Russley School - 25/08/2017


Russley School is a Year 1 to 8 school. There is considerable cultural diversity amongst the 440 children enrolled at this school. At the time of the current review this included 48 Māori children. 40 percent of the school roll identifies as members of Pacific, Chinese and other ethnic groups.

Since the 2012 ERO review there have been three principals. The current principal has been in the role for 3 terms. At the time of this review there was an acting deputy principal.

The school has responded very well to the areas for improvement identified by ERO in the 2012 report. Curriculum and assessment practices are well defined.

Over the last three years, the school has maintained very good National Standards results in reading and mathematics. Writing remains a school-wide improvement priority.

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

The school is effective in its response to promoting equitable outcomes for children. The board, school leaders and teachers have high expectations for all children. The learning and wellbeing of children is well supported.

Most Māori children are achieving at or above the National Standards in literacy and mathematics. Leaders are aware of the need to raise the achievement of boys in writing. They are addressing this with a school-wide professional development focus on improving outcomes in this learning area.

Many established, and recently-introduced school processes, are helping to maintain a strong focus on learners, their progress and achievement. Some processes need further refinement. These include extending moderation practices, internally evaluating interventions for their effectiveness in raising progress and achievement, and refining the board’s annual student achievement targets.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates very good progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Equity and excellence

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

The school is effective in responding to Māori and other groups of children whose learning and achievement need accelerating. Most children are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Boys’ writing achievement has fluctuated over time and is a challenge the school is seeking to address through a number of interventions.

Most Māori children are achieving very well in mathematics and reading. Their achievement in writing has steadily improved in the last four years.

The progress and achievement for children of Pacific heritage is positive. Leaders and teachers know those children whose learning is at risk. They can clearly show how they are responding to individual learning needs and monitoring the progress of these learners.

There are a number of well-developed assessment practices in place, particularly for mathematics. The school recognises that moderation practices need to be further developed to support teachers’ decisions about children’s achievement against the National Standards.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

School processes are making a significant contribution to enabling achievement of equity and excellence for all learners.

The school’s vision for successful learning and living underpins its direction and gives clarity to strategic actions. It underpins a curriculum that is well designed and supports learning that builds children’s capabilities, skills and confidence.

School leaders and teachers have established effective processes to monitor and support children whose learning is at risk of underachievement. Each of these children has plans developed to accelerate their progress. Leaders and teachers are responsive and constantly consider what they could do differently to further promote equity and excellence for children. Targeted professional development to build teachers’ capability is well aligned to meeting children’s learning needs.

The leadership model is innovative, collaborative, strategic and focused on promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Internal evaluation is well understood and is increasingly incorporated into school processes and documentation. Teaching and learning benefits from quality teacher appraisals that support reflective practice and its impact on children’s learning.

Leaders and teachers are appropriately focusing on building culturally responsive practices and connections. There is a planned process that shows a commitment to consistently developing te reo and tikanga Māori skills and knowledge. Children benefit from seeing and hearing their own culture and that of others.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

School leaders and teachers need to develop clear guidelines that detail expectations for moderation of children’s progress and achievement in the National Standards. Current practices need to be extended to ensure reliable teacher judgements about children’s learning.

The effectiveness of some interventions to accelerate children’s learning is not yet evaluated. Improvement in this area is required to provide additional information to improve teaching practice, and support the board in making resourcing decisions that promote positive outcomes for children.

Board targets should be more comprehensive to clarify how many children need to accelerate their progress to meet the National Standards. Trends and patterns that show underachievement need to be further analysed and addressed in board documentation.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to a policy omission. The right to directly report suspected child abuse is not included in the current policy statement. The board is a considerable way through changing the way it manages and adopts its policies.

In order to address this the board must

  • ensure that the new policy includes the right for anyone to directly report suspected child abuse to the appropriate agency.
    [National Administration Guideline 5].

Going forward

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

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • strengthen moderation guidelines and practices
  • evaluate interventions to identify the amount and rate of children’s progress
  • refine the board’s annual achievement targets.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years. 

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer - Southern (Te Waipounamu)

25 August 2017

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary Years 1 - 8

School roll


Gender composition

Boys: 53%

Girls: 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 11%

Pacific: 4%

Pākehā: 55%

Chinese: 8%

Other 22%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

25 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review 4 April 2012

Education Review 16 October 2008

Education Review Feb 2005