Hokitika School - 20/10/2017


The school has a roll of 135, 45 children identify as Māori. The school has a bilingual unit on site.

Since the last ERO review in 2014:

  • there has been a change in the leadership team and a number of new staff in all areas of the school

  • the board of trustees has undergone significant changes over the past three years, including a complete turnover in trustees.

The school has made limited progress in responding to the recommendations of the last report. These recommendations were to:

  • improve analysis of student achievement information

  • provide guidance for teachers in the bilingual unit

  • improve the curriculum review plan by adding indicators to measure success

  • improve the annual plans so they become more manageable and align directly with the school’s charter goals.

School information shows that levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics have not improved over the past three years. The board, school leaders and ERO agree that levels of achievement need to be improved.

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

At the time of this review, the school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities to ensure equitable outcomes for all children.

The main areas of concern are the achievement of children in the areas of reading and writing. There has been a downward trend in reading over the last three years. Writing has been low for the last three years, with disparity in outcomes for boys, and for Māori children.

The school is developing a more effective approach to supporting those children whose achievement requires acceleration. Although the school has implemented systems and programmes to monitor and improve the achievement of individual children, it is too soon to evaluate their effectiveness.

The board, school leaders and ERO agree that internal evaluation needs to be strengthened in order to ensure ongoing improvement to teaching and learning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in one-to-two years. 

Equity and excellence

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

The school has yet to effectively respond to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The school needs to develop better systems to ensure all children are making sufficient progress.

Māori children achieve similarly to their peers in mathematics and reading, with some achievement disparity in writing.The school’s National Standards (NS) reporting shows that most children achieve well in mathematics. However, achievement levels in writing and reading require significant improvement, especially for boys.

Achievement in the bilingual unit fluctuates and varies. School information shows that achievement for these children improved with greater time in immersion classes.

Children with additional special needs participate in learning opportunities that provide appropriate support. The school has made good improvements to planning and the co-ordination of support for these children. ERO found that the school is not able to show how well these children achieve against their specific goals, or how effectively the programmes and interventions provided support these children to progress towards their goals.

Leaders and teachers are developing shared understandings of moderation practices. These need to be further embedded to improve reliability in overall teacher judgements about children’s progress and achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has few effective processes to enable equity and excellence for learners.

The school curriculum strongly encourages children to develop and demonstrate the key competencies of managing self, relating to others, thinking, participating and contributing. The curriculum is explicitly focussed on teaching positive behaviours for learning. Children’s learning benefits from the positive relationships with their teachers.

Teachers are increasingly integrating te reo and tikanga Māori into aspects of school life. Māori children are proud to be Māori.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

This school has limited internal evaluation processes for identifying those areas requiring improvement to better support equity and excellence.

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

Trustees and leaders need to build collective capability to use evaluation and inquiry for sustained improvement at all levels of the school. This includes:

  • improving the quality of analysis of student achievement information

  • evaluating the impact of targeted interventions

  • analysing all children’s rates of progress over time to be better assured children are making sufficient progress

  • completing the development of curriculum guidelines (including for the bilingual unit), and using these to evaluate the quality of curriculum delivery on a regular cycle

  • supporting teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching for accelerating the progress of children not yet achieving at expected levels.

Trustees and leaders need to establish relational trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school community. This includes:

  • strengthening board processes for promoting and monitoring the quality of relationships within the school community (i.e. consultation and engagement plans and processes; staff and community surveys; and principal appraisal processes)

  • ensuring changes are well-planned, communicated and evaluated

  • improving aspects of strategic and annual planning through more detailed action planning

  • clarifying processes and protocols for consulting with and responding to the perspectives of Māori whānau.

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.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

The maintenance of an ongoing cycle of self-review – particularly as this relates to the regular review of curriculum programmes.

Reporting to parents about the progress of children in relation to the NS and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori two times a year. The school is reporting in writing two times a year, but only once against the National Standards/Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori.

In order to address this the board must:

  1. maintain an on-going programme of self-review in relation to the above policies, plans and programmes, including evaluation of information on student achievement information (NAG 2:b)

  2. report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori and/or National Standards. Reporting to parents in plain language in writing must occur at least twice a year (NAG 2a:a).

Going forward

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

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for learners to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities in achievement. The main areas of concern are identified in the sustainable development section of this report. The school has begun to address these concerns. However, ERO is not sufficiently assured of the sustainability of these developments.

Trustees, leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement
  • are not yet well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all learners who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.


ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to address the areas for development identified in this report.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

20 October 2017

About the school


West Coast

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys: 53%

Girls: 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 33%

Pākehā: 60%

Other: 7%

Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Number of students in Level 2 MME


Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

20 October 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: February 2014
Education Review: July 2011
Education Review: May 2010