Karapiro School - 17/02/2020

School Context

Karapiro School is located eight kilometres south of Cambridge and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 64 includes 11 Māori students and a small number of students from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Since the previous ERO review in 2016 the principal and deputy principal have continued in their roles. There have been many changes to the staff. The school roll has significantly declined since 2016. The board of trustees resigned at the end of 2018 and a commissioner was appointed at the beginning of 2019. In Oct 2019 the commissioner resigned, and a replacement commissioner was appointed soon after. Leaders and teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in mathematics and writing.

The school vision statement is ‘Karapiro School is a safe and happy learning environment where together we grow our potential – Whakatapu tahi tatou (Together we grow).’

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing, mathematics and science.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is yet to achieve equity and excellence for all students.

In 2018, most students achieved expected levels in reading and mathematics and the large majority in writing. Māori students achieved at slightly higher levels than Pākehā in reading. There is significant disparity between Māori and Pākehā in writing and mathematics.

Girls and boys achieve at comparable levels in reading. In writing and mathematics girls achieve at significantly higher levels than boys. Schoolwide achievement data gathered at the end of 2018 for science shows that the majority of students achieved at or above expected curriculum levels.

Achievement information gathered over time shows ongoing significant disparity in writing between Māori and Pākehā and boys and girls.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school has evidence to show that some individual students are making accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders need to consider developing more effective systems to track and monitor the accelerated progress particularly for all at-risk students.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Students experience a wide range of learning opportunities. They are engaged in authentic and current contexts for learning and have a range of leadership opportunities across the school. Aspects of te ao Māori are naturally integrated into daily classroom programmes. Teachers implement a useful range of strategies to engage students in the curriculum. They use appropriate assessment tools and practices to guide teaching and learning programmes. The curriculum includes a variety of academic, cultural and sporting experiences and education outside the classroom opportunities.

Learning for students with additional needs is well managed. The special education needs coordinator (SENCO) and leaders have developed systems to identify, track and monitor progress for these students. A specialist teacher has been employed to provide support and interventions in literacy, oral language and social skills. A wide range of appropriate services is accessed for students with additional learning or social needs. The school has established effective education and care networks with external agencies and within the community.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The commissioner has begun to undertake consultation with the school community. Completing this process is likely to support the school to ascertain community priorities and aspirations for future direction, student learning and wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers need to further develop and implement agreed expectations for teaching and learning across the school. This is likely to support consistency and sustainability of effective practices.

There is a need to implement a more targeted and aligned approach to accelerating the achievement of at-risk students, particularly in writing. This includes:

  • setting charter targets that identify the numbers and needs of students whose learning requires acceleration

  • leaders and teachers more closely monitoring the progress and achievement of target students

  • regular analysis and reporting on the progress of targeted students to the board of trustees.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Karapiro School’s

performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a school curriculum that includes meaningful learning opportunities for all students
  • support for children with additional learning needs.

Next steps

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

  • urgent consultation to improve the partnership between the school and its community
  • a more aligned approach to accelerating the progress of all students whose learning is at risk
  • teaching and learning expectations to support consistency and sustainability of teacher practice.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the principal’s performance management agreement and the management of board of trustee in-committee minutes.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • Ensure the principal has an annual signed performance management agreement.

[s 77c State Sector Act 1988; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • maintain the regular review of policies and procedures that guide school operations

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider continuing intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about the improvement in governance and to support the school to re-establish productive partnerships with its community.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

17 February 2020

About the school


Cambridge, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 33

Male 31

Ethnic composition

Māori 11

Other ethnic groups 12

NZ European/Pākehā 41

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

17 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2016

Education Review October 2011

Education Review August 2008