Mt Somers Springburn School - 30/06/2017


Mt Somers Springburn School has a roll of 90 children. The new principal commenced at the school in 2017. There is also a new board chair and two new board members.

Since the last ERO review, the school has made progress towards addressing some areas for improvement identified in the 2014 report. However:

  • curriculum guidelines, including the integration of bicultural perspectives, have not been updated
  • internal evaluation processes have not been developed
  • appraisal requirements for all staff have not been met.

School-wide achievement information shows a positive trend over time, with the majority of children achieving at or above the National Standards in literacy and mathematics.

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

The school is aware that achieving equitable outcomes for children whose learning is most at risk of poor educational outcomes is a priority. The board, school leaders and teachers need to ensure that school systems, programmes and practices are meeting the learning needs of these children.

Consistent and sustainable systems are required across school operations.

ERO’s next external evaluation of the school is likely to be in three years.

Equity and excellence

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

Although most children are achieving well, the learning of some groups of children needs to be accelerated. Systems and practices to accelerate learning need to be developed to improve outcomes for these groups of learners.

Children benefit from a broad curriculum. Staff have a strong collaborative approach to the pastoral care and wellbeing of children.

Current assessment procedures are not sufficiently consistent to give assurance that overall teachers’ judgements against the National Standards are consistent across the school. Continuing to develop effective moderation practices is likely to enhance the rigour of these decisions. 

Effective engagement with the Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning (CoL) has resulted in an innovative joint agreement that has begun to address identified needs around the high level of transience across the schools.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a number of effective processes that are helping to promote equity and excellence.

Children benefit from strong pastoral care and positive, respectful relationships. The board, leaders and teachers foster a home-like environment across the school.

Parents are very supportive of the school. Leaders and teachers use a range of ways to communicate with parents and involve them in their children’s learning. There are thoughtful, child-centred transition-to-school procedures and information in place.

The board and principal have useful strategic goals in place to promote positive outcomes for all children. Trustees work with an external consultant to access stewardship training.

The board and school leaders have taken a strategic approach to engagement with the community. Board and Home and School objectives are now closely aligned.

Children are effectively empowered to take active roles in decision making. They feel they belong and are valued.

Teachers have been involved in targeted professional development in writing and mathematics.

The school is committed to working with a group of schools as a Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school currently needs to develop some systems and processes that are essential to achieve equity and excellence for all learners.

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to improve the use of internal evaluation in order to ensure ongoing improvements across school operations.

The school should develop clear and consistent systems to monitor progress over time, particularly for those children whose learning needs acceleration.

An appraisal system must be implemented that meets Education Council requirements.

The school also needs to:

  • update and further develop the curriculum, including the embedding of bicultural perspectives
  • develop and extend the leadership capability of staff to ensure sustainability of systems, practices and positive outcomes for children.

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
  • 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.

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • appraisal.

To meet requirements trustees must:

  • ensure the professional leaders of the school appraise staff in teaching positions based on the Practising Teacher Criteria established and maintained by the Education Council for the issue and renewal of practising certificates.
    [Section 31, Education Act 1989]

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 children. However, disparity in achievement for some children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child

  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement.

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

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 will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

30 June 2017 

About the school 


Mid Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53; Girls 37

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 80
Māori 2
Pacifica 2
Other ethnicities 6

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February and March 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review February 2014
Education Review December 2010