Tamaki College - 26/06/2014

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Tamaki College caters for Years 9 to13 students in Auckland’s eastern suburb of Glen Innes. Most students are of Māori or Pacific ethnicity. The school is committed to promoting positive outcomes for its students and community. Many school leaders, teachers and support staff have worked at the college for many years and know students and their families well. For many students, generational connections promote a strong sense of family and belonging in the school.

Tamaki College is part of the Manaiakalani Trust that has been working in a cluster of schools since 2011. The Trust aims to increase student engagement in education through the use of blended e-learning strategies that promote improved learning and teaching capabilities for students and teachers through effective use of digital technologies.

The school continues to have good connections with its Pacific families and is increasingly working to strengthen its connections and consultation with whānau Māori to foster productive learning partnerships with all families.

Students enjoy positive relationships with their teachers, and many senior students have good opportunities for leadership. The school continues to provide multiple learning pathways for students. Alongside academic pathways, the school provides many vocational learning opportunities, including those linked to its Service Academy and the more recently established Trades Academy.

ERO's 2010 report noted the inclusive approach of the senior leadership team. The report also identified the need for school leaders and the board to improve strategic planning and self review. ERO also recommended that the school make better use of achievement data to improve student learning. Work in these areas has been undertaken and is continuing.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

In the last few years the school has accessed Ministry of Education support to help senior leaders, heads of department and teachers make better use of student achievement data. This professional support is promoting teachers’ confidence about using data to plan learning programmes. It is also supporting senior leaders to set achievement targets for students at all year levels. The board receives comprehensive information about the progress and achievement of students from Years 9 to 13.

Since 2011 overall student achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) has improved each year, with particularly notable gains made at NCEA Level 2 in 2013. Gains in student achievement have been stronger for Pacific than for Māori students at NCEA Level 1, but these differences are less evident at Levels 2 and 3. The number of students achieving literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA certificates continues to increase and the school is particularly proud of students who achieve merit and excellence endorsements.

Data gathered by the Ministry of Education (MoE) also indicates that overall levels of student achievement in NCEA are accelerating at rates well above national averages for similar schools. MoE data also shows that students at Tamaki College achieve at similar levels to students nationally at NCEA Levels 1 and 2, and that Māori student success in NCEA Level 3 exceeds that of Māori nationally. However, further improvement is still required to lift overall student achievement to national levels for University Entrance and NCEA Level 3.

The school attributes these positive results to improved teaching and learning programmes, student mentoring initiatives, and students’ involvement in the blended e-learning programme.

School leaders and teachers use the school's own results from reading and writing tests to place students in Years 9 and 10 in learner support, mixed ability or extension classes. Meetings are also held between a group of Tamaki College teachers and teachers from schools in the local cluster of contributing schools to design and discuss the development and marking of student assessments. As a result, teachers are becoming increasingly confident about the validity of their assessment information.

Key next steps for the school include:

  • promoting a school-wide strategic approach to further improve Māori student progress and achievement, including working more closely in partnership with students and their whānau
  • using relevant achievement information provided by other schools about newly enrolled students to support decisions about class placements.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

Tamaki College’s curriculum is focused on supporting students’ success. It has a strong focus on promoting academic and vocational pathways, including a Work Ready programme established through the Manaiakalani Trust.

Students have good opportunities to explore career options and senior leaders and teachers are continuing to adapt curriculum programmes to achieve a good match with students’ career aspirations and interests. A school café provides work experience opportunities for some senior students, and serves as a place for community members to learn about and use digital devices.

Teachers work hard for their students. In most classrooms students are focused on their learning. The school reports that students’ use of digital netbooks is increasing their motivation and engagement. Many teachers are becoming increasingly confident about using digital devices as tools for learning and some use it particularly well to provide learning opportunities that interest and challenge students. Digital technology also enables teachers to provide students with immediate feedback. It enables parents to have greater involvement in their children’s learning. ERO's findings, however, show variability in the quality of learning experiences that students receive. Further work is required to fully realise the school's investment in blended e-learning and to ensure teacher professional practice is of an overall high quality.

The school has health and pastoral networks in place to cater for students’ needs and to support their learning. Staff are currently involved in a professional learning programme aimed at improving students’ and teachers’ learning behaviours.

Next steps for the school include:

  • continuing to evaluate how well teachers use digital technologies and other teaching strategies to promote student learning across the curriculum
  • further promoting critical thinking and high levels of challenge for students across the school.

Senior leaders could also consider implementing a focused review of programmes and curriculum content for Years 9 and 10 students to evaluate the extent to which learning programmes are meaningful, interesting and relevant for students.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

There are 127 Māori students at Tamaki College, making up about 27 percent of the school roll. The board employs 10 Māori staff, including support and teaching staff, and middle managers. The principal has sought to engage with the school’s Māori community and works collaboratively with the school's head of te reo Māori to promote this engagement. In the past few years, some Māori students have been amongst the highest achievers in the school and have held student leadership positions.

Since the 2010 ERO report, some of the Māori staff have worked together to develop strategic plans for promoting Māori student achievement and success as Māori. As a result the school has developed a Māori Achievement Strategy to support student achievement and success as Māori. While the strategy is still relatively new, its implementation has the potential to result in increasingly positive outcomes for Māori students.

The new board chair is Māori, has good links to the local Māori community, and supports the school well in building connections with the Māori community. Staff and senior leaders report that Māori parents have recently been more involved in the school through kapa haka.

A next step for the board is to formalise its approaches to consulting with the school’s Māori community and to continue to promote the school's Māori Achievement Strategy. The school should work in partnership with whānau Māori, students and staff to:

  • ensure there is sustained school leadership to promote Māori student success, that involves all staff taking shared responsibility for the progress and achievement of these students
  • continue to build and strengthen links with leaders and other members of the Māori community.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is continuing to build its capacity to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal and senior leaders have longstanding connections to the school and a strong commitment to promoting ongoing improvement in its performance. Many members of the board are new and are learning their governance roles and responsibilities. Along with senior leaders and staff, the board of trustees is grateful for, and is making good use of, generous resourcing provided through the Manaiakalani Trust.

The school has improved and accelerated the achievement of many students in NCEA since 2010. External support has been well used to achieve these gains. The school engages in self review with these external support agencies to help evaluate the success of school improvement initiatives and programmes. These reviews provide timely and useful information about the effectiveness of work in progress and areas for further support and development.

An ongoing priority for the principal and board will be to ensure that the school has good capacity to sustain and independently manage its self review so that its work continues to be guided by high quality evaluative reviews and reports about all areas of school performance.

It would be also useful for the board to seek external advice about aspects of governance, including those relating to meeting and quality assurance processes, board documentation, and managing legal accountabilities.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

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 three areas of non-compliance. In order to address these, the board of trustees must:

  • consult with the school's Māori community, develop and make known to the school's community policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students
  • ensure the principal has an annually reviewed performance agreement that is used as part of the principal’s annual performance appraisal
  • ensure that all teachers are appraised annually

[State Sector Act 1988, 77c; National Administrative Guidelines, 1(e), 3(a)].

To improve practice the board should also:

  • ensure that education outside the classroom policies and procedures are followed, especially for trips that include overnight stays
  • ensure non-teaching staff are appraised regularly and that appropriate police vetting procedures are followed.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

26 June 2014

About the School


Glen Innes, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Cook Island Māori










Special Features

Services Academy, Trades Academy

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

26 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010


2006 November 2002