Colville School - 19/01/2018

Findings

While the board of trustees and principal have made good progress in addressing areas for development in the 2014 ERO report, there remains a need to fully embed these initiatives. The board of trustees continues to benefit from the support of the specialist adviser. Trustees are in the process of strategically implementing the documented action plan. The appointment of a permanent principal and teaching staff should bring greater consistency of leadership and learning for students. Priority should be given to the provision of an appropriate and sustainable learning programme for children.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Colville School is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8 on the Coromandel Peninsula. At the time of the ERO review the school roll was 28, including 3 Māori children. Since the 2014 ERO report the school has continued to experience many changes of principals, teachers and staff. In June 2017 a new permanent principal took up her position. She has previous primary school leadership experience and is participating in the Beginning Principal’s Programme. A long term reliever is currently teaching the senior class. A new permanent teacher has been appointed to start in 2018. A Ministry of Education (MoE) specialist advisor has continued to provide assistance to trustees and the principal. Trustees continue in their governance roles and have participated in ongoing training and support with School Trustees Association and the specialist advisor.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

Priorities identified in the 2014 ERO report were to improve:

  • governance, including the development of systems and processes to support self review and strategic planning
  • school management, including the professional management of the school by the principal
  • personnel management
  • school-wide curriculum development and implementation
  • the management and use of assessment data to enhance student learning outcomes
  • systems and processes to ensure the school is compliant with all legislative requirements.

Progress

Since the 2014 ERO review the school has received ongoing support from the MoE and specialist adviser.

Trustees are committed to their roles as school governors. They continue to benefit from the support of the specialist advisor. Ongoing training is building their knowledge and confidence of their stewardship responsibilities. They have established positive and open relationships with the new principal.

Useful frameworks have been developed and documented. These are:

  • up to date school policies and a policy review schedule
  • a governance manual to support trustees in their roles and responsibilities
  • expectations for the performance management of staff which are aligned to current expectations of the Education Council
  • policies and procedures for managing health and safety systems and processes, including the physical and emotional safety of children.

The principal is focused on building a positive culture for learning with children and their families. She reports that children are demonstrating a more settled approach to their learning. Teachers need to continue to incorporate strategies for managing children’s behaviour positively.

Consultation with the community was held in early 2017. This resulted in identifying priorities for the school’s curriculum. The principal has some useful frameworks to guide curriculum development and integrate these priorities into meaningful contexts for learners.

Staff are in the early stages of gathering evidence to contribute to the appraisal process. Trustees have arranged for the principal’s appraisal to be undertaken by an external person.

ERO and the principal agree that there is uncertainty about the reliability of the 2016 student achievement data. In response to this, the principal has established a useful schedule to guide school-wide assessment practices. Some initial assessment has been undertaken to identify children’s levels of progress and achievement, and to support teachers to make more reliable overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards.

There are a number of compliance issues to address.

Key next steps

There continues to be a need for children to experience consistency and continuity in their learning. Therefore priority should be given to curriculum development and implementation, including agreed expectations for teaching and learning. The school also needs to implement the learning languages curriculum.

Improving the use of student assessment data to inform planning for specific groups and individual children continues to be a priority. Teachers need to make use of the learning progressions to:

  • inform teaching, including providing feedback and feed forward to children
  • build children’s knowledge of their learning and next steps
  • inform overall teacher judgements.

Fully implementing the assessment schedule to support the reliability of the overall teacher judgement process is an important next step.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The specialist adviser and trustees have documented a useful action plan to guide ongoing development of:

  • curriculum design and implementation
  • assessment against National Standards, including targets for individuals and groups of students at risk of not achieving
  • quality teaching practices for all teaching staff
  • implementing robust recruitment practices
  • performance management of the principal and all staff
  • partnerships for learning with families and whānau
  • systems and processes for internal evaluation.

The many changes to leadership and teaching staff have resulted in the need for ongoing support and guidance to fully implement this plan and to build and embed a sustainable culture for learning for children.

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.

During the course of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance. In order to improve current practise, the board of trustees must ensure that:

  1. The requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community is met.
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]
  2. In consultation with the school’s Māori community, it develops and makes known policies and/or procedures, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students.
    [National Administration Guideline 1(5)]

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the MoE continues to provide support to assist the school to:

  • develop, document and implement the school’s curriculum
  • implement reliable assessment systems and processes to inform teacher planning, including targets for individuals and groups of students at risk of not achieving
  • identify and implement quality teaching practices for all teaching staff
  • ensure effective performance management systems and processes are in place for the principal and all staff
  • improve partnerships for learning with families and whānau
  • implement systems and processes for effective internal evaluation.

Conclusion

While the board of trustees and principal have made good progress in addressing areas for development in the 2014 ERO report, there remains a need to fully embed these initiatives. The board of trustees continues to benefit from the support of the specialist adviser. Trustees are in the process of strategically implementing the documented action plan. The appointment of a permanent principal and teaching staff should bring greater consistency of leadership and learning for students. Priority should be given to the provision of an appropriate and sustainable learning programme for children.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 January 2018

About the School

Location

Coromandel Peninsula

Ministry of Education profile number

1706

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

28

Gender composition

Girls 15 Boys 13

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Cook Island Māori

25
2
1

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

19 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2014
June 2013
June 2010