Te Aute College is making a comeback.

A recent report by the Education Review Office (ERO) said the school was "now well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance".

The Te Aute Trust board was starved of funding up until last year, when it succeeded in repaying a $9.2 million debt.

The repayment of the debt, which had been incurred on the trust's farming operations, removed a severe interest burden and helped the school to concentrate on improving boarding and learning facilities.


The ERO report said there were "good systems and processes" in place for the governance, leadership and management of the college.

The chairman of the school's ministry-appointed board of trustees, Moana Jackson, said the report was a cause for celebration.

"Our principal, Shane Hiha, has done a fantastic job of holding the ship on course and we continue to make gains in the school and hostel," she said.

The long-established secondary school for boys in Pukehou, Central Hawke's Bay, is state integrated and identifies as having a distinctly Maori and Anglican character.

Enrolments at the school were up almost 25 per cent since last year. Pass rates for all levels at NCEA were at 80 per cent in 2014, and while the national average for University Entrance had fallen to 57 per cent, the pass rate at Te Aute was 75 per cent.

The school also achieved two scholarships, outstanding passes and one top scholar result.

For the past five years, the ERO has been making annual visits to monitor the school's progress.

The latest report indicated the next visit would be in three years, which was a sign the review office was comfortable with the path the school was on, Ms Jackson said.


Mr Hiha, who has been at the school for 18 months, was also pleased with the report.

"We're lucky to have staff members who care so much about the success of the boys, who understand Maori boys and are prepared to go the extra mile for them," he said.