Appendix 4: Key differences between the groups of schools

Table 1 describes the key characteristics of the ways schools promoted and responded to student wellbeing that distinguished one group from the next.

Table 1: Key characteristics of the way schools in each group promoted and responded to student wellbeing


An extensive focus on student wellbeing, with this woven through all actions


Student wellbeing was well promoted through the curriculum and there were good responses to wellbeing issues


Reasonable promotion of and response to student wellbeing as schools had positive cultures and respectful relationships


Some promotion of and response to student wellbeing by schools but an over-reliance on behaviour management


Overwhelmed by wellbeing issues


Quality of the improvement focus reflected in schools’ decisions about:

Coherence of the school goals, strategic plan and whether subsequent actions are interwoven

Wellbeing vision articulated in school goals and targets. Monitored through student assessment, teacher appraisal and inquiry, and school self review. Impact reported and acted on.

Wellbeing vision articulated in school goals. The vision needed to be more reflective of Māori and Pacific wellbeing. Effectiveness of approaches not well monitored and reviewed.

Leaders were unsure how wellbeing and achievement were linked; therefore unsure how to interweave approaches and review impact through a wellbeing lens.

A narrow wellbeing vision in charter. Vision not extended to goals and targets.

Leaders unable to motivate a team response for improvement.

Monitoring and responding to student wellbeing.

Clarity of roles, vigilant monitoring and systems of support for students based on the multiple outcomes.

Clarity of roles, vigilant monitoring and systems of support for students, but sometimes separate from a curriculum response.

Care response separated from curriculum response.

Behavioural management focused systems of support.

Over-reliance on a crisis response.

Quality of interactions reflected in schools decisions about:

School curriculum

Curriculum promoted and monitored for wellbeing using local contexts.

Curriculum promoted wellbeing using local contexts.

School values explicit in interactions.

No deliberate use of key competencies or values in the school curriculum.

Curriculum designed and monitored for achievement outcomes (and generally very narrow ones).

Curriculum poorly described and implemented.

Student leadership and say in their educational experiences

Students contributed to curriculum and care decisions.

Students evaluated and responded to own learning needs.

Students contributed to wellbeing culture and care roles.

Student potential to lead not recognised.

Students allocated leadership jobs to support the behaviour management system.

Very little contribution sought from students.

The school’s relationship with the community.

Leaders understood the two‑way nature of impact. They used and contributed to a web of community networks.

Some schools had great connections with community organisations, but could have better relationships with particular sectors of the community.

Some schools connected to particular sectors of their community.

Parent consultation compliance focused.

Many schools had a long history of connections with the community so school leadership should formally seek their views.

High turnover of teachers and leaders meant relationships with communities were superficial.