Fairhaven School (Napier) - 13/02/2015

Findings

Individual goals developed in collaboration with families and whānau, and a sustained focus on care and wellbeing supports students’ engagement in learning. The school curriculum is under review. Initial work has occurred. The principal provides clear strategic direction. Change for improvement is well managed.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Fairhaven School (Napier) provides individualised learning programmes for students aged between five and twenty one and in Years 1 to 15. All students enrolled have high or very high needs and most are funded through the Ongoing Resourcing Schemes. A team of specialists and therapists provide support for students in consultation with families, whānau and staff.

The base school in Taradale operates two classrooms, with a further 10 classrooms at host schools in the local area. A transition centre at Bridge Pa caters for students moving into community living.

Since the December 2010 ERO report, there have been significant changes to leadership. A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2014. The senior leadership team structure was changed and five new teaching staff appointed.

During 2014, there has been a number of managed changes and the consequences of these are carefully monitored. The outcomes of these changes for students are yet to be evaluated.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Senior leaders collate achievement data and report overall achievement of, or progress towards, students’ individual goals.

A sustained focus on student care and wellbeing through respectful, caring and responsive relationships supports their engagement in learning. Staff know the students and their families and whānau well.

Individual goals, developed in collaboration with families and whānau, respond to the learning needs and care of students. There is an established process to enable access to appropriate specialist support. Parents are well informed about their children's progress and achievement in relation to these goals. Mid-2014 progress and achievement information reported to the board shows that all students have achieved a least one of their goals.

At the end of 2013, the board received information about Years 1 to 8 student achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

A carefully considered and planned approach is evident for the transition of students into, through and beyond school. There is a shared understanding of the importance of collaboration between the school, families and whānau and outside agencies to support successful transitions.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school curriculum is under review. Initial work, in consultation with staff, students, families and whānau has occurred. More developments are planned.

A new planning format is being trialled, based on the key competency pathway. This is providing a platform for a cohesive and integrated approach to learning and specialist support for individual students. There are systems in place to support and monitor the implementation of this initiative.

A Pacific Education Plan has been written. An e-learning strategic plan has been developed for implementation in 2015. It is expected by the board, that these plans will be reflected in the development of the school curriculum and school charter for 2015.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

A plan for developing culturally responsive practice for Māori at Fairhaven School has been developed. This is in the early stage of implementation and should be reflected in the development of the school curriculum and school charter for 2015.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

School leaders and trustees are making good progress in developing systems and processes to support student learning and wellbeing.

The school leader, who has experience in special education, provides clear direction for future strategic developments. The principal has undertaken a thorough review of school systems and processes. A policy and procedural framework has been developed.

Staff engagement in decision-making is strengthened through transparent communication. There is a focus on growing a whole school sense of community, including host schools, outside agencies and the wider community.

There is a planned approach to growing leadership across the school. The strengths and skills of individual staff are recognised, valued and used to carry out planned changes.

A twelve-week cycle of teaching as inquiry has been trialled, based on the key competency pathways. This reinforces teachers’ reflective practice.

Teachers' appraisal cycle started mid 2014. The process considers teachers' positive practice and includes prompts for next steps. There are plans to further improve appraisal through staff inquiring into their practice and using Tātaiako Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Trustees have reviewed and strengthened governance policies and procedures to guide practice. External expertise has provided support, advice and guidance. The board is aware of the need for continuity of governance at this time of change. Trustees should continue to develop their capacity to provide sound governance and be mindful of succession planning and induction for new trustees.

The next steps are to:

  • continue with planned actions to develop the school’s curriculum, including culturally responsive practice for Māori
  • develop and formalise a self-review process.

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.

During the course of the review ERO identified an area of non-compliance.

The board must:

  • comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community.

[Section 60B Education Act 1989]

In order to improve current practice, trustees and the principal should ensure processes associated with the review of Section 9 agreements continue to be addressed.

Conclusion

Individual goals developed in collaboration with families and whānau, and a sustained focus on care and wellbeing supports students’ engagement in learning. The school curriculum is under review. Initial work has occurred. The principal provides clear strategic direction. Change for improvement is well managed.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

13 February 2015

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2558

School type

Special School

School roll

79

Gender composition

Male 59, Female 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

16

49

5

9

Special Features

Base and satellite classes

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

13 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2010

May 2008

May 2005