Ashburton Intermediate - 23/05/2017


Ashburton Intermediate School has a roll of 420 children. This includes 62 Māori and 58 Pacific children.

A new principal commenced in Term 4, 2016 and a new chairperson was elected at the beginning of 2017.

The school has made good progress addressing the next steps identified in the 2013 ERO report. Children have been well supported to develop and use critical thinking and inquiry more independently. The use of information technology and devices as learning tools is gradually being introduced.

The school is part of the Hakatere Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning (CoL). Shared CoL goals are contributing to school priorities and annual achievement targets.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school’s achievement information shows that progress is being made with achieving equitable outcomes for all children. The new principal is aware that significant work is required to achieve equitable outcomes for some groups of children.

While targeted plans are in place to address disparity in achievement, it is too early for ERO to evaluate the outcomes of new initiatives for children’s learning and progress over time.

The school has some useful systems and processes in place to enable equity and excellence for some learners. These include a curriculum that responds to, and engages learners through a wide range of opportunities within and beyond the school.

The school must build its capability and capacity for effective evaluation and inquiry to reduce the significant disparity that exists between overall student achievement and that of Māori and Pacific children.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in 1-2 years.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school’s National Standards information shows that the school is not yet responding effectively to the needs of Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.This information continues to reflect disparity between overall student achievement and that of Māori, Pacific children and boys in a number of learning areas.

Achievement information provided by the school shows that some groups of children have made positive progress moving from well below to below the National Standards. Leaders and teachers should continue to extend the early success that new interventions are having on children’s progress.

The board, school leaders and teachers also need to be more strategic and evaluative about what should be done differently to ensure that:

  • sufficient progress in achievement is made by all children
  • there is clarity about which strategies and practices are having the most positive impact on children’s progress over time.

The school has a range of systems for identifying and monitoring those children who need additional support to accelerate their progress. Trends in achievement information show some improvements in 2016 to overall achievement in some learning areas.

Leaders and teachers recognise that they need to develop more robust systems to support teachers' judgements about children's achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school is focused on improving systems and processes to enable equity and excellence for learners.

Internal evaluation processes are helping to identify what teachers need to know about children whose learning needs acceleration.

School governance and leadership are focused on promoting positive outcomes for learners. There is a shared understanding of the strategic direction of the school.

Key aspects for promoting equity and excellence are:

  • providing an inclusive environment focused on developing positive and strong relationships with learners and their families
  • building leadership opportunities for staff and learners.

The school's curriculum is well-designed, responsive and reflects the local community and context. Key aspects of the curriculum that support equity and excellence are:

  • that learners are provided with broad and meaningful learning opportunities within and beyond the school    
  • the integration of the curriculum and aligning it to the school’s vision, values and local bi-cultural context
  • the frequent inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori in classroom programmes and school activities
  • a programme for learners to use critical thinking and inquiry more independently.

Children have the opportunity to succeed as leaders in a variety of sporting, cultural and outdoor activities. Children with particular talents are extended well in their field of expertise. Many Māori and Pacific students are showing good leadership.

Professional learning and development is linked to the strategic goals that support equity and excellence for all learners. Good use is being made of research and external expertise.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence

A number of school processes need further development to address disparity and achieve equity and excellence. In particular:

  • senior leaders should develop ways of analysing the impact of professional development on children’s learning, progress and achievement
  • inquiry into teaching and learning should be strengthened to investigate more deeply what teachers are doing that is having the greatest impact on outcomes for learners
  • reports to the board should include well-analysed information and make clear recommendations to improve outcomes for all children.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

To improve current practice, trustees must ensure that a robust and regular process is in place to assure the board about the wellbeing of children and staff. 

Appraisal audit

The appraisal process should be more closely aligned with Education Council requirements.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees and school leaders must strengthen teacher appraisal by ensuring that appraisers regularly document the evidence of their involvement in the process.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for some groups of children remains. 

Leaders and teachers:

  • need to continue to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement
  • need to continue to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children.

In consultation with the school, ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education provide support that targets positive and sustainable outcomes for children whose learning is most at risk of underachievement. 

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in 1-2 years. 

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

23 May 2017

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate Year 7 to 8

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 45%; Boys 55%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 65%
Māori 15%
Pacific 14%
Asian 3%
Other ethnicities 3%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

23 May 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review March 2013
Education Review August 2009
Education Review August 2006