Taupiri School - 03/09/2014

Findings

The school has effectively addressed its priorities for improvement. Levels of student achievement and engagement have significantly improved. The board is now in a good position to govern the school independently. The principal is providing strong professional leadership. Teachers have improved their classroom practice through ongoing professional learning and development.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Taupiri School is a small primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of the last ERO review in April 2013 the roll had fallen to 19 and the two classrooms that were operating had been reduced to one.

Since the last ERO review a new board of trustees was elected in May 2013 and the commissioner role reduced to a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM). In December 2013 the LSM position was dis- established. The support of the LSM was critical in helping the board and principal develop the skills and knowledge to govern and manage the school independently.

The 2013 ERO report noted positive progress in levels of student achievement and engagement, student behaviour, curriculum development and implementation, and the quality of teaching and learning programmes.

The report also noted that the principal and trustees had developed a range of effective systems and practices to enable the school to sustain and improve its performance. A decision was made by ERO to return within 12 months to evaluate the extent to which trustees and the principal had taken ownership of their roles and responsibilities for effective governance and leadership of the school.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The school is effectively addressing its areas for review and development identified in the previous ERO report related to embedding newly introduced practices. Levels of student achievement and engagement have significantly improved. Teachers have improved their classroom practice through ongoing professional learning and development. The school is implementing a meaningful curriculum which provides authentic learning contexts for students.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance because of positive developments in governance and school leadership.

Progress

The board of trustees have taken strong ownership of their roles and responsibilities. They are proactive in seeking training, support and guidance. Trustees are highly committed to the school, very supportive of the principal and staff, and working in the best interests of students. They are also building positive relationships with the community.

The strategic plan provides sound direction and purpose for the ongoing development of the school. Trustees are well informed about student achievement and use this information well to make resourcing decisions. Self-review systems are in place to provide information on the effectiveness of board operations. There is a rigorous process for appraising the principal that includes a strong focus on strengthening her professional practice. Through careful management of finances the school is now in a sound financial position. Since the last ERO review the roll has significantly increased from 19 to 38 students.

The principal is providing strong professional leadership for the school. She is focused on strengthening teaching practice to improve student achievement and engagement. Student achievement information is well analysed, used to set targets, and to identify strategies and actions for raising achievement. National Standards data for 2013 shows that the majority of students achieved at or above national comparisons. This has been a significant improvement on achievement results from previous years. The principal has developed a positive and supportive school culture where students understand the school values of relationships, responsibility and resilience.

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.

In order to improve current practice the board should complete their plans to consult with, and report to, the Māori community on its plans and targets for raising the achievement of Māori students.

Conclusion

The school has effectively addressed its priorities for improvement. Levels of student achievement and engagement have significantly improved. The board is now in a good position to govern the school independently. The principal is providing strong professional leadership. Teachers have improved their classroom practice through ongoing professional learning and development.

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

Steffan Brough

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

3 September 2014

About the School

Location

Taupiri, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

1987

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

38

Gender composition

Girls 23

Boys 15

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

28

10

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

3 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

April 2013

February 2011