Waimana School

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Education institution number:
2057
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
17
Telephone:
Address:

6 Raroa Road, Waimana

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Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Waimana School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

1 Background and Context

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

Waimana School is in the tribal area of Ngai Tuhoe near the Whakatane and Opotiki townships. The small primary school caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO external evaluation, the school had a roll of 24 students, all of whom identified as Māori.

Over the past several years, the school’s performance has been of significant concern. These concerns have escalated. The school’s ongoing performance issues related to leadership, student attendance and engagement, the curriculum including teaching and assessment practices, health and safety, and governance.

In 2017, the board consulted the community on the school’s curriculum design. A dual education pathway was designed reflecting community aspirations. At this time, Rumaki reo Māori medium education, using Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA) was provided for two classes in Years 1 to 5. An Auraki, English medium education class, using the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) operated in Years 6 to 8. The long-term plan was to progress towards a full Māori medium educational pathway.

Since 2017, the school roll has significantly reduced. The school is now operating as two classes, one Rumaki reo in Years 1 to 5, and one Auraki in Years 6 to 8. Both classes are small. Unless the roll increases, the school will likely have to operate as one class, impacting on the curriculum delivery and community aspirations.

In 2017, school property required significant improvement. The playcentre classroom and another building have since been removed and two classrooms have been transferred to the Tuhoe Kaaku for tribal use. The school continues to have two classrooms not in full-time use.

In 2019, a new board was elected with strong local representation and one trustee returning from the previous board. The new board has been proactive in consulting with the community regarding the school values, its history and philosophy. They have addressed longstanding compliance and health and safety matters.

For the past two years, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has provided additional staff resourcing. In 2018, the first-time tumuaki was fully released from teaching to redevelop school operating systems and processes, including assessment. The MoE has also provided professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities for the teachers and tumuaki, including a Student Achievement Function practitioner (SAF).

In December 2018, the MoE appointed a specialist advisor in relation to personnel and employment, curriculum, student achievement data and other evaluative information. During 2019, with board changes, it took some time for the board to understand the roles of the specialist advisor.

In March 2020, to address longstanding concerns and to support the new board, the MoE appointed a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM). The LSM’s responsibilities are in relation to finance, the board functions as an employer, and curriculum management including teaching and assessment.

Over the past two years, ERO has worked closely with the school through regular monitoring and evaluation visits, including classroom observations. ERO visits included meetings with the community, students, the board, school leaders, teachers and external support agencies. These visits enabled intensive monitoring of school progress and ongoing evaluation of school improvement.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

ERO developed the following four terms of reference to evaluate how effectively the school supports and improves student outcomes:

  • the provision of a safe learning environment and student wellbeing
  • learner outcomes: attendance, learning opportunities, progress and achievement
  • teaching effectiveness
  • professional leadership and governance effectiveness.

Despite the recent efforts of the board and staff, the school is not effectively addressing these areas for review and improvement. As a result, the school is not adequately providing the key conditions or opportunities for student learning. Students require more targeted, individualised in-class support to meet their learning requirements including increasing their use of oral language.

The main area of concern is professional leadership. The quality of teaching remains variable, and there is a lack of professional leadership to support the effective use of assessment, more targeted teaching and curriculum development. There is evidence of some effective teaching practices that require strengthening and more consistency, across the two classes, and in the two language learning mediums. Teaching approaches in the junior rumaki reo are more considered and targeted.

Progress

Limited progress and improvement were evident over the past two years. However, the last six months has seen some progress due in large part to the actions of the new board and external support. Plans are being put in place and they require ongoing scrutiny. The school is facing critical sustainability issues. 

Key areas of progress include:

  • the development of Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) approaches to establish a more positive school learning culture
  • the curriculum focuses on Waimanatanga and Tuhoetanga in the learning design, including meaningful links with local contexts
  • a new board with individual trustee expertise and active support for improving school operations, steadily attending to health and safety matters
  • board consultation with the community regarding the school values, vision and history to reset the school’s foundation and future direction
  • the partnerships that kaumatua, kuia and whānau have developed with the school to better support whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, wairuatanga and student hauora
  • external appraisal to inform the quality of teaching and leadership
  • recently improved staff professional relationships and early signs of teacher collaboration
  • using external help, the establishment of a learning support register and external support for some students.

Over time, ERO has also observed progress in some areas of teaching and learning. These include:

  • more positive relationships between students and kaiako
  • a greater schoolwide focus on student wellbeing
  • the increased use of te reo Māori, in both classrooms
  • increased learner engagement in the Rumaki reo class
  • classroom environments that support learning and reflect the school’s context
  • an increase in the use of worthwhile digital learning experiences
  • local contexts and rich local histories integrated into lessons.
Key next steps

The school requires an urgent and accelerated rate of progress to rapidly improve learner outcomes. The key areas for development and improvement are as follows.

1 Address and improve the effectiveness of professional leadership.

Leaders need to meet all the required professional leadership and teaching standards and receive highly targeted support, with a specific focus on the following areas.

Attendance

  • Develop a clear communication strategy with whānau to increase interactions that significantly improve student attendance, building on the improvements evident at the end of 2019.
  • Expand the communication strategy to engage frequently with whānau regarding student learning.

Curriculum

  • Improve curriculum planning, assessment, evaluation and reporting, in both mediums.
  • Develop a seamless transition approach between the two curriculum pathways to ensure learners develop sufficient and proficient language acquisition to succeed, in whichever pathway they choose to secondary education.
  • Continue to connect and further develop the local curriculum Te Marautanga o Tuhoe, incorporating the local Waimana curriculum, in both mediums.

Assessment

  • Increase teacher understanding about the administration and use of standardised assessment tools, in both mediums as appropriate to the curriculum design, to monitor and evaluate the impact of teaching and to guide decision making.
  • Ensure all kaiako attend and participate in regular moderation of student assessment results with local educational networks.
  • Evaluate, using more valid and reliable achievement information, the impacts of teaching on accelerating students’ learning. Identify more targeted strategies to meet students’ specific learning requirements and increase students’ language acquisition in classroom settings.
  • Improve the self-management of student assessment information and the clarity of student progress and achievement reports to the board.

Adult relationships

  • Implement the annual teacher appraisal process with rigour.
  • Deliver purposeful, regular improvement feedback to increase the quality of teaching and offer more support to kaiako to achieve their goals.
  • Promote a more collaborative working environment and increase kaiako meeting and shared-planning times.
2. Increase student ownership of their learning, increase the range of learning opportunities, and accelerate outcomes.
  • Promote greater student knowledge about, and understanding of, their learning. Use consistent teaching approaches that help students understand their next learning steps and self-manage their own learning.
  • Provide greater continuity of teaching and learning for students in the Auraki class. With two teachers sharing the class, it is essential the tumuaki provides the appropriate planning, teaching and assessment materials.
  • Deliver a more challenging and broad learning programme for students in Years 7 and 8.
  • Increase the pace and challenge of learning to extend students’ thinking and decision making.
3. Review professional learning and development and priorities.
  • Prioritise the most important PLD required for 2020 and reduce the number and range of PLD providers who engage with the school.
  • Reduce the school’s reliance on external PLD providers and increase teachers’ individual contribution to leading PLD, ensuring equity in accordance with their roles, strengths and responsibilities.
  • Reduce the frequency of times teachers are out of the school and/or out of the classroom for PLD. Minimise the disruption to student learning.
4. Strengthen governance.
  • Develop coherent strategic and annual planning that aligns with action plans and evaluative reporting.
  • Set more specific targets for student attendance, progress and achievement, with clear monthly reports. Ensure timeframes for action, and evaluative reports are aligned to these targets.
  • Improve risk management regarding the transportation of students to school, from outside the local area, in the school van.
  • Ensure accountability for effective professional leadership.
  • Ensure effective employment and personnel processes.
  • Respond to the change in school roll in relation to financial management.
  • Ensure governance and management matters are clearly understood and defined.

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 well placed to improve its performance, and school sustainability is of concern. The declining roll is a critical concern. The small class sizes are not sustainable nor resulting in improved educational opportunities. External appraisal for teachers and leaders is in place for 2020 and is essential to support a high level of improvement, with rigorous accountability.

The MoE has provided a useful range of PLD, support and additional resourcing. Despite this investment, school leadership has not made good use of these, and the impact on outcomes for learners and growing teachers’ professional practice remains minimal. ERO has ongoing concerns about the reliability of student achievement information and the validity regarding the methods used to gather this information. At times, the rural isolation has made it difficult to access some providers on site.

Increased levels of accountability for school performance are required. The equity of class sizes and complexity, as well as teacher responsibilities, require scrutiny. This includes consideration regarding the expectations of the principal’s release teacher. The ongoing approach to additional staffing is not warranted with the size of the roll.

The complexity regarding the dual curriculum pathway requires reconsideration. Further linking with the community to support the acquisition and use of te reo Māori by students in the Rumaki reo class would be helpful. Some students are not well placed in Year 6 to learn in English, and therefore some students are not well placed to transition on to secondary education by the end of Year 8.

As a result of the ongoing concerns which have now escalated, ERO will continue to work closely alongside the MoE, the board and school leaders. ERO will monitor and evaluate the school’s improvement and development plan, its implementation, the school progress, improvement and effectiveness.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

In order to improve current practice, the board should refer to the Ministry of Education’s Health and Safety Practical Guide for Boards of Trustees and School Leaders to ensure permission forms for the driver and passenger in the school van, for the morning and afternoon school runs, are in place. The board should also ensure that it takes all reasonably practicable steps to keep students safe while travelling to and from school in the school van, which is additional to the school bus routes currently being operated.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education provide intervention to support the board and for:

  • curriculum management, including assessment and reporting
  • employment and personnel
  • financial management.

ERO also recommends that the current range of professional development initiatives are reprioritised to focus on student learning and formative teaching and learning practices in both mediums. PB4L should continue to support a positive learning and working environment for learners and staff.

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Waimana School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

19 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. 

 

1. Background and Context

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

This report evaluates the progress the board and principal have made in addressing issues from the 2012 ERO report. That ERO report identified significant issues relating to aspects of governance, leadership and teaching practice. The report also identified the need for the board to address issues of non-compliance with statutory requirements.

The issues identified in the previous ERO report have been compounded by an ongoing decline in the school’s roll resulting in a reduction in teaching staff. The board of trustees have worked hard to build its capacity to effectively govern the school. Leadership has remained stable.

The advice and guidance of the Tuhoe Education Authority (TEA) has been effective in guiding and supporting trustees to understand their roles and responsibilities. The TEA has since been disestablished.

2. Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The priorities identified in the 2012 ERO report related to:

  • support and guidance for trustees to enable them to effectively carry out their roles and responsibilities
  • the need for further consultation with the community and local iwi to address the falling roll and identify the future direction of the school
  • the design and implementation of a school curriculum that reflects The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aoteraoa
  • the development and implementation of robust assessment practices
  • implementing effective processes to monitor, analyse and report patterns of student attendance to the board and community
  • improving teacher capability in the use of assessment information to identify the learning needs of students and to implement appropriate teaching programmes
  • implementing a targeted school-wide approach to professional learning and appraisal for teachers.
Progress

The board are committed to improving their governance responsibilities and addressing ongoing issues facing the school. Initial consultation with the community to develop strategies to address concerns about the decline of the student roll has been completed. The board has begun to collate this information which it intends to use to establish strategic priorities for the school.

Trustees have a greater understanding of the importance of planning strategically for ongoing school improvement. A next step is for trustees to develop a planned programme of self review so that the board can determine the effectiveness of its strategic plan and governance operations. A governance manual is being developed and should assist trustees in strengthening their understanding of their roles and obligations, and support the induction of new trustees. Prudent financial management is a positive development for the board.

Trustees have made significant progress in addressing issues of non compliance signalled in the last ERO report. Health and safety policies are now developed and the principal has a signed performance agreement with the board. The board’s obligation to ensure teachers are appraised annually has been resolved. An external appraiser has been confirmed to undertake the appraisal of the principal and teachers in 2014.

The board appreciates the support and guidance that was provided by the TEA. Trustees indicate they are better informed about student achievement and engagement data and are now more able to use this data to guide board decisions. Changes to TEA funding allocation means they are no longer able to fully support the governance of the school. The guidance and advice of TEA has helped to support the sustainability of the school’s progress.

Issues of professional leadership relating to use of achievement information and improving teacher professional knowledge and practice remain ongoing areas of development for the principal. There is still considerable work to be done to raise student achievement in relation to the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. The effective use of assessment information, including moderation practices, continues to be an area requiring development.

Student achievement overall indicates that many students are achieving below the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. The decline of achievement in writing is of concern to the school. Achievement in reading is better with 70% of students achieving at or above National Standards.

There remains a need to improve levels of attendance. While attendance patterns are now more closely monitored and the information is reported to the board, current patterns show that improving levels of attendance is a continuing challenge for the school.

Class sizes are small and include students of different year levels, ages and abilities. Teachers need to improve how they cater for the individual tuition of these diverse groups of learners. To achieve this, teachers need to develop and embed high quality literacy and numeracy programmes. Although teachers have participated in extensive professional learning and development with external facilitators, the impact of this teacher programme on student learning and achievement is unclear.

The school has worked hard to develop a school curriculum that embodies both The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Developed in conjunction with the TEA, the curriculum now includes a school vision and values aligned with iwi goals and aspirations for education. A profile of a ‘successful student’ has been developed in conjunction with the school's aims and expectations for students.

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 making progress in sustaining and improving its performance. However, there remains a need to:

  • strengthen aspects of governance including implementing a formal programme of ongoing self review
  • increase school roll numbers
  • strengthen professional leadership in relation to curriculum, building teacher capacity, assessment and moderation
  • address low levels of student achievement

Priorities identified for review and development

There remains a need for trustees to continue to improve their knowledge and understanding of governance roles and responsibilities. Addressing the falling student roll and improving teaching practice are also areas of urgent priority for the board. Leadership remains an area for improvement. The principal must improve her capacity to more effectively lead curriculum developments and improve the quality of teaching across the school, as too many students are achieving below national expectations.

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.

4. Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education continue to provide guidance and support for the school to address the issues identified in this report.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

 

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

24 June 2014

About the School

Location

Waimana, Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number

2057

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

38

Gender composition

Boys 20

Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

38

Special Features

Rumaki Education

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

24 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

April 2012

May 2010