Edgecumbe School - 28/03/2018

School Context

Edgecumbe School is located on the Rangitaiki Plains, Eastern Bay of Plenty and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 194 includes 133 of students who identify as Māori.

The school and community were significantly impacted both physically and emotionally by the 2017 Edgecumbe floods. Approximately 90% of families were displaced from their homes at the time. Since the floods there has been a significant focus on student and whānau wellbeing in collaboration with a wide range of external agencies. A well-considered, responsive approach to supporting learners’ holistic needs has seen progress, confidence and achievement maintained throughout the year. 

Through the values of caring - manaakitanga, achievement - whainga, responsibility - kawenga and effort – kaha (I CARE values) the school’s mission is to provide education with care. The intended outcome is that learners are caring, responsible, lifelong learners. The strategic aims of the school are to ensure:

  • overall achievement in reading, writing and mathematics improves
  • all students are able to access, progress and achieve in relation to the New Zealand Curriculum
  • Māori students are engaged in their learning and are achieving educational success, with pride in their unique identity, language and culture as Māori
  • teachers are supported to improve their practice
  • student, teacher and parental use of information and communication technology is developed to support teaching, learning and communication between home and school.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • pastoral care.

Ngati Awatanga and contributing iwi support is growing students’ knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori, local history, tikanga and areas of significance.

The school has been involved in a range of professional learning and development initiatives focussed on improving teaching and learning in mathematics and to support the formation of their Kāhui Ako achievement challenges.

Since the 2014 ERO review the school has appointed a new principal and had significant changes to membership of the board of trustees and teaching staff.

The school is a member of the Rangitaiki Kawerau Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school uses a wide range of strategies and interventions well to support improving outcomes for equity and excellence.

The majority of students achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement has improved over time for learners in mathematics and reading. In writing, achievement levels have remained relatively stable. Raising achievement in mathematics and writing is identified by the school as a priority.

Māori learners achieve at higher levels than non-Māori in mathematics and writing. Significant improvement in Māori learners’ achievement in reading is evident and attainment levels are now comparable with non-Māori. Boys achieve at significantly lower levels than girls in reading and writing. This disparity has widened over time.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Targeted responses to accelerate progress and achievement have been effective in reducing in-school disparity between some groups of learners.

Disparity of achievement for Māori and boys has reduced in reading and writing. The strategies used in reading were most successful for Māori learners’ achievement overall when compared to that of non-Māori. However, boys did not achieve as well as girls in the approaches used to accelerate progress in reading.   

Students’ progress in achievement is acknowledged and celebrated school-wide. Using the available in-school data more effectively to identify rates and patterns of acceleration has been identified as a next step by the school.   

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Highly effective pastoral care systems support and nurture positive outcomes for learners. There is a strong focus on the school’s community wellbeing. The I CARE whakaaro is embedded school wide. Manaakitanga, whakawhānautanga, kotahitanga and mahi tahi underpins a positive learning environment that supports and celebrates student’s success alongside their whānau. Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive environment focussed on equitable opportunities to learn.

Learning-focussed partnerships between teachers, children, parents and whānau empowers students in their abilities and potential. Respectful and responsive relationships extend students’ sense of belonging and connectedness to the school. Trustees, leaders and teachers value parent and whānau contributions and aspirations. Parents, whānau and the community are actively engaged in the life of the school. Students are supported well to know and understand their learning journey and how to improve.

Teachers work in a collaborative environment. They respond and engage students in meaningful and purposeful programmes for learning. Teachers use a wide range of strategies to motivate and challenge students’ understanding and thinking of the world around them. Teachers regularly reflect and review their practice to support improvements for learners’ outcomes. They know their students well, cater for individual learning styles, and build on prior knowledge, culture, language and identity of students.

Learners with additional needs experience a collaborative wrap-around approach to success school-wide. Strong connections with external agencies, targeted school programmes and intensive interventions that are focused on equity are highly evident.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

In-school processes and practices need to be developed and further refined to improve equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners.

Strengthening the board’s understanding of roles and responsibilities for effective governance is a key next step. This should include:

  • developing an understanding of effective target setting to strengthen the line of sight to those children most at risk
  • self review of policies and procedures needs to ensure they reflect the current practice of the school and legislatve changes
  • robust reporting against strategic aims, expectations and targets for improving equity and excellence, and acceleration of learners.

Extending leaders and teachers understanding of the effective use of data to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement is needed. This should better support leaders and teachers to identify and evaluate interventions, initiatives and strategies that best meet the needs of learners.

Establishing school-wide understanding of evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building should support sustainability and inform ongoing improvement and innovation.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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. 

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review and personalise the purchased policies and procedures, with urgency
  • develop robust self review and reporting processes.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • Learning-focussed partnerships with trustees, leaders, teachers, parents, whānau and the community that recognise and enhance children’s equitable access to experiences and opportunities
  • the holistic approach to supporting student wellbeing through processes that actively respond to their needs, and which promote high expectations for all learners. 

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • developing trustees’ understanding of effective stewardship to support sustainability, ongoing improvement and innovation
  • extending leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of the effective use of data to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.
  • internal evaluation processes and practices
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO recommends that the school seeks support from New Zealand Schools Trustees Association (NZSTA) in order to bring about improvements in:

  • understanding governance roles and responsibilities.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

28 March 2018

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 - 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys                      58%
Girls                       42%

Ethnic composition

Māori                    69%
Pākehā                 30%
Other                      1%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

28 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2014
Education Review April 2011
Education Review April 2008