Mangakahia Area School - 29/11/2017


Mangakahia Area School has 73 students enrolled in Years 1 to 13. Ninety percent of learners are of Māori descent, and eight percent identify as Pākehā. Since the last ERO review a new principal was appointed in 2015, and there are new members of the senior leadership team, and new teachers and trustees.

Senior leaders have led a focus on developing a holistic approach to pastoral care based on knowing individual learners well. This is creating a positive foundation for students’ learning.

Over the past two years a Ministry of Education, Student Achievement Function (SAF) facilitator has worked in the junior school to increase student progress and achievement in reading and writing. Senior leaders report that this support is helping teachers to develop their practice and strategies to promote positive learning outcomes for students.

In 2016, approximately half of the students in Years 1 to 8 achieved the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Data show some disparity between boys’ and girls’ achievement across the standards. In 2016, the majority of Year 10 to 13 students had achieved NCEA Level 1. Smaller numbers achieved NCEA Levels 2 and 3.

Senior leaders and the board acknowledge that an ongoing, deliberate focus on accelerating progress, and lifting the achievement of the majority of learners is an urgent priority. Areas for development identified in the 2014 ERO report also remain priorities for development. ERO affirms the planning that is in place for embedding and extending the progress made through the SAF initiative, across and into the senior area of the school.

ngoing training to build trustees’ capability and understanding around their stewardship role is likely to help ensure that the charter is implemented successfully.The school has recently refocused around the motto ‘to strive, to seek, to find’. This motto is underpinned by the school values of wairua, kotāhitanga, whanaungatanga and matauranga. The board, senior leaders, teachers and parents are developing a new school charter that prioritises student achievement and success. O

The school is a member of the Ngā Kura mo te ako o Whangarei (Group 4) Community of Learning |Kahui Ako.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Overall achievement is low across the school and some disparity in achievement is evident between girls and boys in the junior area.

The school’s new charter appropriately prioritises goals focused on lifting student achievement and promoting student success. Trustees, school leaders and teachers acknowledge that further targeted planning and professional learning will be key to successfully addressing their goals to achieve equity and excellence for all students.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation over the course of one-to-two years, to support the school’s ongoing development towards equity and excellence in learning outcomes for students.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Senior leaders and the board are aware of the need to respond more effectively to Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

The junior school’s 2016 achievement information showed that approximately half the students achieved the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This information shows some disparity between boys’ and girls’ achievement across the national standards.

The SAF facilitator has been working in the junior school for the last two years to increase student progress and achievement in reading and writing. This intervention is strengthening teacher practice. The positive impact of this work is evident in individual learners’ improved achievement. Leaders and teachers recognise that further work is necessary to more consistently accelerate the progress of learners who need this.

Teachers in the junior school have developed processes to ensure that their assessment judgements are reliable. This provides a useful foundation for improving the quality and consistency of assessment across the wider school.

Senior leaders are beginning to address the issues identified in the March 2017 Managing National Assessment (MNA) report. They are reviewing practices to ensure assessment processes and decisions are credible.

Senior leaders and teachers have succeeded in significantly reducing student stand-downs for all groups of students. They continue to explore strategies to improve student attendance rates.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school has established a number of processes and practices that have been effective in building a positive school culture and supporting the progress and achievement of all learners.

School processes and practices that have made a positive impact on learning in the past three years include:

  • a strategic refocus on the school’s vision and school motto ‘to strive, to seek, to find’, and the school values of wairua, kotāhitanga, whanaungatanga and matauranga

  • the development of holistic pastoral care focused on knowing individual learners, establishing restorative practices, and supporting students to build positive relationships

  • senior leaders and teachers working to develop a positive, calm and respectful school culture and tone

  • a collaborative approach by the board, senior leaders, teachers and parents to developing the school charter

  • programmes for te reo and tikanga Māori, including kapa haka, giving Māori children a sense of belonging, identity and engagement in the school

  • the Kia Eke Panuku strategy, implemented through the teacher appraisal process, that contributes to strengthening teacher pedagogy and teacher-student relationships.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school’s new charter appropriately prioritises lifting student achievement and success. In order to realise their charter goals, trustees, school leaders and teachers should strengthen and extend ongoing targeted and planned approaches for achieving equity and excellence for all students.

Key and ongoing priorities to help drive school improvement include:

  • improving the scope and rigour of the school’s internal evaluation practices, using the recent ‘culturally responsive teaching’ evaluation process as a model

  • continuing to grow teachers’ capability to promote accelerated shifts in achievement

  • board training to build trustees’ capability and understanding around their stewardship role to help ensure the school’s sustainability

  • continuing to build partnerships with whānau and the wider school community, and support for parents as partners in their children’s learning.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the National Administration Guidelines.

In order to address this the board must develop:

  1. a policy and procedures to support compliance with the Health and Safety Work Act 2015. National Administration Guidelines, 5

  1. a policy to reflect the school’s existing procedures for responding to students with special needs. National Administration Guidelines, 1

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for learners to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. Areas for development are:

  • lifting overall levels of student achievement

  • developing consistency in teacher skills and capability to accelerate student progress

  • building on internal evaluation practices to help drive school improvement

  • continuing to build board capability and understanding around its stewardship role.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all learners who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.


ERO recommends that the school continue ongoing development work with the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand School Trustees Association aimed at lifting student achievement, improving teaching and internal evaluation practice, and building board capability.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer NorthernTe Tai Raki - Northern Region

29 November 2017

About the school


Titoki, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 55% Boys 45%

Ethnic composition



Provision of Māori medium education


Special Features

He Mataariki Teen Parent Unit

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

29 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2014
May 2008
September 2011