Pekerau School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

School Context

Pekerau School is located in the northern outskirts of Te Awamutu. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school roll of 293 students includes 141 Māori students. There is a very small number of children who come from a range of other diverse cultures.

The school’s vision is ‘Aspiring Attitudes, Inspiring Actions’.

The school’s culture is based on the core virtues of:

  • turangawaewae/belonging

  • hiranga/excellence

  • kotahitanga/unity

  • mana/pride

  • ngākau/integrity

  • manaaki/respect

  • wairua/spirit.

The school’s strategic goals focus on improving student learning, particularly for Māori and Pacific students and those with special education needs. Goals are also prioritised for supporting future focused environments and curriculum, digital learning and strengthening home and school partnerships.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the previous review in 2015, there have been multiple changes to the teaching, support staff and leadership teams. There have been two new principals, two emergency staffing principals and numerous changes to senior and team leadership positions. A very small number of staff remain from the time of the last ERO review. The school has established an enrolment zone and the overall roll has decreased over time. The school is still working on many areas identified in the last ERO report.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is not achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all of its students. The school’s achievement data from 2015 to 2017 show a large majority of students achieving at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall levels of achievement have declined in reading and mathematics over the past three years. There is significant disparity in achievement for Māori students in relation to their Pākehā peers in all areas. This pattern of disparity for Māori has increased over time. Girls are achieving at higher levels than boys in literacy. Girls’ achievement has decreased significantly in mathematics and boys are now performing better than girls. School data shows that children with special needs make appropriate progress in relation to their individual goals.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is not accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this. The school’s data shows a small number of Māori and other at-risk students made accelerated progress in writing as a result of targeted intervention. Leaders and teachers identify at-risk students, however leaders are yet to analyse school-wide data to show rates of progress and acceleration for these students.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The new leadership team is working collaboratively. They are focused on improving engagement and learning for students. A comprehensive performance management system has been established. This system is supporting teachers’ inquiry, and targeting at-risk students’ progress and achievement.

Students are actively involved in a range of meaningful classroom learning activities. There are positive and affirming relationships between teachers and students. Prior knowledge is used to encourage students thinking and problem solving. Target students are identified based on assessment information and grouped according to learning needs.

The curriculum provides a wide range of learning experiences for students. Cultural, sporting, camps and events enrich learning for students. There are many opportunities for senior students to develop leadership skills. School values are well known and used to guide positive interactions and relationships. Students with additional learning needs are well identified and provisions are in place to support their learning.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Internal evaluation requires strengthening.

ERO and leaders agree that priority should be given to:

  • reviewing and implementing annual targets that focus on all students whose learning needs acceleration

  • strategically monitoring and reporting on students rates of progress over time to inform school improvement

  • inquiring into the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives to accelerate learning

  • reviewing and implementing behaviour management practices to ensure consistency across the school.

There is a need to develop clear school-wide expectations and guidelines to improve teaching practice.

Leaders and teachers need to implement and embed systems and practices for:

  • planning and assessment

  • teachers and students use of learning progressions

  • deliberate acts of teaching to accelerate learning and reduce disparity for Māori students and boys.

Aspects of stewardship require urgent attention.

The board needs to:

  • undertake comprehensive policy review to ensure it meets all areas of compliance and legislation

  • develop a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities in relation to governance and management for trustees, leaders and teachers

  • continue to gather student, teacher, parent, whānau, community and iwi views and aspirations to inform school planning and direction.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to board administration, curriculum and health, safety and welfare.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. maintain an ongoing programme of self review in relation to policies, plans and programmes, including evaluation of good-quality assessment information on student progress and achievement
    [NAG 2(b)]

  1. report to the school’s community on the progress of students as a whole, on the progress and achievement of groups (including those students at risk and with special needs) and on the progress and achievement of Māori students against school plans and targets
    [NAG 1c, NAG 2d]

  1. ensure compliance with legislation, including non-discrimination
    [Human Rights Act]

  1. in consultation with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s community, policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students
    [NAG 1(e)]

  1. adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community
    [section 60B Education Act 1989]

  1. develop policy and procedures for dealing with smoking, drugs and alcohol
    [NAG 5]

  1. develop policy and procedures on surrender and retention of property and searches of students by the principal, teachers and authorised staff members
    [sections 139AAA to 139AAF of the Education Act 1989 and the Education Surrender, Retention and Search Rules 2013]

  1. make minimising physical restraint policies and procedures available to all parents and caregivers and provide a clear complaints process on physical restraint and alternatives to seclusion in accordance with the Ministry of Education guidelines
    [sections 139AB to 139AE Education Act 1989, Guidelines for Registered Schools in New Zealand on the Use of Physical Restraint].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure policies and procedures follow all Ministry of Education guidelines.

Priority should be given to reviewing and implementing:

  • the school’s behaviour management practices

  • discipline procedures

  • cross cultural awareness

  • policies and procedures linked to health and safety.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that is aware of the next steps for continuous school improvement.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • internal evaluation processes and practices for identifying what is working well for student learning and where improvements are needed
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]

  • building teacher capability to achieve equity and excellence particularly for Māori students and boys

  • policy review to support a safe physical and emotional environment for all

  • strengthening consultation and communication for improved school development.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association provide support for the school in order to bring about improvement in:

  • internal evaluation and targeted action to accelerate learning

  • policy review and compliance matters to meet legislative requirements

  • understanding of roles and responsibilities for governance and management.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

30 August 2018

About the school

Location

Te Awamutu

Ministry of Education profile number

1893

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

293

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 48%
Pākehā 45%
Other ethnic groups 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

30 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review June 2012
Education Review May 2009

Findings

Pekerau School works hard to give students a strong sense of belonging and provides multiple opportunities for students to experience success. There is a strong emphasis on the agreed values of ‘The Pekerau Way’ and a meaningful local curriculum. Students enjoy learning in a positive, settled and supportive environment.

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

1 Context

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

Pekerau School is a contributing school catering for Years 1 to 6 and is located on the northern outskirts of Te Awamutu. At the time of this ERO review 341 students were enrolled of whom 49% are identified as Māori and are affiliated to a number of iwi. The roll has been steadily increasing.

The previous long-standing principal retired at the end of 2014. The board of trustees, with the support of an external facilitator, undertook the appointment of a new principal to sustain the vision and values of ‘the Pekerau Way’. The new principal is supported by an experienced senior leadership team. The staff includes a balance of new and long serving teachers with a range of expertise, including te reo Māori. Students identified with high learning needs are supported by a contracted specialist teacher.

The staff have had extensive professional learning and development from external providers in literacy and mathematics. The school participates in the local Learning and Change Network known as ‘Rural and Roses’.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO and has made progress towards the areas identified for improvement in the 2012 ERO report.

The shared values of ‘The Pekerau Way’ are integral to the positive culture of the school and are promoted and articulated by leaders, teachers, students and parents. These include: belonging, (turangawaewae), pride, (mana), spirit (wairua), unity (kotahitanga), excellence (hirangi), integrity (ngākau), and respect (manaaki).

2 Learning

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

The school uses assessment information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement progress and achievement. In 2014, a significant majority of students were achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school acknowledges that Māori are not achieving at comparable rates to non-Māori peers. The board of trustees and senior leaders have used data to identify groups of children at risk of underachieving and then set general charter targets. They also use this information to resource appropriate intervention programmes and provide professional learning opportunities for teachers to raise the achievement of the target groups.

Senior leaders use assessment information to evaluate the effectiveness of school initiatives for improving outcomes for students and further refine these programmes with teaching teams. The school and ERO agree that to accelerate the progress of students at risk of underachieving, more specific charter targets would be beneficial.

Teachers use assessment data to inform their planning and teaching to deliver flexible, differentiated programmes for groups and individuals. Teachers effectively moderate their National Standards judgements internally and with local schools to ensure consistency and a shared understanding of assessment standards. Parents spoken with by ERO appreciated the clear, detailed, timely reports of student progress and achievement, and information about students’ next steps and ways to assist them at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Teachers were involved in developing the curriculum and use integrated topics that reflect the school context, student needs and community aspirations. The school has high expectations of teachers and students, and they promote a positive, responsive culture for learning. ERO observed high levels of engagement and a calm, settled environment that encourages self-management, independence and initiative. Parents of students with high needs appreciate the inclusive and welcoming school culture that encourages them to take part in all aspects of school life, including in the classroom, camps, sports and cultural activities. A diverse range of student success is promoted and celebrated at school-wide assemblies.

Teachers reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching practice, and use relevant research, resources and professional development to best facilitate learning, and cater for the needs of the students in their classes. They work collaboratively to improve their practice and share effective strategies for learners. Teachers foster respectful relationships with students in and beyond the classroom. Teachers maintain well-presented classroom environments that display students’ work and reflect their individual interests and identity.

Students are encouraged to develop ownership of learning by:

  • setting personal learning goals
  • reflecting on their learning
  • self-assessing their progress using learning progressions
  • identifying their next steps
  • receiving teacher feedback feed forward linked to their learning goals.
  • The school is working towards making these strategies practised consistently by all.

Students are actively involved in a wide range of school activities including sporting, cultural and environmental experiences, and camps and trips. These provide multiple opportunities for learning, leadership and success.

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

The school is committed to improving educational success for Māori. Māori students believe that their school and teachers have high expectations of them and feel that their cultural identity is affirmed and supported at the school. Māori students take on, and are valued in, leadership roles. Achievement information for Māori students is analysed and used to provide support programmes. Māori culture is acknowledged and celebrated school wide. Examples include: Matariki, the school waharoa, waiata, kapa haka and the local cultural festival.

The school has identified and ERO agrees that the next step to accelerate educational success for Māori as Māori is to guide success for Māori and in particular, Māori student achievement, in a formalised long-term strategic plan. This should be based on the principles of Ka Hikitia and evaluated according to the indicators of Tātaiako.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • the board is well informed about student achievement
  • trustee relationships are positive and they are supportive of the principal and staff
  • the principal demonstrates strong inter-personal skills and has a collaborative approach to leading and managing the school
  • the performance management system is linked to strategic goals and focused on improving student achievement
  • leadership roles are appropriately delegated for activities critical to achieving school goals
  • the school fosters productive partnerships with parents and whānau through home-school support programmes and an open door policy.

The next steps to further improve sustainability is for trustees to undertake training in:

  • policy review and legal obligations
  • strategic planning and self review with a particular focus on re-prioritising allocation of resources to ensure improved outcomes for students.

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 meet legislative requirements the board must ensure that:

  • All buildings, plans and developments comply with Ministry of Education guidelines and legislative requirements
    [clause 7 Property Occupancy Document]
  • the principal is annually assessed against all the professional standards for principals and all policies and procedures for employment and appraisal of staff are implemented.
    [s 77C State Sector Act 1988]

Conclusion

Pekerau School works hard to give students a strong sense of belonging and provides multiple opportunities for students to experience success. There is a strong emphasis on the agreed values of ‘The Pekerau Way’ and a meaningful local curriculum. Students enjoy learning in a positive, settled and supportive environment.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 May 2015

About the School

Location

Te Awamutu

Ministry of Education profile number

1893

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

341

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

50%

49%

1%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

15 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
May 2009
February 2009