Matipo Road School - 03/04/2020

School Context

Matipo Road School is on Auckland’s Te Atatū Peninsula and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Of the 531 students currently enrolled, 12 percent are Māori and nine percent have Pacific heritage.

Since the 2016 ERO evaluation, the board appointed a new principal in 2017. The principal established a new senior leadership team. Throughout 2017, the principal and leadership team led multiple changes to address historical issues and improve the quality of student learning.

Concerns arose regarding the pace of change for improvement, high staff turnover and the loss of community confidence in the school. In September 2018, the board of trustees resigned, and the Ministry of Education (MoE) appointed a Commissioner to govern the school. The principal resigned at the end of April 2020. An interim principal has been appointed.

The school’s strategic goals focus on:

  • student achievement and accelerated learning progress for all students
  • building leadership and teaching capability
  • enriching and broadening the curriculum.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • student engagement in their learning and school activities
  • progress in relation to the school’s strategic goals.

The school is a member of the Te Atatū Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL).

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 has more work to do to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

During the review, ERO and senior leaders discussed the school’s 2018 to 2019 achievement data. These data indicate that overall, students made good progress in mathematics, particularly boys. Pacific students made good progress in mathematics.

School data for 2019 indicate that most students achieved national curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics. The majority of students achieved in writing. At the end of 2017 the school collected baseline data in mathematics and reading data for Years 3 to 6 students. This data was reported to the board and community.

Māori learners’ achievement in reading and mathematics has improved. However, a decrease in Māori writing achievement is evident.

Some school systems have been reviewed and strategies introduced to support and improve outcomes for students with additional learning needs.

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

School information includes some examples of accelerated progress for learners, as a result of targeted teaching. Senior leaders acknowledge that they are in a phase of developing strategies and practices to support accelerated learning.

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?

Leaders have a strong commitment to building teachers’ professional capability and collective capacity. They have used both internal and external expertise to strengthen evidence-based teaching practices. This includes the analysis and use of achievement information. In addition, teachers have been building their capability to critique their own teaching practice and to evaluate its impact on students’ learning outcomes.

There has been a deliberate strategy to broaden and enrich learning opportunities for students. The curriculum is becoming more responsive to students’ strengths, interests and needs. Positive curriculum developments and initiatives include:

  • the establishment of Te Puawaitanga o te Wairua, two classes for Years 3 to 6 students
  • a ‘Garden to Table’ programme, discovery time, learning through play and an enrichment programme for Years 3 to 6 students
  • increased opportunities for education outside the classroom.

The principal developed a strategic approach to implement these initiatives. The school’s strategic plan provides a clear direction for the senior leadership team to guide developments and build teacher capability to improve teaching and learning.

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

Continued development of leadership and teaching capability is needed to consolidate initiatives that focus on improving outcomes for all learners.

Further professional learning would help leaders and teachers continue developing strategies that result in accelerated learning for students who are at risk of not achieving. For instance, professional learning would help to build their capability to:

  • plan, teach and assess student learning at relevant levels of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • collaboratively analyse and use student achievement information
  • build learning partnerships with parents of children who are at risk of not achieving
  • continue improving processes to support children with additional learning needs.

Leaders’ development priority areas include further:

  • strengthening internal evaluation capacity to support purposeful data gathering, knowledge building and decision making
  • developing a local curriculum that is responsive to students’ interests, strengths and needs.

The commissioner, leaders and teachers should consult with the school community and whānau Māori to gather their aspirations and to collaboratively develop a vision and strategy for Te Puawaitanga o te Wairua.

Governance and management matters that require urgent attention include the rebuilding of relational trust at all levels of the school community. This work would entail keeping all stakeholders informed about school matters and clarity around the management of staff and community concerns or complaints.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. It has sound systems and practices to ensure quality education and pastoral care for international students.

4 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the school was asked to complete the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. These documents were completed after the onsite review. In these documents the LSM and interim principal 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.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Matipo Road 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.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leaders’ and teachers’ commitment to building their professional capability and collective capacity for school improvement
  • an increasingly broad and responsive curriculum
  • a strategic and distributed leadership approach to implementing initiatives.

Next steps

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

  • rebuilding community confidence
  • strengthening communication to inform all stakeholders about school matters
  • developing the vision and strategic plan for Te Puawaitanga o te Wairua
  • continuing to develop a local responsive curriculum
  • building leaders’ and teachers’ capability to accelerate student learning and improve outcomes for all learners
  • strengthening internal evaluation to review the effectiveness of leadership and teaching practices, and curriculum initiatives.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to board administration, health, safety and welfare, and personnel management. In order to address this the board must:

  • review all health and safety policies, procedures and practices to ensure they comply with all legal requirements

  • review personnel policies and procedures to ensure they meet legal requirements and good employer obligations.

National Administration Guidelines 3, 5.

Area for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the commissioner and interim principal should develop a coherent policy framework and establish a system for regularly reviewing the alignment of policies with legal requirements and practice.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education continue the intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to appoint a permanent principal and support the establishment of a new board of trustees. It is critical that this intervention facilitates improvements in:

  • rebuilding community relationships
  • governance and management effectiveness
  • teacher capability to implement a responsive curriculum.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

3 April 2020

About the school


Te Atatū North, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Year 1-6

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%
NZ European/Pākehā 64%
Samoan 5%
other Pacific 4%
other ethnic groups 15%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

3 April 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016
Education Review September 2011
Education Review August 2008