Papatawa School - 25/06/2018

School Context

Papatawa School, located in rural Woodville, has 28 students in Years 1 to 8. Of the learners enrolled, 11 identify as Māori. Since the May 2015 ERO report, the roll has decreased.

The school’s stated R.E.A.C.H. values are respect, excellence, attitude, caring and honesty. These support the focus on the pastoral care of students.

The school’s strategic aim is for every student to be fully engaged in a varied and relevant curriculum that prepares them as life-long learners. Achievement targets are set for groups of children in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

In 2017, a new principal and principal release teacher were appointed.

The school belongs to the Tararua 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’s reported achievement data, since 2015, indicates that the majority of students achieve at or above the school’s expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Data provided by the school shows there is growing disparity for boys and Māori in reading and writing.

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

The school does not report acceleration of learning for students. Māori students are identified, however their progress is not well known.

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?

Staff have programmes that are designed to positively impact on students’ wellbeing and learning. Positive classroom tone is evident. Reading, writing and mathematics are appropriately the school’s priority learning areas.

Leaders and teachers recognise the importance of student and community voice to inform decision making.

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

Managing ongoing improvement and change in a systematic and strategic way has not been sustained since the May 2015 ERO report.

Student progress and achievement needs to be the focus of: the board in their stewardship role; the principal in her leadership capacity; and staff in their teaching roles. It is essential that careful selection and use of assessment tools, robust moderation and ongoing monitoring of all students’ progress and achievement are implemented to accelerate outcomes for learners. Ensuring reliability of assessment data is a key and needed development.

Review of the school’s documented curriculum should be undertaken as soon as possible so that it is in line with The New Zealand Curriculum and informs teaching and learning. Contexts for learning should intentionally support a bicultural curriculum and deliberately encourage Māori learners as Māori.

A useful and robust process to support the school leader’s and teachers’ professional growth and ongoing learning is not in place. Trustees, leaders and staff should seek assistance to understand the importance of appraisal in developing high quality teaching practice and how to go about this process. An appraisal system that is appropriate and meets legislative requirements needs to be established and used.

Further developing a shared understanding and use of internal evaluation is essential to enable trustees and staff to determine the effectiveness of teaching practices, learning interventions and school operation on student outcomes.

3 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.

Appraisal audit

Teachers have not been regularly appraised in recent years, as required by the Education Council.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to policy and procedure development. Many key policies are not developed or out of date.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. develop a local curriculum to guide teaching practice and include second language learning and career education for Years 7 and 8 [National Administration Guideline 1]

  2. develop a policy and procedures related to police vetting [Part 3 Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014]

  3. in consultation with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students
    [National Administration Guideline 1e]

  4. review procedures related to board minutes to ensure private matters are recorded in-committee rather than in the public domain
    [Section 48, Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987]

  5. ensure teachers and the principal are appraised and the board receives reports at least once a year to confirm the procedures are being implemented. [Part 31 Education Act 1989]

The school is updating its internet safety policy.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • an appropriate focus on reading, writing and mathematics that supports students’ learning.

Next steps

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

  • establishing reliable assessment information and improving outcomes for students to achieve equity for all groups in the school and raise levels of achievement overall
  • developing a local curriculum to guide teaching practice and to support all students
  • rigorous implementation of an appraisal system to support teachers’ professional growth and ongoing learning
  • building effective internal evaluation to know the impact of initiatives in improving equity and excellence for all learners, and to inform decision making
  • ensuring that trustees are appropriately trained and informed about their stewardship role to build their capability.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvement in relation to the next steps identified in this report.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

25 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 20, Female 8

Ethnic composition

Māori 11

Pākehā 16

Other ethnic groups 1

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

25 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review August 2013
Education Review August 2010