Kutarere School - 03/07/2020

Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Kutarere 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.

1 Background and Context

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

Kutarere School is situated beside Ohiwa Harbour in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The school provides education for children from Years 1 to 8. Year 1 to 3 students have a focus on Te Marautanga o Aotearoa curriculum with students from Years 4 to 8 transitioning to the New Zealand Curriculum. All of the school’s 23 children are Māori, most of whom whakapapa to local iwi.

Since the previous ERO review in 2017 there has been several changes in leaders and teachers. In Term 4 2019 a new principal was appointed. The board comprises a mix of new and experienced board members, and a new board chairperson has been elected.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

  • strengthen leadership and stewardship to ensure charter achievement targets are more clearly focused on students most at risk of underachieving
  • strengthen planning to systematically and deliberately accelerate progress of identified at-risk learners
  • strengthen the capability of leaders, teachers and trustees to interpret achievement information, and use it more effectively to improve outcomes for all students
  • build teacher capability in the planning and use of deliberate acts of teaching to accelerate the learning of students who need this
  • strengthen systems for tracking and monitoring children's progress and achievement over time
  • continue focused internal training for the board to enable trustees to strengthen systems and practices for school governance and operation
  • teachers continue to strengthen learning partnerships with whānau, particularly for students most at risk. 

Progress

Stewardship and governance.

The majority of the board are newly elected trustees, including the chairperson. The board have been involved in training and development provided by the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA). This has assisted the board to strengthen their understanding about their roles and responsibilities. The board have strong connections with the community and are identifying ways in which to engage with them more effectively. Trustees have yet to receive ongoing student achievement data and they have set this as a priority.

The school has made progress in the development of their school charter and annual plan. There are clear targets for student achievement in 2020. However, at the time of this ERO report these documents had not yet been ratified by the board.

Developing educationally powerful relationships with whānau and iwi

Leadership has prioritised making connections with whānau and iwi. Deliberate, planned consultation has been supported by spontaneous opportunities to seek the views and aspirations of the community. There is increasing evidence that leadership is becoming an area of strength for the school. Whānau feel more valued and included and are engaging more with the school. These key relationships need to be further strengthened.

Building leadership and teacher capability to improve student outcomes.

The new principal has been extremely focused on developing new systems and processes to meet the needs of all students. Assessment practices have been reviewed and there are clear systems to administer assessments, and to track and monitor progress. These systems have yet to be fully embedded or evaluated. There is no accurate historical data that allows for the ongoing analysis of trends and patterns of student achievement. In Term 4 2019, the school sourced external expertise to work alongside teachers to assess achievement levels. Professional learning and development (PLD) has been identified to further strengthen leaders’ and teachers’ capability to manage and use student achievement information effectively.

In recent years the reporting of student achievement and progress has been inconsistent. The new principal has made progress with parents receiving one end of year report in 2019. A new reporting process has been put in place for 2020. The school will need to evaluate how effective the reporting process is for students and whānau.

Teachers must formalise their planning to make sure they are clearly identifying and responding to needs of target students. This will allow for consistent tracking and monitoring of student progress and achievement.

The school is in the process of defining and formalising their localised curriculum. A great deal of thought and research has gone into developing Upokoheretanga. However this now needs to be shared and agreed upon by the community before it is implemented.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Since Term 2019, there has been significant progress made in many of the areas identified for development. However, a large number of these have yet to be fully embedded or evaluated. As a result the school is unable to show how effective they have been in improving student outcomes.

There is evidence that the governance and leadership of the school have made a number of improvements to school operations. These have yet to be fully implemented and evaluated.

Key next steps

In order to sustain improved student achievement, the school needs to:

  • regularly review school policies and procedures, and address areas of non-compliance identified in this report
  • further develop systems to collate, analyse and report student achievement information
  • plan more effectively for targeted students
  • implement the localised curriculum
  • embed new policies, procedures, systems and practices
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the changes against the annual plan.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to annual reporting, consulting with parents, aspects of health and safety and principal appraisal.

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

  • ensure the annual report is consistent with the legislative requirements
    [Section 87(2)(e) Education Act 1989]
  • complete consultation with the community regarding the delivery of its health curriculum every two years
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]
  • receive reports assuring the Board of Trustees of Health and Safety requirements
    [NAG 5]
  • ratify the child protection policy
    [Children’s Act 2014]
  • make policies available to the community
    [NAG 5]
  • complete principal appraisal process
    [NZ Ed Gazette: Primary Principal Collective Employment Agreement]
  • inform the community about the school donation scheme.
    [Sections 79A and 79B Education (School Donations) Amendment Act 2019]

4 Recommendation

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

ERO recommends the continuing support from the Ministry of Education senior advisor.

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Kutarere 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

3 July 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.