Hato Petera College - 26/10/2017

This review is designed to support schools that were experiencing difficulties at the time of the last review. ERO provides ongoing evaluation over the course of one-to-two years as the school works to improve its overall performance and build its self-review capability.

This report answers key questions about the school’s background and the context for the review. The report also provides an evaluation of how effectively the school is addressing areas identified for review and development and the quality of its practices and systems for sustaining performance and ongoing improvement.


ERO has continuing concerns about the performance and future viability of Hato Petera College. Despite the efforts of the principal and staff, ERO is not assured that the school is able to offer a quality sustainable education for its students. 

1 Background and Context

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

Hato Petera College is a co-educational school for Māori students from Years 9 to 13. The school provides students with a Catholic Māori environment and aims to educate leaders for today and tomorrow, (He whakaako ana i ngā rangatira mō tēnei rā, me ngā rā kei te heke mai).

The school’s special character focus is on living and learning the values of Jesus Christ as Māori Catholic, through religious education and observances that revere the school's patron saint and tūpuna Māori. The integration of core Māori values in school life is consistent with the pillars of the school's special character.

The school has had a history, since 2010, of longitudinal ERO evaluations which have identified concerns about the quality of education and student wellbeing. The 2014 ERO report identified improvement in student achievement, assessment analysis and performance management processes. The high expectations of staff, trust and board members for promoting student wellbeing and raising achievement outcomes were also noted. The report recommended that all parties work to establish a shared commitment to long-term planning to sustain and improve outcomes for students.

The 2014 ERO report also identified concerns regarding health and safety issues associated with one of the school's kainga hostel facilities. The close proximity of vacant historic buildings created health and safety issues for students and staff in the hostel. In addition, the review identified sustainability issues related to a lack of agreement between the proprietors and the board about the future of the school.

ERO initiated a longitudinal evaluation process in term 4 2014. The Ministry of Education (MOE), the Bishop of the Auckland Catholic Diocese as proprietor, the board, the Tauira Tawhito Waitangi Claim and Te Whānau o Hato Petera Trust, began a consultation process to determine the future sustainability of the school. Although the board requested that ERO’s longitudinal review continue, ERO decided that this should be deferred to allow this work to proceed.  ERO resumed the review in June 2017 after the proprietor and Minister of Education had made the decision to keep the school open.

In 2017 the MOE changed the classification of the school from 'boarding school' to 'day school' due to ongoing concerns regarding the health and safety of students in the hostel. This has resulted in a fundamental change in the school's position within the school network.

Over the past two years students, parents, the board and community have dealt with significant uncertainty and challenges largely because of the hostel closure. There has been a dramatic fall in the roll, which has had an adverse impact on the quality of education and the wellbeing of students.

The roll has dropped from a predicted roll of 36 at the start of 2017 to 14 by the end of term two and a further 3 students have not returned in term 3 2017. The predicted roll for 2018 is 11. There will be only 4.2 permanent teachers remaining in 2018. This reduction in roll numbers makes sustaining the school highly unlikely.

Students still regularly access the Te Kamaka Marae, the chapel and the Whare Karakia where the school’s special character and the promotion of its Catholic and tikanga Māori values are cherished and continue to be promoted.

The school reports concerns regarding the use of the previous hostel facilities by external agencies and their clients. The LSM and board are responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. The school should raise its concerns with the Diocese, to ensure that robust health and safety processes are in place and manage any risks.

A Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) was appointed recently by the Secretary of Education to support the board to address identified concerns relating to establishment of policies and procedures, financial operations, management of communications, and employment of staff. The intent of the LSM appointment was to provide a sustainable strategy for the future of the school. 

Over the past 3 years there has been insufficient progress in addressing the areas identified for improvement in the 2014 ERO report. ERO is concerned that the school does not have the capacity to address these issues.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The review process evaluates:

  • the quality of teaching and learning
  • the quality of implementation of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • the quality of analysis, use of assessment and learning progress
  • the impact of internal evaluation across the school, including performance management
  • the quality of the board's stewardship of the school
  • the impact of any other matters that arise and concern student wellbeing.


The quality of teaching and learning for equity and excellence

Teachers are committed to the school’s philosophy and vision. Despite low student numbers they work collaboratively to provide core subject areas. However, ongoing professional learning for teachers has not been effectively sustained. Teacher appraisals were not completed in 2016 and other systems to support teachers' ongoing professional capability are inadequate. These factors have meant that the progress towards improving the quality of teaching and learning noted in ERO's 2014 report has not been sustained.

The quality of the school’s curriculum

At present the school’s teaching programmes provide a range of subjects for students. Some teachers have attempted to use an integrated approach to provide further curriculum breadth and depth. Falling rolls and reduced staffing are impacting critically on the school's provision of an adequate secondary curriculum for students. The school does not have the capacity to provide the full breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum.

The quality of analysis, assessment and learning progress

Students' progress and achievement is monitored by individual education learning plans. Teachers discuss students’ progress to identify concerns and ways to support the achievement of more positive outcomes. Students report that their teachers work closely with them, support them to develop a better understanding of their work and spend more time with them individually to prepare them for assessments. However, there is no overall analysis of data for some year levels and assessment processes are not sufficiently focussed on accelerating individual students' learning progress.

Student achievement

From 2012 to 2014, achievement in National Certificates in Educational Achievement (NCEA) indicated positive progress for Year 11 to 13 students. Year 11 student achievement declined in 2015 but increased in 2016. Achievement levels declined in 2015 for Year 12 students and significantly so for Year 13 students.

Students and whānau report that the hostel closure in 2015 had a negative impact on senior students' emotional wellbeing and consider that it may have affected overall achievement.

The impact of internal evaluation across the school, including performance management systems

The school and board evaluate aspects of school practice including student achievement. However, internal evaluation is not sufficiently systematic and it does not address all aspects of school operations. There is no documented schedule or framework to guide and support evaluation processes. Without good internal evaluation the board and senior leaders have not been able to gauge the effectiveness of either professional development, the impact of flexible timetabling, or teacher appraisal and future planning for students’ individual learning pathways.

The quality of governance and stewardship

The board has tried to respond proactively to a rapidly changing school context, in particular, the recent amendment of the integration agreement. The board has endeavoured to secure accommodation for rural students and has supported students' emotional wellbeing.

ERO has found that the board does not have a sufficiently rigorous or systematic internal evaluation process to ensure that all governance responsibilities are being administered appropriately. This is contributing to it not meeting some of its legal obligations.

Recently, two proprietors' representatives have resigned from the board. This means that the proprietor is not properly represented on the board in respect of its integration agreement which requires the presence of proprietors' representatives on the board.

The school's financial position is weak. It currently faces a substantial deficit budget, because of falling roll numbers. This impacts on the ability to adequately fund teaching and learning. Less than one percent (0.8 percent) of the operations grant is spent on resources allocated to the eight essential learning areas. By contrast 81 percent of the grant is spent on non-teaching personnel.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is not well placed to sustain or improve its performance. Contributing issues are:

  • concerns regarding the development and future sustainability of the curriculum
  • lack of internal evaluation processes
  • risks to financial sustainability
  • low student and staff numbers predicted for 2018.

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.

Actions that must be urgently addressed by the board are to:

  • develop and implement personnel policies including teacher and principal appraisal to meet the Education Council requirements [National Administration Guideline 3(a)]
  • develop and implement a curriculum to meet the obligations of the National Administration Guidelines [National Administration Guideline 1] and reflects Ka Hikitia.

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education, the board and proprietors work to secure the future education and wellbeing of the students and determine the future of the school.


ERO has continuing concerns about the performance and future viability of Hato Petera College. Despite the efforts of the principal and staff, ERO is not assured that the school is able to offer a quality sustainable education for its students.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

26 October 2017

About the School


Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 9 Boys 5

Ethnic composition



Special Features

Catholic Māori

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

26 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review