Wainuiomata High School - 29/01/2018

Findings

Wainuiomata High School has made some progress in developing sustainable systems that have improved the achievement, engagement and presence of students. However, the school has yet to provide a curriculum and teaching that deliberately promotes equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

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?

Wainuiomata High School, in the Wainuiomata Valley, provides secondary education for students from Years 9 to 13. The roll of 757 students in 2015 has dropped to 635 at the time of this November 2017 review.

The ERO review of October 2012 found that the quality of provision for students was poor, resulting in low engagement and achievement. Since that review, the school has been involved in an ongoing process of evaluation undertaken by ERO. A report written in 2015 showed that some progress had been made in:

  • National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) attainment
  • processes to monitor student progress
  • curriculum review
  • development of an appraisal process.

However, ERO identified that the school was yet to sufficiently improve:

  • student achievement at all year levels
  • collection and use of achievement data to gain a clear picture of school effectiveness
  • processes to build the capability of teachers.

In 2015, a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) was appointed by the Ministry of Education (MoE), to support the board in its stewardship role, with particular oversight of governance and leadership to improve outcomes for students. The LSM remains in this position. The board has continued to govern the school with support from the LSM.

Substantial staff turnover has impacted on change since 2012. The senior leadership team is not settled, with the principal, a deputy and an assistant principal leaving at the end of 2017.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The June 2015 ERO report noted areas for ongoing development or action, to:

  • improve students’ learning, engagement, progress and achievement
  • strengthen governance, leadership and management of change
  • use internal evaluation to prioritise, plan and know about the effectiveness of actions designed to improve outcomes for students and respond to emerging issues
  • provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students
  • ensure MoE planning and reporting requirements are met
  • complete the principal’s appraisal.

Progress

Roll-based data from 2016, shows that for NCEA Levels 1 and 2 achievement has remained similar to previous years and that rates of achievement are below national figures. At NCEA Level 3 improvement has been made, with rates of achievement increasing since the previous review to be above schools of similar decile. Equity of outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners is yet to be achieved.

In 2017, a process has been put in place to better monitor students’ progress towards achieving NCEA qualifications. This process supports trustees, leaders and teachers to:

  • know about the progress of individuals, provide alerts for students who are at risk of not achieving and predict possible outcomes
  • talk with students and their whānau about their progress, to encourage and identify what else may be needed to support them, mainly through a planned process of advice and mentoring (Manaaki time)
  • provide a picture of progress that assists teachers, leaders and trustees to reflect on the effectiveness of curriculum decisions.

The predictive information, collated for 2017 in relation to NCEA, suggests a lift in achievement for Levels 1 to 3. However, the trend of disparity between groups within the school is still evident.

Achievement data for Years 9 and 10 in reading and mathematics is collected using standardised assessment tools. The board receives information at the year’s end to show where the whole year group is achieving compared to national figures. Significant numbers of these students are not at expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics.

Information reported is not sufficiently clear to show whether students most at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes, are making accelerated progress during Years 9 and 10. A deliberate, detailed response to disparity and low levels of literacy and mathematics achievement in Years 9 and 10 is needed.

Reorganisation of the senior leadership team has strengthened the management of change across the school. New performance agreements have increased the clarity of leadership roles, with outcomes clearly linked to strategic priorities. Opportunities to be leaders of learning have been taken. Building leadership capability and accountability will need to be considered with pending new appointments.

Key curriculum initiatives, introduced to support increased student presence, engagement and achievement are continuing to develop. Pastoral, attendance and achievement information shows these are having a positive impact. Student leaders are confident, articulate and committed to strengthening the school culture. In discussion, they stated that a culture of success has developed in the past four years.

The school’s strategic goals and targets focus on improving equity for Māori and Pacific learners. This clear priority is beginning to align to other systems schoolwide. Further work is needed to develop a coherent, connected approach to achieving the school’s targets. It is time to use available evidence about the quality of teaching to initiate a collaborative, purposeful strategy to transform practice so that teaching consistently promotes learning and success across the school.

Review, reflection and evaluation result in organisational changes to programmes, contexts and procedures. Internal evaluation requires strengthening so that trustees, leaders and teachers can use evidence to know about what works and what needs to change to promote equity and excellence.

A useful appraisal process has been implemented for teachers. In 2017, the principal has not been appraised. The board have addressed issues related to the provision of a safe emotional and physical environment. They have met MoE planning and reporting requirements.

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 yet in a position to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance. ERO recommends that the school continue to receive the support of the LSM until the staffing of the senior leadership team is settled and the direction, approach and work programme of the team are established.

The new principal, senior leaders, LSM and board should prioritise development in:

  • raising achievement through effective, culturally responsive teaching that promotes learning, progress and engagement
  • leadership that relentlessly focuses on achieving equity and excellence
  • using evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building to sustain improvement and innovation.

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.

The principal’s appraisal has not been undertaken. The board should:

  • implement policies and procedures for the appraisal of staff.
    [s77c State Sector Act 1988]

4 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education continue intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvements in:

  • student progress and achievement at all year levels
  • leadership for school organisational conditions and achievement of equity and excellence
  • internal evaluation for knowledge building to inform decision making for future development.

Conclusion

Wainuiomata High School has made some progress in developing sustainable systems that have improved the achievement, engagement and presence of students. However, the school has yet to provide a curriculum and teaching that deliberately promotes equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

29 January 2018

About the School

Location

Wainuiomata

Ministry of Education profile number

478

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

635

Number of international students

12

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian
Other ethnic groups

42%
37%
13%
6%
2%

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

29 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2015
January 2013
August 2009