Raising student achievement through targeted action

This December 2015 ERO report explains how schools that successfully raised achievement had a clear “line of sight to the students most at risk of underachieving. When setting targets leaders made certain that people at all levels of the school understood who the students were they were focusing on and what their role was to bring about the necessary improvement.

Framing disparities for action: Leaders designed, resourced and implemented a focus on improving both student outcomes and school capacity for equitable outcomes.

Some of the characteristics of the schools where targets and the related actions accelerated students’ progress:

Leaders ensured:

  • goals and targets set an optimum level of challenge for teachers and students, by being achievable but high enough to make a real difference
  • framed analysis of disparities in positive ways to focus everyone on equity, priorities and expectations
  • there was alignment between the school’s visions and values and the deliberate actions taken

All teaching staff:

  • knew what one year’s progress looked like
  • were involved in the process of identifying students needing support, deciding on the most appropriate support, and monitoring outcomes of their actions. 
  • had a ‘case management’ approach to supporting students needing to accelerate progress.
  • regularly explored the effectiveness of their responses then designed and evaluated follow-up actions.


  • knew they were a target student 
  • were supported to understand the performance required for each curriculum level
  • set personal goals and self-monitored progress

Their goals and progress were shared with parents and whānau.

This image shows mother and children working on an outside table

This diagram shows the links between the four pou being Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Ako and Mahi tahi wiht Evaluation, Stewardship, Professional capability and collective capacity and Responsive curriculum with Educationally powerful connections and relationships.