Questions about achievement for secondary students

Does the board need to know about achievement at all secondary year levels?

  • You should receive achievement reports for all year levels, including Years 9 and 10.
  • You should expect reports about the progress and learning of all students. This includes information about particular groups such as Māori and Pacific, students with additional learning needs and special abilities, and students from different  cultures.
  • You should also receive information about international students and students in attached units such as alternative education, activity centres, service and trades academies, and teen parent units (if you have such students at your school).

What information should the board get about achievement in NCEA?

You should receive a report on the NCEA results that includes:

    • how many students got NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, and University Entrance
    • the numbers of students who met the literacy and numeracy requirements at NCEA Levels 1 and 2
    • the achievement in individual NCEA subjects
    • achievement broken down according to gender
    • the achievement of Māori, Pacific and students from other cultures in all of the above.

What should I be aware of when interpreting NCEA data?

  • You need to be clear if the figures you receive relate to all the students who enrolled for a course at the start of the year, or only to those who actually sat the examination. If the report shows only the latter then achievement levels can appear more favourable.
  • Numbers of students in senior school subjects can be small so a change in results for one student can have a significant effect on the achievement percentages.

Should the board know about students who leave school before they achieve national qualifications?

  • You should receive information about the numbers of students who leave school without formal qualifications. This information should be broken down into groups of learners, including Mäori, Pacific and other cultures.
  • A significant drop-off in the numbers attending between  years 9 and 12 may indicate that the school’s curriculum is not meeting the needs of groups of students. You should then focus on this area.

Would it be useful for trustees to know what happens to our students after they leave school?

  • You should get information about how many students went  on to further education or employment. This information should again be broken down for groups of learners, including Māori, Pacific and other cultures. You should be concerned if many students are leaving school with no employment or future education plans.

Does the board help shape the school’s curriculum?

  • The board, through the principal and staff, must develop and implement a school’s curriculum.
  • The New Zealand Curriculumsets the direction and provides a framework from which your school can develop its own curriculum. As a trustee, you agree on the learning priorities for the children at your school and make sure that the curriculum continues to meet the children’s needs.

What role do trustees have in planning the long-term direction of the school?

  • The board is responsible for setting the school’s strategic direction.
  • As a trustee, you have an important role in identifying the key goals that the board can work towards. The principal and staff will advise you about actions that will help to achieve these goals.
  • The decisions that you make about resourcing and improving teaching will help support this ongoing improvement.

What role do trustees have when the school is part of a Community of Learning| Kāhui Ako?

  • NZSTA offers advice to boards that are considering joining a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako to help them make an informed decision. You can find it in their section on Investing in Educational Success (IES).