Hato Petera College - 05/11/2014

Findings

Since 2012 the principal and staff have worked hard to improve student learning and welfare. Significant progress has resulted in a curriculum that raises student achievement. Unfortunately, a lack of agreement with the Catholic Diocese about property and personnel matters, are impacting negatively on the board’s ability to continue improvements.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Background and Context

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

Hato Petera College is situated in Northcote, Auckland. It provides education for male and female Māori students from Years 9 to 13 in a Catholic Māori environment. Most students live in the boarding hostel (noho kainga), with a small number of local students attending on a daily basis.

ERO’s 2012 review of Hato Petera College identified a number of concerns about the quality of teaching and learning, governance and self review. ERO recommended a longitudinal review approach to evaluate the school’s performance more regularly over a one to two year period. Since then, ERO and Hato Petera College have worked together to address the areas of concern identified in the 2012 ERO report.

In 2012 a new principal had just been appointed, and the school board of trustees and Te Whānau o Hato Petera Trust had a mix of new and experienced members. The board of trustees had worked hard to address the challenges facing the school at that time.

Since the 2012 ERO review the board, principal and staff have continued to make improvements. They have made significant progress in promoting school development, especially in addressing the priorities identified in the 2012 ERO report.

A Treaty of Waitangi claim against the Crown from old boys of the school, relating to the historical Deed of Trust for the property surrounding the school, is affecting school and diocese relationships at present.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

  • improving the quality of teaching and learning
  • improving the quality of The New Zealand Curriculum, including the analysis and assessment of student achievement
  • improving self review across the school, including the performance management appraisal system
  • improving the quality of governance and any other matters that arise.

Progress

Senior leaders have steadily improved the quality of teaching and learning. Professional development is supporting teachers to improve their teaching practice. The Ministry of Education’s professional learning assistance has also supported the school to address its key priorities, including the analysis and use of student achievement information. Teachers, staff and mātua atawhai are working more cooperatively to develop shared expectations for teaching and learning.

Curriculum development has become increasingly broad and meaningful over the last two years. An innovative curriculum now provides students with more engaging and interesting learning opportunities and career pathways. These developments include a health science academy, and hospitality pathways that provide achievement, and after-school employment opportunities for students who live in the kainga.

Teachers are using achievement data more effectively to plan and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their learning programmes and to promote student achievement. Senior leaders and heads of departments are ensuring that teachers are focused on raising student achievement and using data to target students who require additional learning support. Students are becoming more aware of their own progress and next learning steps.

Student achievement has improved significantly in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) from Level 1 and 2. Senior leaders identify that many students arrive in Years 9 with achievement results that are below national expectations. Strategies to support the progress and achievement of Year 9 and 10 students are beginning to have impact and help students prepare well for NCEA programmes and qualifications.

Self review is improving. Teachers are reflecting more on their own teaching practice, and senior leaders are beginning to use self review across all school operations. This school-wide approach includes a more robust appraisal system for teachers and support staff.

The board of trustees, the whānau trust, and mātua atawhai of Hato Petera have high expectations for improvement. The principal and senior leaders work consistently to ensure high expectations are maintained by teachers, staff and students in the school and kainga.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The board of trustees has worked hard during the last two years to progress the school. Some tensions within the board appear to have been resolved satisfactorily. However, confidential information has been shared inappropriately, to the detriment of the board. Complexities within board operations and any vulnerability amongst board members should be carefully managed.

There is no clear agreement between the Catholic Diocese, Te Whānau o Hato Petera Trust, and the Ministry of Education as to who has the responsibility for the hostel buildings, and the land on which the buildings are situated.

There is also uncertainty around the future tenure of the lease agreement on the school and the hostel facilities. The Catholic Diocese has offered a short-term lease extension, which leaves college and hostel boards with no clear commitment for future sustainability. These uncertainties are impacting on trustees’ decision making about future developments. These matters require resolution for the college to continue providing education and accommodation for Māori students in this Catholic environment.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Te Whānau o Hato Petera hostels accommodate 88 students, who make up 80% of the school roll. The hostel consists of five kainga. The hostel manager has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Relationships within the hostel promote a secure emotional environment for students. Mātua atawhai and support staff work well with school staff to promote positive approaches to academic, spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing in students’ living and learning experiences while they are at Hato Petera.

The values of the Catholic faith and tikanga Māori are highly evident in the everyday lives of students. The unique blend of Māori and Christian ways of living creates a special bond between students, kainga parents and staff who live, learn and pray together. Students’ cultural and spiritual well being is of high importance to adults. Students are supported to take leadership roles in these aspects. Students participate in and lead karakia in the chapel to begin and end every day.

Good systems are in place to promote student learning. Within the kainga, students are supported to develop worthwhile self-management and social skills. An innovative programme enables student to gain credits in hospitality and catering within the kainga as they take part in preparing and serving evening meals. Study time allows students to seek additional support to extend school programmes. There is very good alignment between programmes in the school and the kainga.

Areas of concern

ERO has significant concerns about one of the hostel facilities.

  • The conditions for students and staff in one of the kainga need to be addressed with some urgency. Showers and rooms are below current standards for school hostel accommodation.
  • A historic building in poor condition and close proximity to this kainga could be a potential safety hazard for students and staff in the event of a fire.

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education, the Whānau Trust o Hato Petera, and the Catholic Diocese urgently address identified accommodation concerns in the kainga, and provide a safe physical environment for students and staff.

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.

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education provide support for the board of trustees and the Whānau Trust in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • a clear shared understanding of mutual responsibilities in regard to hostel buildings, school buildings and the whole premises of Hato Petera College
  • a shared commitment to long-term planning to sustain and improve outcomes for the students
  • heightened expectations that all trustees will act in accordance with their roles and responsibilities
  • adequate provision for the health and safety of students and staff in the kainga
  • reduction in the risk posed by historic buildings on site.

Conclusion

Since 2012 the principal and staff have worked hard to improve student learning and welfare. Significant progress has resulted in a curriculum that raises student achievement. Unfortunately, a lack of agreement with the Catholic Diocese about property and personnel matters, are impacting negatively on the board’s ability to continue improvements.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

5 November 2014

School Statistics

Location

Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

33

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

108

Gender composition

Boys 78%

Girls 22%

Ethnic composition

Māori

100%

Special Features

Special character Roman Catholic Māori

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

5 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Supplementary Review

August 2012

April 2010

January 2009