Paeroa College - 23/01/2020

School Context

Paeroa College is a co-educational secondary school catering for students in Years 9 to 13. The current roll of 239 includes 100 students who identify as Māori, most of whom whakapapa to Ngāti Hako, Ngāti Tara Tokanui or Ngāti Tamaterā. At the time of this ERO review two international students attended the school.

A new principal was appointed in 2019 and a new senior leadership team has been established with the appointment of two deputy principals from within the current staff. A number of new teaching staff have been appointed since the previous ERO review in 2015.

Leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning in relational, restorative, inclusive and culturally responsive practices and literacy.

The school’s vision is to ‘excel as a courageous, innovative and can-do community.’ The school motto, ‘Mahi tahi kia kaha,’ reflects the belief that hard work and collective effort will benefit everyone. The college aspires to ‘excellence in everything.’

The strategic aims for 2019 include:

  • developing learners who have courage, experience, passion and skill to engage in a pathway they can excel in
  • serving, building and maintaining positive reciprocal relationships with the community
  • teachers who will collaborate and innovate around a curriculum that focuses on the learners and what they need to succeed.

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

  • National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in Years 9 and 10
  • Year 9 and 10 school-based achievement certificate
  • attendance
  • student wellbeing
  • learner pathway information
  • achievement information for learners with additional needs.

The school is a member of the Ohinemuri Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

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 is working towards equitable outcomes for all students.

Achievement information shows that overall results have improved significantly since the 2015 ERO report.

Enrolment-based achievement data in 2018 shows that most students achieved at NCEA Levels 1 and 2, however less than half of the students achieved at NCEA Level 3. Females outperformed males in Level 1, however males did considerably better at Level 2 and 3. Enrolment-based data since 2016 shows that approximately 20% of students achieve University Entrance. University Entrance results were similar for male and female.

The school provided detailed destination data showing that almost all students who left the school were either in employment, training or tertiary study. Data shows most students, including Māori, stay at school until Year 13. Almost all students achieved Level 1 literacy and numeracy. This was a significant improvement when compared to 2015.

Approximately one third of students achieved merit or excellence endorsements in Level 1 and a small number earned endorsements at Level 2 and 3.

Achievement information for 2018 shows some disparity between Māori and their Pākehā peers in NCEA level 1, 2 and 3. In previous years the pattern of disparity has varied. There was no disparity at Level 2 in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Māori outperformed Pākehā at Level 3.

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

The school is effectively accelerating the learning for many students who need it.

The school was able to show effective acceleration for students who need it in literacy and mathematics for the majority of Year 9 and 10 students, including Māori. The data showed significant acceleration for Pākehā students.

The school’s achievement data from 2015 to 2018 shows that of the small number of at-risk students who began Paeroa College in Year 9 and remained until the end of year 12, all made accelerated progress to achieve a minimum of NCEA Level 2.

Students with additional learning or health needs are closely monitored and are meeting their individual goals.

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?

Leadership has a clear focus on positive relationships, student achievement and wellbeing. The new principal has prioritised building relationships for a collaborative approach to school leadership. There is a strategic focus on building capability through professional support to develop the complementary skills of the new leadership team.

Systems and processes for identifying and tracking the progress of all learners, including those at-risk are well developed. These systems are supporting a strong schoolwide, learner-centred approach, focused on equity. Professional capability and capacity building are a high priority and teachers are being supported through inquiry to grow their practice with a focus on the most at-risk learners. Leaders promote and actively support tikanga practices as part of the school culture. These practices support a sense of belonging for Māori. The supportive board bring a range of relevant experience to governance. They work strategically and collaboratively with the principal and leaders to realise the school goals.

Students experience a broad and responsive curriculum. There are multiple pathways designed to meet the needs of all students. Each student has a personalised programme of learning in the senior school and junior students experience a mix of integrated and subject specific learning. The interests and passions of students are part of the programme planning. Māori perspectives are woven into teaching plans. Specialist programmes have been developed to respond to individual needs and these are supporting identified groups of students to achieve.

There is a consistent approach to lesson structure and delivery. Lessons are designed to meet student’s needs through grouping, individual support and curriculum differentiation. Students track and monitor their own progress, understand their strengths and can identify their next steps with the support of teachers.

Students learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive environment. Every student is well known and respectful positive relationships between teachers and students were observed. Students with additional needs are individually catered for. There are strong transitions through and out of the school. Recently reviewed transition processes into the school are supporting teachers to know their students well prior to their arrival at college.

Partnerships with parents and whānau are supporting learning and achievement. They are engaged in regular learning-focused discussions about their child’s progress and achievement. The range of options and pathways available to their child is well understood. They value that their child is known and that their progress is closely tracked and monitored. Both parents and whānau acknowledge and value the place of Māori in the school community. Parents with children who have additional needs feel very well supported.

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

Further development of school practices and processes include the need to:

  • consolidate and embed a shared vision for the school amongst the new leadership team and staff to ensure a consistent approach to improving learner outcomes
  • further refine and implement the planned curriculum delivery changes for the junior school
  • implement the professional learning focused on relational, restorative and culturally responsive practices
  • refine charter targets to focus on reducing disparity and accelerating the progress of students who need it.

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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school.

The school provides a good level of individualised care for the small number of international students. Students are well integrated into school and are involved in activities in the community. There are good systems to monitor student progress and wellbeing. Leaders should continue to refine policies to strengthen operations to support international students.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Paeroa College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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:

  • a relational and collaborative approach to leadership that enables school improvement
  • a broad curriculum that engages students in their learning
  • a school culture that is supportive and inclusive of all
  • parent and whānau engagement with the school that supports learning.

Next steps

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

  • embedding a shared vision to provide an aligned approach to school improvement
  • accessing relevant teacher professional learning, including culturally responsive practices, to support teachers to implement the school’s vision and values
  • embedding the junior school curriculum to support a responsive approach to teaching and learning.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review policies and procedures in relation to the emergency procedures, education outside the classroom and the prevention of bullying.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

23 January 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9-13)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 50% Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 42%

NZ European/Pākehā 54%

Other ethnicities 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

23 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2015

Education Review August 2012

Education Review August 2009