Oteha Valley School is situated in a ‘green fields’ area of Albany on Auckland’s North Shore and has been built to cater for the planned residential development within the Albany basin. The area includes high density housing through to green fields areas. Residential subdivisions are being developed, and continual and rapid population growth is expected in the foreseeable future. It has a multi-cultural community. The Ministry of Education has currently designated the school with a socio-economic ranking of Decile 9.
The establishment phase for the school commenced in April 2003 when a team of people began the task of developing an initial concept design. An Establishment Board of Trustees was appointed in June 2003, three of these people having been members of the Design Team. In August 2004 the first elected Board of Trustees took office. The school opted for the staggered election process for its Board of Trustees and has had no difficulty in forming a Board in all subsequent elections.
The school opened on 28 January 2004 in temporary premises at North Harbour Stadium, moving to the Oteha Valley Road site on 16 February when one classroom block was ready for occupancy. Phase 1 of construction was completed in December 2004 - three classroom blocks, each with four rooms linked to an awhina space, plus three linked blocks containing the library/resource centre, administration, and a multipurpose hall. The driveway and exit onto Fields Parade was completed June 2007. Two relocatable classrooms were added in 2008 and a further 8 classrooms were built during 2009. In October 2006 a satellite class from Wairau Valley Special School was established in Room 8. This class continues to integrate successfully into the school environment. A satellite class from Kelston Deaf Education Centre was established in Room 14, a purpose-built facility within the new classroom block, in February 2010
The school has had two reviews by the Education Review Office, the first in March 2006 and the second in March 2009. Both reports are very positive.
In 2005 the Ministry of Education nominated the school for an OECD award for its design flexibility, sustainability, and community involvement. This was successful and the school is one of 65 learning institutions across 20 countries featuring in the OECD book “Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities” (volume 3) published in 2006.
The Ministry of Education approved an enrolment scheme for the school in November 2003 and this was amended in 2008 to fit with the new home zones for both Pinehill School and Sherwood School. The school is unable to accept International Fee Paying Students as it is not yet a signatory to the Code of Practice. No category 5 out-of-zone students can be accepted as classroom space is not available for them.
The school roll on 01 March 2010 was 314 students, and it is expected to grow to approximately 360 by the end of the year.