Hatea-A-Rangi - 11/06/2018

Findings

Hatea-a-Rangi has gone through an extensive time of change and disruption. Subsequent changes of personnel at all levels of the school: board of trustees, senior leaders, and teaching staff are providing a more clear direction for the school. There is a need for comprehensive professional support to help the school provide better educational outcomes for students.

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?

Hatea-a-Rangi is a small rural school located in the township of Tokomaru Bay. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. There are 26 students on the roll and most identify as Māori. The 2016 ERO report identified significant areas of concern in relation to curriculum and levels of student achievement. The school was subsequently placed on a process of ongoing ERO monitoring. This ERO review evaluates the progress made in relation to these areas for ongoing development over the last two years. 

During the course of the ERO visit in November 2017, significant concerns about school governance, professional leadership and continued low levels of student achievement were identified.

At the start of 2018 two new classroom teachers were appointed to fixed term positions, and the board appointed a new principal effective from the beginning of term two. There have also been new members co-opted to the board of trustees. 

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

  • curriculum and assessment practice
  • raising levels of student achievement
  • health and safety.

Progress

Recent improvement has been made in developing a localised school curriculum. Authentic contexts for learning that use features of the local environment are contributing to student engagement in learning. Under the current leadership, this curriculum development has continued. Learning and teaching practices across the two classrooms are becoming increasingly reflective of parent aspirations and local context.

ERO is not confident of the dependability of the student achievement information shared in November 2017. 

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is not well placed to sustain, improve and review its performance.

At the time of the 2017 visit, school leadership and governance practices required urgent improvement. The following conditions were prevalent in the school:

Professional Leadership:

During the 2017 visit, ERO found that there was:

  • inconsistent day-to-day management of the school
  • lack of clear and unified direction for school development
  • poor leadership for learning to build teacher capability, and to raise student achievement.

Significant improvements were noted in the March 2018 ERO visit in relation to professional leadership of the school. The current leadership has worked with newly appointed staff to develop clear expectations and systems for teaching and learning, health and safety, and curriculum implementation.

Staffing:

Significant and ongoing changes in the teaching team including professional leadership in recent years, have inhibited progress in school development. Professional learning and development has not had a positive impact on teacher practice.

In 2018, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has worked with the school to develop a plan to improve teaching and learning and raise student achievement. In addition, the board is making better informed resourcing decisions to respond to the needs of the students at risk of not achieving expected levels. Leaders and teachers are now using more reliable achievement data to inform their teaching programmes.

School culture and behaviour:

During the 2017 visit, ERO found that there was break down in relationships between the leader, staff and whānau. Poor supervision of children, inconsistent reporting of issues, and staff taking inappropriate actions to manage children’s behaviour were of concern. Negative behaviour patterns were affecting the emotional wellbeing of some children.

In March 2018 ERO found a significant shift in the school culture. The behaviour of students and staff was more respectful contributing to improved levels of engagement in learning. 

Governance:

In November 2017 the board was not governing the school effectively. At that time policy and procedural guidelines were not consistently implemented or known by staff. Trustees lacked understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities.

Since then the board has sought training and support from  New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA). With this support the board has:

  • resolved employment issues
  • reviewed the school charter
  • implemented the policies and procedures particularly in relation to health and safety matters identified by ERO
  • developed a stronger focus on student achievement in its strategic planning.

Key next steps

Building governance capability:

Ongoing advice and guidance is needed to assist new trustees and whānau to better understand governance roles and responsibilities. 

Curriculum:

Continue to review and evaluate the impact of the localised curriculum to reflect the strategic vision and aspirations of whānau, hapū and iwi and its impact on improving student outcomes.

Student achievement:

Raising levels of achievement and progress particularly for at-risk learners is an urgent priority for teaching staff and the board.

Performance management:

The school’s performance management systems and practices need to be reviewed and consistently implemented. The appraisal process for the principal and teaching staff needs to be more robust. This is to ensure high levels of accountability and support more effective teaching and leadership.

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 November 2017 review, ERO identified several areas of non-compliance regarding health and safety and by March 2018 these had been addressed.

The board of trustees must ensure the policy and procedure for the appraisal of staff is fully implemented.

[s77C State Sector Act 1998; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement]

4 Recommendation

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

ERO recommends that the MoE and NZSTA provide ongoing support for the principal and trustees in addressing areas for development identified in this report:

  • Provide training and guidance for the newly elected board and board chair in their roles and responsibilities.
  • Support staff to improve the achievement of students, particularly those requiring acceleration.
  • Ensure leaders and staff implement an effective appraisal process and performance management system to build teacher capability.

The areas for further progress identified in this ERO review should be incorporated into the 2018 strategic and annual plans and staff appraisal goals. These plans should be sent to ERO when completed for ongoing monitoring, review and support.

Conclusion

Hatea-a-Rangi has gone through an extensive time of change and disruption. Subsequent changes of personnel at all levels of the school: board of trustees, senior leaders, and teaching staff are providing a more clear direction for the school. There is a need for comprehensive professional support to help the school provide better educational outcomes for students.

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

11 June 2018

About the School 

Location

Tokomaru Bay

Ministry of Education profile number

2706

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

26

Gender composition

Boys                      15
Girls                       11

Ethnic composition

Māori

26

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

11 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Supplementary Review
Education Review

September 2016
July 2013
May 2012