Milson School - 30/10/2017


Milson School for students in Years 1 to 6, is located in the east sector of Palmerston North. Of the 383 students enrolled, 143 identify as Māori and 13 are of Pacific heritage.

Since the September 2014 ERO report, Milson School has experienced significant changes in leadership and staff. A new deputy principal was appointed in 2017 and there is an acting principal. Experienced and newly elected members make up the board of trustees.

Teachers are regularly involved in a range of professional learning and development to promote positive learner outcomes. The current schoolwide focus is mathematics. This follows an emphasis on literacy since the previous ERO review.

The school’s PRIDE values - Positivity and Participation, Respect and Responsibility, Integrity and Individuality, Determination, Empathy and Excellence - are highly visible throughout the school.

Milson School has a formal agreement with Tanenuairangi Mānawātu Incorporated, to work collaboratively in a respectful relationship to enhance education pathways through culturally responsive teaching and learning.

The school is part of the Palmerston North East Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako and is open to the opportunities provided through membership of this group.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school needs and continues to strengthen its response to those children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The school has yet to sustain an upward trajectory of improved achievement for all learnersData for 2016, indicated that most children achieved at and above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school has a significant number of learners to get to expectations..

Student engagement and learning are supported by well-promoted school values and respectful, reciprocal relationships between children, whānau, teachers and leaders. To meet children’s diverse needs, leaders and teachers purposefully involve whānau and community agencies. Enhanced cultural responsiveness has been nurtured through a partnership with Rangitāne iwi.

Leaders provide a range of professional learning opportunities for staff to support change and improvement. They recognise urgency is required to strengthen processes that address whole-school achievement disparities. A sharpened focus on children whose learning needs acceleration and internal evaluation to improve student outcomes should support this.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Leaders and staff need and continue to strengthen responses to those children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Data for 2016, indicates many learners achieved at and above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. However, the school has yet to get a significant number of children, across the school, to achieve to these expectations. The achievement of Māori learners as a group is slightly below that of New Zealand Pākehā. The most significant disparity is that of boys, who achieve well below girls in reading and writing and at a lower level in mathematics.

Teachers know students well and use a range of assessment tools to identify, respond to and monitor individual learning needs.Good systems are in place to ensure dependable teacher judgements about achievement in writing. The school has identified the need to strengthen moderation practices in reading and mathematics.

Students with additional needs are identified, and well-considered programmes of support are put in place for them. Their progress is monitored and reported appropriately to trustees and whānau.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School trustees, leaders and teachers have a strong focus on the wellbeing of children, particularly those at risk of poor learning outcomes. Children learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning environments.Opportunities are provided for them to be actively involved in leading and contributing to aspects of school life thatpromote a strong sense of belonging to the school.

Teachers work collaboratively to respond to the diverse needs of children at risk of not achieving. There is an appropriate emphasis on literacy and numeracy. Recent curriculum review in literacyhas resulted in the establishing of shared, key practices to guide teaching and learning.

The school is taking a strategic approach to enhancing meaningful learning partnerships with families and whānau to support improved outcomes for childrenEffective practices are in place to support children’s transitions to and through school, including those learners with additional needs..

Te ao Māori is respected and valued. A considered approach to promoting Māori language, culture and identity has been taken, using internal and external expertise. Positive impact on Māori children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing is evident.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

equity and excellence of outcomes for all students.Trustees and leaders recognise the need to strengthen their understanding of, and sharpen the focus on, accelerating students’ progress to have

Trustees receive a range of useful information that they use to make decisions about priorities and resourcing for students who require extra assistance. Focusing school targets on accelerating those learners at risk of not achieving is needed. Systematic internal evaluation requires development to more effectively and formally measure the impact and effectiveness of teaching programmes, initiatives and resourcing on student outcomes.

Leaders are improvement focused. They provide a range of purposeful professional learning opportunities to increase teacher capability and support learner success. A sound appraisal process provides opportunities for teachers to inquire into the impact of their teaching on student outcomes. Teachers’ inquiries should centre on effective practices that meet the needs of targeted learners. The progress of these children needs to be regularly tracked, monitored and reported.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for boys and Māori remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop in response to a request by the school.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

30 October 2017

About the school


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 - 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 37%

Pākehā 52%

Pacific 3%

Other ethnic groups 8%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

30 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014

Education Review July 2011

Education Review June 2008