Aotea College - 04/11/2013

1 Background and Context

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

A new principal was appointed in January 2012. By the time ERO reviewed Aotea College in May 2012, the charter, strategic and annual plans for 2012 had been developed. These plans, and the August 2012 ERO report, identified issues that needed to be addressed with some urgency.

Through community consultation a new charter, 2013-2015, including a strategic plan, has been developed and approved by the Ministry of Education.

The school roll has remained stable since the 2012 ERO review. There have been changes to the senior leadership team.

Trustees undertook training in 2012 and reviewed the governance framework. Following board elections in April 2013, a new chair and deputy chair have been appointed and three new parent representative trustees elected.

Ongoing concerns about the state of school buildings and recent storm damage continue to occupy the board and principal.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The board and ERO agreed on the following priorities:

  • raising student achievement
  • using data to promote achievement
  • reviewing the curriculum
  • consolidating leadership
  • aligning appraisal and professional learning and development to school priorities
  • improving the school’s oversight of the Porirua Activity Centre.

Trustees, the principal, school leaders and teachers have made substantial and significant progress in addressing the priority areas for development. A positive, collaborative approach to change is evident.


School leaders have established, documented and shared a unified vision and direction that underpins schoolwide improvement. High expectations for excellence are understood, known and practised.

A systematic approach to school operations is the foundation that supports the shared understanding and direction. These systems, and support from the senior leadership team, assist leadership at all levels of the school. The professional engagement of staff in committees that reflect their strategic focus, contributes purposefully to making improvements and reviewing the effectiveness of changes.

High quality, reliable student achievement data from a range of sources is collated, analysed and used. Teachers increasingly know, understand and share progress and achievement information. Student achievement data from curriculum leaders is used to report success and areas for growth, and to question and challenge decision-making within departments.

Teachers actively engage students in their progress and achievement. Achievement is tracked and monitored to encourage positive outcomes. Staff guide and mentor students to make thoughtful, relevant choices to promote successful pathways beyond school.

School leaders and teachers are focused on improving student achievement. Aspects of increased progress and achievement are evident. Historic trends of underachievement are recognised and are being addressed. The responsive curriculum and strong support from teachers has begun to impact positively on schoolwide success and addressing needed improvement in student achievement at senior level.

For Years 9 and 10, improvement in progress and achievement in literacy and numeracy is evident. Teachers identify trends and patterns that inform teaching. They deliver programmes that appropriately respond to the needs of classes, groups and individuals.

The curriculum is designed to be highly responsive and coherent, and to react promptly to the changing needs and contexts of students, their interests and career aspirations. Evidence-based trends and patterns are systematically identified. Modifications and innovations are thoughtfully considered and implemented. The needs of priority learners, including Māori and Pacific and boys, are recognised. However, explicit planning for these learners should be strengthened.

Teachers are effectively supported to improve their practice to meet strategic and annual goals. Inquiry into their own practice is embedded across the school and contributes positively to improvements to curriculum and teaching approach. Appraisal goals are clearly aligned to school priorities. Professional learning and development reflects the school’s commitment to improving the competence and confidence of teachers to work in a bicultural and culturally diverse context. Effective practice is recognised and shared collegially.

Robust structures and systems, clear expectations and monitoring, and intensive support for the director and teachers are in place to improve student outcomes at the Porirua Activity Centre.

The school implements a rigorous and transparent self-review process for compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International 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 now in position to sustain improvements and continue to improve performance.

Aotea College has:

  • established a foundation of values, leadership, tone, climate and relationships likely to sustain and improve student learning - engagement, progress and achievement
  • demonstrated a collaborative and cohesive approach to enacting the school’s vision and strategic direction
  • initiated more meaningful engagement with families, whānau, Ngāti Toa and the Pacific community
  • developed its capacity to reflect, plan, act and report to its community using evidence which includes student achievement information from self review
  • developed a sustainable cycle of inquiry, planning, improvement and self review supported by purposeful systems
  • built capability to sustain and continue to improve student achievement through being open to change for improvement
  • developed the capacity to respond effectively to any current or emergent issues.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

4 November 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā




Other ethnic groups






Special features

Porirua Activity Centre - attached unit

Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

4 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

August 2009

August 2006