homeschooling. Tawa college heavily neglects the teaching of students who aren't going to make them look good by doing subjects that Tawa is known for.

This school ruins the mental health of anyone who isn't doing the subjects that the school is known across the country for. They actively go out of their way to pressure certain students into doing subjects they don't want to do.

Personally, I did science subjects. Tawa college destroyed my life-long interest in chemistry and physics, and I only held onto my computer science interest because the teacher(Gordon Hall) actually cared about his student's success.

Many of the teachers are genuinely lovely, but the majority either don't really care about student's success, or are far too old to teach. - I had multiple teachers who didn't even understand what they were teaching, and spent half the class trying to remember how to do something in order to teach it - this was mostly the older (70+) teachers. I ended up having to teach myself many concepts.

I truly hated this school, but I do recommend it for anyone who is sure about a future career in Music, sports, or communication.
Mar 16, 2021

The school is improving with new teachers

Average school but seems a lot better than most other within the region.

There is quite a good amount of academic student support but they lack otherwise to most people who don’t represent the school academically or through sports

The social environment feels quite disconnected and split into various similar demographic groups.

The majority of teachers are helpful but sometimes favour helping some students more than others within the classroom.

I also find their way of dealing with student complaints quite poor as they tend to side with people who go to the teachers first and don’t allow input from the person in trouble regardless of whether they did anything.

I would recommend this school to certain people but not everyone.
Former Student
Feb 26, 2021

Fine, if you like music and sport

I went to 3 different high schools, and tawa was by far the worst - purely because of the way they treat non-sports & music students.

I wouldn't be surprised if this school has one of the highest suicide rates in wellington, because it is AWFUL in terms of student support.

To give you an example, this school spent $40,000 or so on a celebrity piano which most students aren't even allowed to use, instead of getting a proper student support system which was so desperately needed.
Former Student
Feb 26, 2021

Go ANYWHERE else but tawa college. Save yourself.

It’s only good if you’re into sports/music.

They have awful mental health support & services. The way they schedule NCEA internals is a recipe for depression. During the time I was there, I was hospitalised for depression multiple times - without even attempting. It literally got so bad that I had physical symptoms, I’d also have screaming panic attacks whenever I went NEAR the school in my last year.

There’s a reason they have an expensive safety gate on the train tracks outside the school. So many people have taken their lives because of how awful this school is, they ignore students that need help and focus on the sports/music students.

Thanks to Tawa College, I went from an excellence endorsement in year 11 (+ almost entirely excellence in yr 9/10) to failing level 2 & 3 with barely 30 credits in each. - they didn’t even attempt to help me or check up on me. This has happened to so many other students at that horrible place.

I honestly doubt I’ll ever fully recover from being at that school.
Former Student
Sep 8, 2020

Don’t recommend unless you want trauma

Absolute shit support mentally, classes are stressful and full of pressure overall a very uncomfortable setting in my experience. Unless you want to pursue music you won’t be encouraged to do well here. There are so many gaps in the schools system of support and I would suggest literally anywhere else.
Duncan Street, 5028, Wellington
Murray Lucas
04 232 8184

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