Maraenui Bilingual School (Napier) - 31/08/2017


The August 2014 ERO report identified many areas requiring development. Since that time, the new principal, teachers and trustees have successfully focused on improving school conditions in governance, leadership, and teaching and learning. Student engagement and achievement is improving. Continuing to develop evaluation and capability to accelerate learning for all children are key next steps.

1 Background and Context

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

Maraenui Bilingual School is a Years 1 to 8 primary school located in Napier. There are two educational streams within the school: rumaki (Māori immersion); and bilingual. Both streams operate as one with Maraenui Marau-ā-Kura, the document that guides school direction. Of the 200 students enrolled, nearly all are Māori, with most affiliated to Ngāti Kahungunu.

The August 2014 ERO report noted that Maraenui Bilingual School needed to improve governance, professional leadership and teaching practices to raise low levels of student achievement, particularly in the bilingual area of the school.

Following the retirement of the long-serving principal early in 2015, a temporary staffing principal was appointed for two terms. A permanent principal has been in place since mid-2015. There have been further staffing changes and a reorganisation of senior leadership since this time.

A Limited Statutory Manager (LSM), appointed in October 2014, has had a significant impact on improving practices of the board of trustees and professional leadership. The LSM role currently remains in place.

A variety of external professional learning providers have given assistance in literacy and pāngarau. The school has participated in the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme as a vehicle for shared understanding and improved practice schoolwide.

Maraenui Bilingual School is a member of the Matariki Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako. 

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The August 2014 ERO report identified the need to:

  • develop and implement consistently high quality teaching practices to improve student achievement
  • improve assessment practices to enable more reliable and valid judgements about student progress and achievement to be made
  • further develop the curriculum to provide a more useful framework for teaching and learning
  • embed practices for systematic review and evaluation of programmes and initiatives
  • provide the board of trustees with more regular and useful student achievement reports
  • improve professional leadership and governance practices focused on accelerating student achievement.


Maraenui Bilingual School has two educational streams, rumaki Māori and bilingual. Students are socially supported within a culture of well-embedded values and learn through their language, culture and identity.

In the bilingual area of the school, student achievement in reading and writing has significantly improved since 2014. In 2016, 57% of students in reading and 62% of students in writing achieved at or above in relation to National Standards. Mathematics achievement remains of significant concern with 37% of learners at or above the standard. Boys’ achievement is significantly below that of girls in literacy.

There has been a steady increase in student achievement in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori (Ngā Whanaketanga) in pāngarau and tuhituhi. Rumaki student achievement still exceeds that of bilingual students.

National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga judgements are increasingly dependable. Teachers have benefitted from professional learning and development in assessment practice. Sound moderation processes are now in place across both areas of the school.

Leaders have good knowledge about the achievement of individual students and keep detailed and accurate progress records. These are not yet sufficiently used to determine the numbers of students whose progress is accelerated or to evaluate the success of strategies used in target setting. It is unclear how many students in 2016 made accelerated progress and what shifts in teacher practice may have facilitated this.

Building a shared understanding of positive behaviour expectations and associated strategies was a focus in 2016 that continues into 2017. Links to the school's vision and values are clear and the initiative is supporting a consistent approach to promoting student wellbeing. ERO’s observations in classrooms evidenced settled rooms and engaged students. 

Curriculum development and documentation has been a key focus for 2016 and has included parent and iwi aspirations. Teachers across the two areas of the school have developed a shared guiding document for teaching and learning. This reflects: the vision and values; outlines how the school curriculum links Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and The New Zealand Curriculum; and includes the expectations for teaching and assessment practice. The development of a digital learning strategy is a priority for the future.

Some classrooms provide good models for student agency and formative assessment practice. A focus on providing students with authentic learning experiences that link to their Māori language and culture is a key priority in all classrooms.

Leaders and the board have focused on strengthening the connections between rumaki and bilingual classes. Redeveloped leadership systems and practices emphasise joint curriculum planning and sharing of practice.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has strengthened its capacity to sustain and improve its performance.

Systems and practices for monitoring and evaluating the success of actions taken to accelerate learners’ progress need further development. Better alignment of target setting, board reporting, appraisal and teacher inquiry should support increased accountability and urgency in raising achievement.

Trustees continue to improve their understanding of their roles and responsibilities as governors. They appreciate the support and guidance of the LSM and have taken up opportunities for professional training. Stronger systems and practices for strategic planning and operation are in place. Self-review practice is emerging.

The board is receiving some frank and useful reports about school operation and student achievement. The quality of reporting from leaders is not yet at an appropriately robust or evaluative level.

Performance management for teachers and the principal has been strengthened. Development goals are suitably aligned to the school priority for increased student engagement. However, teacher inquiry is at an early stage of implementation and usefulness. It is not yet sufficiently focused on the impacts of teacher practice on the accelerated progress of students. Appraisal of teacher practice is affirming of strengths. A greater level of constructive feedback is needed to better support teacher development.

The principal’s current goals include full curriculum implementation and reporting more evaluative information to the board. These are appropriate.

The school has developed more stable and united leadership across the school since 2016. Current leaders are collaborative and committed to improvement. Plans are in place to strengthen schoolwide and strategic leadership further, through a programme of external professional learning and development. ERO’s evaluation affirms this as a priority.

Internal evaluation and inquiry for knowledge building is in the early stage of development.

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.

The following area of non-compliance was found.

The board must:

  • provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and above. [National Administration Guideline 1(f)]


The August 2014 ERO report identified many areas requiring development. Since that time, the new principal, teachers and trustees have successfully focused on improving school conditions in governance, leadership, and teaching and learning. Student engagement and achievement is improving. Continuing to develop evaluation and capability to accelerate learning for all children are key next steps. 

4 Recommendations

The school is developing capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. To further promote student outcomes teachers and leaders need to:

  • continue to build teacher capability to accelerate learning and achievement
  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress to ensure strategies are effectively supporting improved outcomes
  • continue to improve school conditions that support the acceleration of learning and achievement.

Since the onsite phase of this ERO review, the school developed more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners.

The school has agreed to:

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

31 August 2017

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition



Special Features

5 Māori Immersion/Rumaki classes 4 Bilingual classes

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

31 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2014
May 2011
February 2008