Taranaki possesses the usual facilities for carrying on the system of free, secular, and compulsory education, which has been in vogue in New Zealand since the year 1877. New Plymouth contains the office of the Taranaki Education Board, which has jurisdiction over the northern and central portion of the provincial district, including the counties of Taranaki, Egmont and Clifton. The Board employs not only a large staff of teachers, but also a qualified inspector, with an assistant, and a truant officer, as well as an architect, and a secretary and treasurer. In New Plymouth itself there is a large and well equipped Central School, under the care of a headmaster, twelve teachers and pupil teachers, and with from 500 to 600 children in attendance. The school known as the Westown School is devoted to the infants, numbering 150, and is in charge of a mistress, who has three assistants. The New Plymouth High School (for boys and girls) is conducted in a fine building, which occupies
a prominent position in the town. This school, which is attended by about one hundred pupils, is under the management of a rector, who is assisted by a mistress, and five qualified teachers. Large areas of land have, from time to time, been set apart in the provincial district of Taranaki as endowments for education. The whole of these properties are vested in the Board of School Commissioners, whose duties are to secure the best financial results obtainable, and to distribute the revenues, proportionately, to the interested governing bodies. The Roman Catholic Church has a considerable number of monasteries and convent schools throughout Taranaki, and at the Monastery of the Presentation in New Plymouth, children are taught the higher branches of education. The Sisters in residence also take charge of the primary school. For those who prefer to have their children educated less publicly, New Plymouth has also a capital school for girls; it is known as “Chetwode,” and is situated at the seaside.