Ngunguru School - 18/06/2014

1 Background and Context

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

Ngunguru School is located close to a beach on the Tutukaka coast. It caters for students from Years 1 to 8. Students have frequent valuable opportunities to learn about the local coastal environment.

The school has experienced difficulties in the recent past. In 2012 ERO reported concerns about school governance, leadership, and the quality of self review. ERO also noted a breakdown in the relationship between the school and a section of the school/parent community. Because of these concerns, ERO decided to continue to monitor the school’s progress through a longitudinal review process.

In May 2012, the board requested support from the Ministry of Education (MoE) to help it improve community confidence in the school. A Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) was appointed. He helped the board review and develop its governance systems and strengthen its communication processes. The LSM continued to support the new board of trustees, which was elected in 2013. By December 2013, the board's capacity to govern the school effectively had improved sufficiently for the MoE to withdraw the LSM.

During 2013 the board, in consultation with Ngāti Wai and local whānau, set up Ngā Pii Manu, a bilingual class for Māori students in Years 1 to 4. The board employed an experienced teacher and teacher aide for the class. Both are fluent speakers of Māori. This class is still at an early stage of its development. ERO and the board agree that it will be necessary for clear protocols to be established for working in partnership with Ngā Pii Manu whānau. At a broader level, it is important to build a shared understanding of the valued place that Māori students and their whānau have across the school.

Since June 2012, ERO has worked with the school to evaluate the school’s progress. This report summarises ERO’s findings.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Following the 2012 ERO report, the board and ERO developed three overarching goals to improve the school. These were to:

  • improve community engagement in the school through better communication
  • strengthen the school’s educational leadership, governance and management
  • establish and implement effective school self review.

Progress

Trustees, leaders and teachers have worked collaboratively and have made positive progress in relation to the three identified goals.

Community confidence in the school has improved and a good level of parent and community engagement is evident. The board has improved systems for communicating and consulting with the community. Plans to extend board representation for Māori whānau are likely to contribute to wider engagement of whānau with the school.

Prior to the 2012 ERO review, school leaders had organised for external facilitators to begin supporting school leaders and teachers to improve the teaching of literacy, and to strengthen selfreview processes. This work has had a positive impact on staff and the school's professional learning culture. Teachers frequently reflect on and discuss their practice and are sharing and learning from educational research. As a result, literacy teaching and learning has improved across the school. In 2014 teachers plan to use a similar approach to enhance student learning in mathematics.

The literacy initiative has helped teachers to better address students’ literacy learning needs. Teachers are increasingly involving students in assessing their own progress. Leaders and teachers have strengthened their analysis and use of achievement data to promote student learning. As a result, programmes are better targeted to accelerate the progress of students who are at risk of not achieving. Teachers are using data to more clearly identify the impact their teaching is having on students’ learning.

School self-review processes have been strengthened and self review is evident at all levels of school operations. The board now more systematically reviews its policies. The school’s framework for self review is more coherent and is supported by the reflective approach that teachers are taking to professional learning. The views of staff, trustees, parents and students are included as part of self review. Improved self review has helped trustees and leaders to confirm the school’s strengths and identify relevant priorities for development.

Aligning self review more directly to strategic planning is an important next step. Clearer alignment would help to ensure the board is up to date and better informed about the progress it is making towards achieving its charter, strategic and annual goals.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The board, principal and staff are in a position to continue to improve the school’s performance. Their work with the LSM and professional development facilitators has helped them increase their capability.

The board and school leaders are committed to continue improving the governance and management of the school and the quality of teaching. Trustees and staff have a greater appreciation of the value of deliberate inquiry into how effectively new initiatives and practices are improving learning outcomes for students.

Trustees have benefited from LSM support and other board training. They are now more strategic and knowledgeable about their governance roles. Regular processes for communication, consultation and networking are assisting trustees, leaders and teachers to gain insight into community perspectives and better gauge parent opinion about the operation of the school.

A distributive approach to leadership and professional learning is helping teachers to sustain and build on curriculum improvements. Teachers have responded positively to professional learning and development and have increased their understanding of effective teaching and learning practices. Capable curriculum leaders and better appraisal processes are supporting teachers to improve students’ learning experiences and outcomes. In order to continue growing the educational leadership of the principal and senior managers, ERO recommends that the board continue using external input into the performance appraisal of the principal and senior leadership team.

Key areas for further development

ERO endorses the school’s identified priorities for development. These include:

  • further promoting students’ self efficacy by helping them to understand strategies for learning
  • continuing to build an inclusive, open school culture that seeks and welcomes the community's perspectives and reflections on school practices, initiatives and developments
  • involving the parent community, including Māori whānau, in the board’s 2014 review of the school charter
  • implementing the action plan the board has developed to support the ongoing development of Ngā Pii Manu.

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.

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the board seek Ministry of Education advice to help trustees establish protocols and build collaboration between whānau of Ngā Pii Manu, the board and the school.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

18 June 2014

About the School

Location

Ngunguru

Ministry of Education profile number

1056

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

218

Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Australian

Pacific

other European

other

28%

63%

2%

2%

1%

4%

Special Features

Ngā Pii Manu bilingual class

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

18 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2012

June 2010

May 2007