School Support Systems

The size of Ötorohanga College allows a standard of individual care which is not possible at many larger schools. There are a number of strands to our Pastoral Care network.

Whānau Groups

Each student is assigned to a Whānau which contains 20–25 students at each year level. The teacher of this group has special responsibility for the welfare of these students and is usually the first point of contact. This teacher will remain with the student throughout their time at the College.


Each year level is under the guidance of a Dean who oversees the pastoral needs of students in that year level including organisation of courses, oversight of reports and discipline issues.

Heads of Faculty

HOF are senior teachers who oversee the seven learning areas. They are in charge of the courses, assessments and resources of their particular Department.

Student Wellness

The College has counsellors who are available to assist students and parents. There is a doctor on site on Monday mornings and a nurse is also based at the College.


He Kaiarahi is available to assist tauira Mäori with concerns and to liaise with whänau and staff.

Counselling Services Counselling Team

Ōtorohanga College is committed to the academic, physical, emotional and social development of each student. In our endeavour to provide individual care, the College offers a variety of counselling services based on a philosophy of early intervention and in recognition of today’s complex social influences and pressures.  Counselling staff provide an additional resource to promote the healthy development of young people at Ōtorohanga College.


The College counsellors are available to consult with students and parents. The counselling team also liaise with pastoral staff in matters relating to student wellbeing. Students may be referred by pastoral staff when problems arise in their academic, emotional or social development.


What type of issues may be referred to the counsellors?

Counselling interventions may include the following:

  • Social Issues:
    Relationships with peers, identity, dealing with the behaviour of others, self-esteem and bullying issues

  • Emotional Issues:
    Some young people experience difficulties with anxiety, anger or depression as part of their growing and need support in learning to manage their emotions and behaviour.

Guidance & Pastoral Team

Whānau Teachers

For students the Whānau Group is the primary unifying unit within the College.   All students have a Whānau period for twenty minutes at the end of Period One where daily administration is carried out such as dealing with absences and receiving the daily notices. It is vital that parents keep in contact with Whānau teachers and inform them of student absences.


Deans have responsibility for the academic and personal welfare of the students. Our system of pastoral care provides a Dean for each year level. This is a member of the teaching staff who both students and parents can use as a source of support, guidance and encouragement.

Manager Of Student Wellbeing: Mrs Donna Russell

Hostel, Falloon House: Mr Roy Willison

2018 Deans:

Year 9 Dean: Mrs Joyce Sneddon

Year 10 Dean: Mr Greg Howitt

Year 11 Dean: Mrs Lucy Thomas

Year 12 Dean: Mr Leighton Parsons

Year 13 Dean: Miss Lacosta Hayward

Ngā Maniapoto Marae Pact Trust and Ōtorohanga’s Whare Awhina are counselling services that can be contacted for outside interventions if preferred.

Student Wellbeing

At Ōtorohanga College we recognise and value each student as a total and unique person. We ensure that all students are treated with respect and dignity and feel valued, safe and supported. The College deems that every student matters every day. At the College, many things occur; we converse, we learn, we develop friendships, we deal with difficult feelings, we achieve, we discover, we test and adapt behaviours. We ensure students have an educational experience that fits their needs and aspirations, while dealing with the rollercoaster that is teenage life.

The wellbeing of our students is pivotal to their success at school and in their future. Physically and emotionally healthy young people are able to engage openly with learning and the wealth of opportunities offered at Otorohanga College. They can deal positively with life’s challenges and experience a sense of connectedness with their peers and teachers, which promotes personal wellbeing and a sense of identity.

At Ōtorohanga College we have a commitment to providing the best learning environment for all our young people. As part of that commitment we believe that children learn best when they have good working relationships with peers and staff. Ōtorohanga College promotes the wellbeing of students through collaborative, authentic relationships which place student care at the centre of them. We value all aspects of a young person’s development – academic, social, emotional and physical.

From Year 9 to Year 13, student wellbeing is enhanced by a safe and happy environment where students and staff work together with mutual respect, developing independent, resilient and responsible young people who have the self- confidence and commitment to make a positive contribution to society.