Papatoetoe High School - 27/09/2018

School Context

Papatoetoe High School is a co-educational school catering for students in Years 9 to 13. Sixteen percent of students are Māori and 28 percent have Pacific heritages. Indian students comprise 37 percent of the roll. The Richards Centre for physically disabled students is an integral part of the school.

The school’s aim is for all students to become fully participating members of the community through living the values of the school. Three behavioural expectations to ‘be respectful, responsible and a learner’, are at the heart of the school’s culture of ‘Whaitake’.

The annual goals for improving student learning outcomes identified in the school’s strategic plan are to:

  • improve student achievement for identified target groups

  • promote student and staff welfare and support

  • promote the highest levels of staff performance and accountability.

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

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework

  • progress and achievement across learning areas in relation to the levels of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)

  • accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics for Years 9 and 10, and for Māori and Pacific students

  • progress and achievement in relation to school literacy and numeracy targets across learning areas.

Since the 2015 ERO review, a new principal and two new senior leaders have been appointed.

The school is part of the Papatoetoe 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?

Papatoetoe High School is making good progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Data over the last three years show a continued increase in achievement levels for students in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) across Levels 1 and 2. Māori and Pacific students have made significant progress at Levels 1 and 2 and boys at Level 1.

Achievement levels at NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance have remained relatively static. However, many students in Years 12 and 13 are gaining meaningful qualifications through a wide range of vocational pathways. Leavers’ data show that approximately 80 percent of students leave school with a Level 2 or higher qualification.

Year 9 students have their literacy and mathematics knowledge and skills tested on entry, and progress tracked and monitored across Years 9 and 10. Most students make good progress in literacy and numeracy as a result of the schoolwide focus on these skills.

Learners achieve very well across the school’s broader valued outcomes. Students show a strong sense of belonging and contribute to the wider life of the school through sports, cultural activities, leadership and service.

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

The school is effective in responding to many students whose learning progress needs to be accelerated.

A range of robust and transparent processes ensures early identification of students’ needs, appropriate interventions, and ongoing monitoring and reporting. This is supported by effective use of data and a sense of collective responsibility for lifting the achievement of students whose learning is at risk.

School data show that target students make accelerated progress in literacy and mathematics in Years 9 and 10. This enables them to access the curriculum at NCEA Level 1.

The school has a range of effective and responsive initiatives aimed at improving learning outcomes for Māori and Pacific students. Early identification, consistent tracking and monitoring, and academic mentoring of identified students are key components of these responses and initiatives. There is an expectation that all teacher inquiries are focused on improving outcomes for target learners. Highly organised reporting practices ensure ongoing scrutiny of target students’ progress.

Leaders and teachers work closely with students, whānau and a diverse range of agencies to ensure learning needs are met and outcomes maximised. The school works with external providers to design relevant learning programmes for students. School information shows that students are staying longer at school and are transitioning to meaningful career training and employment.

Learning support is very effectively coordinated and personalised. Students with additional learning needs are very well supported to progress and achieve their personal 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?

The broad curriculum is responsive to students’ needs and aspirations and reflects the community within which they live. Students have opportunities to develop skills and understandings across a range of relevant, local teaching and learning contexts.

Leaders and teachers have a strong, well supported commitment to, and understanding of, culturally responsive practices. This embedded schoolwide focus ensures that students and their families feel welcomed and valued, and that their culture and strengths are not only recognised, but reflected in programmes and practices.

Middle leaders are playing a key role in maintaining the focus on student learning and acceleration. This has required them to provide more frequent reports regarding student progress. They acknowledge this effort has given them a more holistic picture of students’ progress overall, and as a result they are able to provide more timely support for students.

Students are well supported in their learning and wellbeing by an extensive pastoral care system. Leaders and staff access a wide range of outside agencies and programmes to support students to achieve positive learning and wellbeing outcomes. Staff as a whole take collective responsibility for student outcomes.

Students at Papatoetoe High School are encouraged to have a sense of ownership of their learning and their school. Their opinions are sought and acted on. Respectful relationships between staff and students underpin the culture of the school. There is an emphasis on ako, on everyone being learners together and valuing learning. Students are encouraged and supported to take leadership opportunities and to be involved in school activities such as sport, music, cultural pursuits and service to others.

Leaders and teachers purposefully seek and establish relationships and partnerships beyond the school to support students. Curriculum and co-curricular programmes are enriched by these partnerships. Extensive and productive partnerships with tertiary institutions, industry and commerce enable individual students to access meaningful pathways within and beyond the school.

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

Senior leaders are committed to continuing the school’s focus on accelerating learning to increase parity of achievement for target students. They want to ensure that all students leave the school with worthwhile academic qualifications for their tertiary or career pathways.

One of the board’s strategic targets is to promote student and staff welfare and support. Developing a more cohesive and planned approach to this will require:

  • the board being more proactive and overt with regard to gathering and using evaluative information about staff wellbeing

  • senior leaders identifying measurable outcomes for a planned approach to student wellbeing.

The board has strategic planning systems and processes to guide school operations. Trustees would benefit from further board training to develop internal evaluation. This should assist them to evaluate the effectiveness of the board’s performance in its governance and stewardship role.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 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 41 international students attending the school.

ERO’s investigations confirm that the school’s internal evaluation process for international students is thorough. The school provides its international students with a good standard of education and students make good progress overall while at the school. Students benefit from strong pastoral care systems and the inclusive relationships evident throughout the school. They enjoy many opportunities to participate in school activities.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a localised curriculum that reflects the community’s strengths, aspirations and needs

  • a strongly inclusive learning culture that values and embraces diverse perspectives

  • cohesive and well aligned systems and processes that set and maintain high expectations for teaching and learning across the school.

Next steps

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

  • developing a more cohesive and evaluative plan for promoting student and staff wellbeing

  • broadening the range of curriculum outcomes reported on to reflect the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum and other valued student outcomes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

27 September 2018

About the school


Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9-15)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%

Pākehā 3%

Indian 37%

Samoan 13%

Southeast Asian 9%

Tongan 7%

Chinese 5%

Cook Island Māori 4%

other Pacific 3%

other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

27 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2015

Education Review October 2012

Education Review February 2010