Kaitao Intermediate - 29/06/2018


The school has made significant progress in addressing areas identified for improvement following ERO’s 2016 review. A more coherent approach to strategic planning, school operation, and leading change is evident.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Kaitao Intermediate caters for students in Years 7 and 8 who come from the suburbs and surrounding rural areas in western Rotorua. At the time of this review there were 329 students on the roll, 75% identify as Māori many of whom whakapapa to Ngāti Whakaue and other hapū of Te Arawa.

Since the 2016 ERO evaluation there have been significant changes to the leadership team and structure. In 2017, a new principal and deputy principal were strategically appointed to drive change and improvement school wide. Several board members have remained in their trustee roles.

Through consultation with whānau the school has reframed and refreshed their motto, values and vision. ‘Mā te whānau tātou e puāwai, achieving success together’ is the guiding whakatauki of the school and through this they aim to empower students to be respectful, resilient and responsible. Through a wide range of learning opportunities for students the key outcomes they strive for are:

  • supportive, well-qualified, vibrant teachers who care for their students’ learning needs
  • an inclusive environment with a strong set of values and responsive practices.

In response to the areas for review and development in the previous ERO report, the school has sought a range of external advice and guidance to raise student achievement and increase teacher capability.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The areas identified in the 2016 ERO evaluation for improvement were in relation to stewardship, leadership for equity and excellence, responsive curriculum, effective teaching and partnerships for learning with parents and whānau.



Trustees bring a wide range of experience to their roles. The board actively represents and serves the school and the community in its stewardship role. Targeted professional learning and development is appropriately accessed to further enhance understanding of effective governance for ongoing school improvement.

The principal provides detailed reports to the board that supports more informed decision-making. The focus of inquiring into outcomes for students, their achievement and wellbeing, has been strengthened. Policies and procedures now clearly align to current legislation and changes in education. A robust process for the performance management of the principal is in place.

The school, in consultation with whānau and the community, have reviewed the charter. This included refining and refreshing the vision and guiding values. This is supporting sustainability and ongoing improvement.

Key next steps are:

  • developing an understanding of effective target setting to strengthen the line of sight to those children most at risk
  • strengthening reporting to the board of progress against strategic aims, expectations and targets for improving equity and excellence, and acceleration of learners.

Leadership for Equity and Excellence

Since the previous ERO evaluation there has been significant changes to the leadership team and structure. Roles have been reframed and clarified. A collaborative and cohesive team is focused on building teacher capability and raising student achievement.

Strategic plans are now in place to prioritise foundations for improvements required. This supports greater alignment of processes and practices to schoolwide goals for equity and excellence. Effective leadership is building a strong community that is working together to create a positive environment that is inclusive, values diversity, and promotes wellbeing.

Leadership opportunities are fostered. Senior leaders are investing in and actively building the capability and capacity of leadership school wide. A new robust process for the appraisal of teachers was introduced in 2017.

Key next steps are to:

  • maintain a strong focus on raising student achievement
  • extend leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of the effective use and analysis of achievement information to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement and better support the reliability of data
  • ensure the ongoing implementation of robust school-wide appraisal for the appropriate endorsement of practising teacher certificates
  • establish school-wide understanding of evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building to support sustainability and inform ongoing improvement and innovation.

Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn

A considered approach to building high-quality teaching has been implemented in maths and writing. These developments have been introduced at a significant, but necessary pace to bring about improvement in student engagement and achievement. This approach has increased the quality and accountability of teacher practice and is contributing to better consistency schoolwide. It is now timely to consolidate and articulate clear expectations for high-quality teaching across the curriculum.

Strong processes for tracking and monitoring student achievement and wellbeing have been developed. Students are well known throughout the school. This collaborative approach is supporting students’ wellbeing, motivation and engagement in learning.

High expectations for learning are evident across the school. Student voice is valued and informs aspects of change. Students’ confidence to participate and engage in their learning has improved. They are beginning to discuss their learning and what they need to do in order to get better. Students spoken to shared a growing sense of belonging and pride in the school.

Learning focused partnerships are being developed with whānau. Learners with additional needs experience comprehensive wrap-around support that is responsive to individual needs. This is enabling effective, sufficient and equitable opportunities for them to learn.

Meaningful and authentic experiences that deepen learning opportunities are being incorporated throughout classrooms. Programmes for learning, in-school practice and initiatives, and excursions into the wider community are extending the students’ confidence and competence in te reo Māori, mana whenua, and te ao Māori.

In 2018, Te Puna Reo was extended from bilingual to full-immersion te reo Māori. Leaders and teachers are building their confidence and understanding of what is required for this setting. There is a range of external support guiding decision-making. Whānau consultation is underway. It is imperative that whānau, trustees, leaders and teachers work collaboratively to ensure the success of Te Puna Reo.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Kaitao Intermediate is now better placed to sustain and continue its performance. Factors contributing to sustainability are:

  • trustees experience and understanding of their roles
  • a new strategic approach driving change and improvement
  • capability and capacity of senior leaders
  • improving quality of teaching practice
  • impact of professional development in accelerating student achievement in writing and mathematics in 2018
  • new systems that have been developed to track and monitor student progress, acceleration and achievement.

Key next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in:

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]
  • internal evaluation processes and practices [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

ERO’s audit of the school’s implementation of the Code identified there were no current policies and procedures to guide expected practice for being a signatory to the Code of Practice.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure school wide practices align with the school’s new policies and procedures.

4 Recommendation

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

ERO recommends that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as Administrator of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 follows up with the school its implementation of sufficient policies and procedures to guide practice and support the safety and wellbeing of international students.


The school has made significant progress in addressing areas identified for improvement following ERO’s 2016 review. A more coherent approach to strategic planning, school operation, and leading change is evident.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

29 June 2018

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition







Special Features

Kea Street Specialist School Satellite Unit onsite Rumaki class

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2016

July 2013

May 2010