About Ellesmere College

A place where every student is looked after

Nestled amongst the scenic rural landscape of small-town Leeston, Ellesmere College is a co-educational school catering to students from Year 7 to Year 13.

Close to the vibrant city of Christchurch, on seven hectares of spacious land, Ellesmere College provides students with an outstanding learning experience.

Dedicated teachers, a nurturing environment and individualised support ensures all our students excel academically and thrive in every area of school life. Ellesmere is a place where every staff member knows every student personally and provides them with the support that they need to shine.

The history of Ellesmere College

A community hub for nearly 40 years

A small, family-oriented school, Ellesmere College opened in 1981, and has been an integral part of the community ever since.

We’re proud of the role we play in the community and understand the importance of maintaining a strong community-focus, actively engaging with local community groups and offering our students work experience programmes with local businesses.

Our values

Our RISE values live and breathe throughout our curriculum and learning environment. Evolved through community discussion and consideration, they are at the core of everything we do as a school





We prepare our students for the wider world by incorporating these values into every area of school life, including our Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme. This helps to create a positive environment and strong support system, removing barriers to engagement and improving children’s overall well-being.

Principal’s welcome

I am proud to lead the innovative, dynamic and supportive learning community which is Ellesmere College, and to serve the wider community of Leeston, Southbridge, Doyleston and Dunsandel. I am a fervent supporter of relationship and values-based education, and passionate about students being empowered to succeed.

Ronan Bass


Our Senior Leadership Team

I am honored to be part of the Ellesmere learning community. My role at the College includes pastoral care for staff and students. I work closely with students and their families and whānau to support them both personally and academically.

Mr Bert Knops

Deputy Principal

It is a privilege to be part of the leadership team at Ellesmere College. I have built my career in teaching around the foundations of positive professional relationships, constant evolution of my teaching practices and dedication to see the students achieve all that I can from their time at school.

Antony French

Assistant Principal

I am proud to be part of the Ellesmere College team.  My role involves overseeing learning and curriculum for the junior school.

“He waka eke noa” –  if we work together our young people will succeed in their journey.

Tanya Prout

Assistant Principal

Our Board of Trustees

Our Board is responsible for governance of the school. The members take care of the school charter, annual plan and financial statements, as well as making other governance level strategic decisions.

Vanessa Robertson


Vanessa Robertson


Sandy McCann

Deputy Chairperson

Sandy McCann

Deputy Chairperson

Mark Maddren

Susan Nicholls

Gary Michael

Anna Forward

Blair Templeton

Margarida Dias

Student Representative

Margarida Dias

Student Representative

Important School Documents