John Paul II High School - 16/10/2017


John Paul ll High School is a Catholic coeducational school with 166 students, 23 of whom identify as Māori. The school currently hosts three international students.

Since the 2014 ERO review, there have been a number of staff changes, including a new deputy principal and some new heads of department. John Paul ll and St Patricks Primary School are located next to each other and share the same board of trustees and some facilities. The high school also has a close association with the adjoining Tai Poutini Polytechnic.

The school is part of the Māwhera Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

Some recommendations ERO made for improvement in 2014 have been successfully addressed. These include:

  • embedding a careers programme across the school

  • creating goals specific to raise Māori student achievement

  • the board reviewing its own effectiveness

  • clarifying the roles and responsibilities of senior leaders

  • ensuring that a coherent plan for professional development is in place.

Other recommendations need to be further addressed. These include developing a planned approach to promoting success for Māori, building a shared understanding and approach to the learning needs of very able students, and implementing and embedding teaching as inquiry practices.

The board, senior leaders and teachers also need to build a shared understanding and use of robust internal evaluation practices across the school.

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

The school is responsive to the learning and pastoral needs of students and is making good progress with achieving equitable outcomes for all learners. Student achievement information shows a positive trend over time and reflects evidence of decreasing disparity, especially for Māori learners.

Some of the effective school processes that are contributing to this include:

  • the student-centred board, leadership team and staff

  • the strength and visibility of the school’s special character in relationships, programmes and practices

  • the regular opportunities that students have for one-to-one support from their teachers for their learning

  • close and effective links with local businesses and the wider Catholic community to increase learning opportunities for students

  • well-managed transitions into, through and beyond the school

  • a collaborative approach across the school to pastoral care and student achievement.

The school’s priorities for ongoing improvement include:

  • improving the quality and approach to internal evaluation at all levels of the school

  • developing high quality appraisal processes to further build teacher capability and effectiveness

  • sustaining and further developing bicultural practices and perspectives across the school.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Maori and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds effectivelyto Māori and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Most students achieve well in Years 9 to 13, particularly in NCEA where there has been a consistent upward trend in achievement over the last 5 years. All Māori students at NCEA levels 1 to 3 achieve above national and cohort levels.

Decreasing disparity in educational outcomes for particular groups of students is also evident. There is an inclusive approach to ensure all students experience success. Students with additional and high needs are well supported.

Students who are at risk are identified and their learning progress is closely monitored. Teachers successfully accelerate the progress of many students who are at risk of not achieving well.Leaders and teachers have adjusted programmes to support these students. There is some evidence to show effective results of progress for these students.

Leaders and teachers are increasingly focussed on improving the quality of NCEA awards through an increased number of endorsements.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a number of effective processes in place to enable the achievement of equity and excellence for students.

Leaders promote the special character, quality programmes and values that underpin the curriculum and daily life of the school. The identity, language and culture of each student are respected. Increasing emphasis is placed on bicultural perspectives that provide opportunities for all students to understand the bicultural heritage of New Zealand.

The school has developed a process that enables them to monitor and review overall and individual student achievement for Years 9 and 10. This information is closely tracked and regularly reported to the board of trustees. Leaders should also ensure that the board receives information about the sufficiency of students’ progress over time, especially in regard to Year 10 students’ readiness to achieve success in NCEA programmes.

Small class sizes enable teachers and students to develop supportive relationships and opportunities for one-to-one teaching and learning. Student-centred and purposeful partnerships with local businesses and the wider Catholic community are extending learning opportunities for students. This is promoting improved access to appropriate curriculum courses and pathways that better meet students’ interests, aspirations and needs.

Leaders and teachers have maintained a strongly collaborative approach to the pastoral care and academic achievement of students. This is helping to foster students’ spiritual and emotional wellbeing in order to support positive achievement outcomes.

Student transitions from the junior to the senior school and beyond are carefully managed. Career education begins in Years 9 and 10, and leads to a strong focus on career pathways in the senior school. Teachers prioritise literacy improvement across all learning areas. The increasing provision and use of a range of technologies enhances teaching and learning, and supports better monitoring and tracking of student achievement, progress and wellbeing over time.

The board, senior leaders and teachers are strongly student-centred. The very capable board of trustees are active in their stewardship role and serve the school well. They ensure that strategic appointments enrich school programmes and leadership capacity. Leaders build useful, educationally-focused relationships with other educational and community institutions to increase curriculum opportunities for students.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The senior leadership team and board of trustees are committed to further enhancing student achievement. The school has some good systems and processes in place. These should be further strengthened by improving:

  • strategic approaches to sustaining and building on bicultural practices and te ao Māori perspectives in all aspects of school operations

  • evaluative practices at all levels of the school

  • the quality and effectiveness of appraisal processes to better reflect Education Council requirements

  • programmes that specifically provide for the needs of very able students.

School leaders should also make sure that reports to the board about international students include relevant information about the wellbeing, progress and achievement of these students.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 3 international students attending the school, all of whom were on a long-term-stay basis. The board receives reports that include information about the international students. An important next step is for the principal to report to the board specifically on the wellbeing, progress and achievement of these students.

International students are very well supported on arrival in New Zealand and made to feel welcome in the school. They are carefully placed in suitable accommodation. Students’ language needs and learning goals are identified so that they can be supported and monitored. Progress towards achieving their individual learning goals is tracked and reports show steady progress towards NCEA qualifications. The students are well integrated into the school and the wider community.

Going forward

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

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates very good progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • improve internal evaluation, appraisal and programmes for very able students

  • continue to improve plans, programmes and practices that promote and embed success for Māori, as Māori.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

16 October 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 83; Boys 73

Ethnic composition

Māori: 23

Pākehā 121

Pacific 5

Other ethnicities: 17

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

16 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2014

Education Review September 2010

Education review August 2007