Sadness over Whitby School closure

The Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Trust Board has made the difficult and sad decision to close Marsden School Whitby at the end of the 2019 school year.


Please see details of the announcement and further updates below.

Update: 4 July 2019, 4.51pm

The Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Trust Board at a meeting last night confirmed its decision that it is not financially viable for the Trust Board to run Marsden Whitby beyond this year.


However in response to the strong feeling from the school community for the school to remain open the Trust Board has today offered the school community the first opportunity to negotiate the purchase of the school as a going concern. The Trust Board has asked for the group to express an interest in pursuing this option by 26 July. The Board has reiterated that the decision to close the school was made only after a detailed review of operational and financial costs, revenue projections, along with future capital expenditure needs.


A request has also been made to the Trust Board regarding Year 12 boys completing their education at Marsden Karori next year, and this request is under consideration by the school.

Posted: 1 July 2019, 8:29pm

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School appreciates that today’s announcement of the closure of Marsden Whitby School at the end of this year is distressing for the school community.

This is a difficult decision to share and every effort has been made to ensure the entire school community received the news in a timely manner.

Staff were informed at a face to face meeting after school this afternoon, and staff who were away from school today were contacted by phone. Immediately following this conversation with staff, the parents and caregivers of students were informed via email. We wanted to give parents the opportunity to share the news with their children first.

The school’s focus was on ensuring the school community was first to know before the news was released publicly. However, a social media site posted about the closure shortly after the school community was informed. Once the information was available by social media, it was then in the public domain, and Marsden had no choice but to release its public statement to media and other social media pages.

We know foremost the concern for families is where students will attend school next year. Marsden is offering all girls at Whitby school a place at their Karori school. Marsden is also working with other schools to arrange visits for students to help with their school selection.

Whitby School Closure Announcement 1 July 2019

The Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Trust Board has made the difficult and sad decision to close Marsden School Whitby at the end of the 2019 school year. This decision has no impact on Marsden School in Karori, which has been delivering quality education for girls for the past 141 years.


Principal Narelle Umbers advised the school community of the decision on 1 July and says it is with deep regret the Board has reached the conclusion that it is not financially sustainable to continue to run Marsden Whitby beyond this year.


The future of the school has been looked at carefully. The difficult decision to close was only made after the Board explored options to keep the school open. The focus is now on supporting the school community and assisting their transition to new schools. Marsden Whitby staff are committed to continuing to provide Whitby students with a quality education through to the end of the school year. This is an extremely difficult time for our school community and we are supporting and working with students and their families to help them with their school choices for next year.


Marsden Whitby has accomplished much over the past 15 years and the staff, students and families have built a special community spirit at the school. The staff have delivered a quality education and students have excelled academically and outside of the classroom. Many close relationships have been formed, and over the next six months we want to involve our students, staff, families and alumni in how we recognise all the school has achieved.


The decision has no impact on Marsden School in Karori. We will continue to have a strong focus on ensuring girls flourish at Marsden in Karori. The School has recently become New Zealand’s first Visible WellbeingTM School. All Whitby girls will be offered a place at Marsden in Karori and the boys will be assisted in finding a school to continue their education.


If you have any questions please contact Marsden Whitby on (04) 234 1070 or Inge Doig at Marsden Karori (04) 476 8707.