Central Regional Health School - 06/05/2016

Findings

The school’s previously recognised high performance has been sustained. The curriculum is flexible and responsive. Teachers and other professionals use a range of information to effectively plan and deliver appropriate, individualised programmes. Most students achieve their goals. Sound systems support school operations. High quality leadership is evident.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

The Central Region Health School (CRHS) caters for students in the North Island region, Whanganui and Hawkes Bay to Wellington, at 14 sites. Since the December 2012 ERO report, the school has added two additional sites, Epuni Care and Protection Residence and Hikitia te Wairua. The addition of these two sites has contributed to significant roll growth.

The school’s mission, Through partnership and innovation we inspire and enrich quality, continuous individualised learning, drives its operations.

Students range in age from 5 to 19 years with the majority falling within the 13 to 19 age group. All students have a health service referral or are in residential care. Most students are enrolled for short periods before they are supported to transition back to their regular school, further education or employment.

The school has three strands.

  • Health, in which teaching and learning takes place in a variety of locations including hospital, students' homes or at CRHS sites
  • Mental Health, in which a multi-agency approach is used so students are supported by education, mental health services and appropriate agencies
  • Youth Justice, where students, on remand or sentenced to supervision, have classroom based programmes within a residential facility.

Close links to, and working relationships with, Health Services, Child, Youth and Family (CYF) and the Youth Justice Department support students’ diverse needs.

The high performance evidenced in previous ERO reports has been sustained.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Teachers and other professionals use a range of information to effectively plan and deliver appropriate programmes that are tailored to individual students’ strengths, interests and needs. Where applicable, programme delivery includes the use of external agencies and expertise.

Students receive a high level of support. They are treated with respect and encouraged to learn at their own pace. Their learning goals are realistic and progress is recognised and celebrated. Students are involved in decisions about what is in their learning programme and where and how the programme is provided.

Leaders have established effective working relationships with medical staff, Youth Justice and CYF personnel, working with representatives of these organisations to develop, regularly review and set goals with all students. The school reports that 90% of goals set for students within this process are achieved.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The curriculum is flexible and responsive to both the needs of individual students and external requirements. There is a strong focus on literacy, numeracy and key competencies.

Complex case histories are used to evaluate the effectiveness of individual programmes. Teachers use the resultant information effectively to support many students to successfully transition back to their chosen school or to further education.

A new initiative is the development of a schoolwide communications project to support students and teachers. During 2015 and 2016 the school invested substantially in the delivery of this programme by a qualified speech-language and communication therapist. Teachers report a positive beginning to this project. An evaluation will be undertaken at the conclusion of the project, to determine the impact on student learning.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

A significant majority of students within the residential youth justice sites identify as Māori with a smaller number identifying as Pacific. Staff at these sites are successfully using cultural contexts to develop students’ interest and reconnect them with learning.

Culturally responsive practices are strong within the school sites. Across the wider school there is an ongoing focus on strengthening these practices, programmes and teacher understanding.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

Management and trustees have developed sound systems and processes to support teaching, learning and school operations. The senior management team successfully coordinates and oversees educational programmes at a large number of individual sites and within a number of residential units across the lower North Island. There is consistency in administration of school policy evident across these services. Leaders and teachers at the two additional sites (Epuni and Hikitia te Wairua) recognise that there are still improvements to be made to further support student learning. The board and the principal continue to support change and improvement at these sites.

Teachers have high expectations in relation to student engagement and learning. Leaders have high expectations of teachers and their ability to deliver effective programmes. Leadership opportunities are successfully devolved across the school.

Staff have a commitment to, and belief in, their collective purpose. They are collegial and share effective practices. Strong support is provided for teachers’ professional growth. In addition to school-wide foci, individual teachers are also supported to follow individual development paths.

A strongly reflective culture is evident. Regular opportunities are provided for teachers and leaders to discuss and evaluate individual students' progress and wider school systems. An agreed next step is for leaders to strengthen the collection and analysis of longitudinal data in order to evaluate the impact of teaching and the curriculum on students’ engagement and achievement over time. In addition, extending the comments in the annual plan to show how well the actions taken have supported improvement, would contribute to the evaluation of the effectiveness of practice.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Conclusion

The school’s previously recognised high performance has been sustained. The curriculum is flexible and responsive. Teachers and other professionals use a range of information to effectively plan and deliver appropriate, individualised programmes. Most students achieve their goals. Sound systems support school operations. High quality leadership is evident.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

6 May 2016

About the School

Location

Lower North Island

Ministry of Education profile number

1630

School type

Special School (Years 1-13)

School roll

240

Gender composition

Female 62%, Male 38%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific Island

Other ethnic groups

26%

65%

3%

6%

Special Features

Central Regional Health School - City (CRHS - City)

Regional Rangatahi Adolescent Inpatient Service, (RRAIS)

Epuni Care & Protection Residence,

Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice Residence

Hikitea te Wairua

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

6 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

October 2009

July 2006