Riverslea School - 30/08/2018

Findings

Riverslea School has had support from the Ministry of Education since July 2017. Currently the school has a commissioner and an acting principal. Staff care about children’s learning and wellbeing. There is much to do to improve school practices, including building learning partnerships with whānau and the community.

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?

Riverslea School is a small school situated on the north eastern boundary of Hastings. At the time of this ERO review, 19 children attend the school and 15 are Māori.

The May 2017 ERO report identified that sustaining and building on changes in school practices to improve student achievement were key challenges for the board and staff.

In July 2017, a Limited Statutory Manager was appointed to address the welfare of students at the school. In November 2017, the Board of Trustees was dissolved and a Commissioner appointed.

The school began 2018 with an acting principal from the Emergency Staffing Scheme. The principal’s position has been advertised unsuccessfully and the acting principal will continue in this role until the end of the year. Changes of teaching staff have also occurred in 2018. Current staffing includes two long-serving members.

The school is part of the Whirinaki Kāhui Ako.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The May 2017 ERO report identified the need of development of processes and practices associated with:

  • assessment and curriculum
  • monitoring and reporting student achievement
  • teacher appraisal
  • self review
  • ensuring all legislative requirements are met.

Progress

Clearly documented, up-to-date policies and procedures are now in place to guide school operation and practice. The commissioner and acting principal have updated the charter. The strategic and annual plans document appropriate goals that are key next steps: raising student achievement; strengthening self review; ensuring resources and facilities meet children’s learning needs; and strengthening community partnerships.

Children participate positively and with interest in their learning. Well-established classroom routines contribute to calm learning environments. Staff care about children’s learning and wellbeing.

Expectations and procedures for the management of student behaviour have been revised and implemented. This has assisted students’ positive engagement in learning and school activities. Further development of schoolwide approaches to implementing and embedding a shared understanding of school values is required.

Recent collation of achievement information by the acting principal is assisting the monitoring of children’s learning and progress. School achievement data from 2017 to 2018 shows that some children have made good progress in their learning. The school is working to raise student achievement to align with the Kāhui Ako achievement challenges. A key next step is to establish systems and processes for the robust use of achievement data to inform teaching and targeted action. This should include better analysis and moderation of assessment information to:

  • identify ongoing individual learning needs
  • provide well-matched learning experiences, teaching strategies and resources
  • evaluate the effectiveness of teaching in promoting learning and accelerated progress.

The revised appraisal process for staff has begun to be implemented. Teachers reflect on their programmes and the children’s learning. A key next step is to develop and implement a systematic approach to inquiry and self review/evaluation for improvement. This should include:

  • evaluation of the quality of teaching
  • the impact on outcomes for students
  • decision making for sustainable ongoing improvement.

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 continue to improve and to sustain improvement. The process of appointing a permanent principal has not yet been successful. The election of a board of trustees is not imminent. Changes in staffing have continued during 2018.

Policies and procedures are in place, however ERO's Board Assurance Statement is not verified for board administration, curriculum or personnel because records are insufficient.

There were a number of specific items of significance noted in the auditor’s management letter (financial) for 2017. These matters have been appropriately addressed.

Key issues to be addressed include:

  • appointment of permanent staff including the principal
  • establishment of a board of trustees
  • provision of appropriate professional development for staff
  • ensuring that the curriculum, teaching and assessment are responsive to student needs
  • building relationships and strengthening learning partnerships with whānau and the community
  • strengthening inquiry and evaluation.

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.

ERO identified a non-compliance in relation to consultation:

the school has not consulted with their Māori community to develop policies, plans and targets for improving progress and achievement for Māori students. [NAG 1(e)]

Conclusion

Riverslea School has had support from the Ministry of Education since July 2017. Currently the school has a commissioner and an acting principal. Staff care about children’s learning and wellbeing. There is much to do to improve school practices, including building learning partnerships with whānau and the community.

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

30 August 2018

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2668

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

19

Gender composition

Boys 11, Girls 8

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

15
4

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

30 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2017
October 2014
March 2011