Ashbrook School - 19/03/2019

Findings

While Ashbrook School has made some progress in the areas of building teacher capability, professional leadership and the provision of te reo Māori, significant concerns remain about key aspects of school operations. The Ministry of Education has agreed to a request from the board of trustees by appointing a Limited Statutory Manager to provide ongoing support to the board and school leaders to address the concerns identified in this report.

1 Background and Context

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

Ashbrook School, located in Ōpotiki, provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. Most of the 121 students identify as Māori and many whakapapa to local iwi Whakatōhea. Since the previous ERO review in February 2017 there has been a slight decline in the school’s roll. School leadership has remained the same and there have been minimal changes among the teaching team. A new board of trustees chairperson has been elected. The school has accessed ongoing support from a Student Achievement Function practitioner (SAF), funded by the Ministry of Education (MoE). The school continues to operate one rūmaki (Māori medium) class catering for students in Years 1 to 6. Teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in the area of science. Ashbrook School is a member of the Ōpotiki Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

Student achievement information from mid-2018 indicates that less than half of students achieved at national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The school reports that while many at-risk students made progress in 2018 only a few made accelerated progress.

The 2017 ERO report identified the need to strengthen a significant number of key areas of school operations. These areas were also identified in the 2014 ERO report.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

  • professional leadership
  • provision of te reo Māori
  • building teacher capability including appraisal.

Progress

Leaders have prioritised support for at-risk learners. They have implemented a useful system to identify and monitor the progress of these students. Leaders have established processes that support teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of strategies that accelerate student learning. The principal is an active member of the Ōpotiki Community of Learning|Kāhui ako.

Recent initiatives have supported the building of teacher capability. Leaders have developed a useful teacher appraisal process that includes individual goal setting and ongoing teacher reflection. Fully embedding this process is a priority for school leaders. An online programme has been implemented to support the teacher registration process. With support of the SAF, school leaders have undertaken observations of teaching practice. Positive and affirming relationships between teachers and students are evident across the school. Aspects of effective teaching practice observed by ERO in some classes included:

  • the provision of ongoing feedback from teachers to students about their learning
  • the use of achievement data to plan appropriate learning programmes for groups and individual students
  • culturally responsive practices that reflect te ao Māori.

Ensuring that these practices are consistently evident across the school is an important priority for leaders and teachers.

There has been some progress in the provision of te reo Māori. The rūmaki class provides effective provision of Māori medium education. A kaiāwhina provides additional support for teachers in English medium classes to deliver te reo Māori programmes. Several teachers and the principal have capability in te reo Māori.

Key next steps

As identified in the 2017 ERO report strengthening leadership of learning remains an urgent priority. Leaders must now prioritise building teacher capability to accelerate achievement. Consideration should be given to working with teachers to:

  • developing an agreed understanding of effective teaching practice at Ashbrook School
  • setting clear guidelines for the delivery of literacy and mathematics programmes across the school
  • establish expectations for incorporating culturally responsive practices that reflect the Ministry of Education (MoE) document Tātaiako.

Leaders should also provide teachers with frequent robust feedback and feed forward about the effectiveness of their practice.

Further developing the provision for Māori medium education and the place of te ao Māori in English medium classes is a priority for the board of trustees and school leaders. Urgent priority should be placed on developing and implementing a strategic approach to extending the provision of rūmaki education in the school. This should include consideration of the wide year-level range in the current rūmaki class and the increased demand for Māori medium education from whānau.

As part of ongoing curriculum development priority should also be placed on incorporating:

  • local iwi history and places of significance within class programmes
  • te reo Māori programmes systematically across the school.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

How well placed is the school to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance?

Ashbrook School is not well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance. The MoE has supported a request from the board of trustees and the principal to appoint a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) under Section 7 of the Education Act. The LSM will support the board in key areas of governance.

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.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consultation with the school community.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once every two years, after consultation with the community. 
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Ashbrook 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 School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the board access ongoing professional development and mentoring for school leaders to strengthen leadership for learning in the school.

Conclusion

While Ashbrook School has made some progress in the areas of building teacher capability, professional leadership and the provision of te reo Māori, significant concerns remain about key aspects of school operations. The Ministry of Education has agreed to a request from the board of trustees by appointing a Limited Statutory Manager to provide ongoing support to the board and school leaders to address the concerns identified in this report.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

19 March 2019

About the School

Location

Ōpotiki

Ministry of Education profile number

1689

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

121

Gender composition

Girls 60% Boys 40%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pacific

97%
3%

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

19 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

February 2017
May 2014
May 2011