Queen Charlotte College - 19/12/2017

School Context

Queen Charlotte College is a Year 7-13 college in Picton with a roll of 340 students. The school has close connections with local iwi and Waikawa marae, the business community and support agencies.

Since the last ERO review, the school has a new principal and senior leadership team. There have been many staff changes. The whole school has participated in Ministry of Education professional learning and development initiatives. These include writing, spirals of inquiry, Accelerated Learning in Mathematics and Positive Behaviour for Learning.

The school states that its vision is to inspire and challenge students towards maximum achievement through personal best while respecting self, others and our environment’. It has summarised this statement to mean ‘Ake Tonu – Personal Best’. The school’s valued outcomes are for all students to ‘not give up - foster fairness, responsible leadership, and mutual respect’. It also values diversity while promoting high standards of behaviour and achievement. The school’s aims and goals focus on improving children’s achievement in National Standards and NCEA, with a particular emphasis on writing.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards and achievement in all curriculum areas for students in Years 7 to 10

  • senior student NCEA data

  • students’ engagement and wellbeing

  • progressions beyond school.

Queen Charlotte College is a member of the Te Wheke Akoranga Kāhui Ako Marlborough Sounds |Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Over the past three years the school has not consistently shown equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Achievement at/above the National Standards for children in Years 7 and 8 is mixed. Since 2014 the large majority of children achieve at/above the National Standards for reading. A smaller majority of these children achieve at these levels in writing and mathematics. Māori children and boys tend to achieve less well in reading, as is also evident for boys in writing and girls in mathematics.

Almost all Māori students in 2016 achieved NCEA Level 2. Overall achievement for Māori learners in NCEA Levels 1 and 3 and National Standards is lower than other groups of students. In 2016 all Pacific students gained NCEA Level 1 or 2 from Year 11 or 12.

The school’s students have consistently achieved 80% and over in NCEA Level 2 since 2014. Most students leave school with NCEA Level 2 and almost all students go on to further education or employment when they leave school. Overall, students’ achievement is lower than national comparative groups in NCEA Levels 1 and 3, and University Entrance.

The school places a strong focus on retaining senior students until 17 years of age. These students are well supported in this through meaningful pathways to achieve appropriate leavers' qualifications. Since 2014, the school has shown that increasingly greater proportions of students are remaining at school until after their 17th birthday. This was evident for all leavers in 2016.

The school has appropriate processes and practices for assessment and moderation supported by useful guidelines for teachers. The board can have confidence in the accuracy of teachers’ judgements in relation to the National Standards given the assessment tools teachers are using. The school’s practices in managing national assessment for senior students are robust.

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

The school needs to strengthen the way it responds to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school is developing systems to respond to those students in Years 9 and 10 whose learning and achievement need acceleration. There is a range of information on individual students’ achievement, however the school is not yet reporting clearly to the board on the extent to which students are making accelerated progress.

In 2016 fewer than half of the students in Years 7 and 8 made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is promoting educational success for the small number of Pacific students. Individual teachers monitor and track Pacific students’ progress and achievement.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The school’s curriculum is responsive and personalised to meet the needs and individual interests of students. This is enhanced through:

  • strong community collaborations with the school which enrich the curriculum
  • effective communication between teachers, deans and the staff in the careers department
  • the wide variety of opportunities students have to learn, including the school’s aquaculture programme strongly reflecting the local context.

Meaningful relationships between students and teachers ensure that the school’s focus on pastoral care and knowing the learner is upheld. The school’s inclusive environment is leading to a strong sense of belonging for students.

Individual student’s achievement and progress is tracked and monitored by teachers. This helps to inform the different approaches teachers use to engage students in their learning. Greater student engagement is also being achieved through the range of strategies being used by the school to communicate with parents and whānau.

There is closer monitoring of individual senior students’ progress towards NCEA. Senior leaders are developing useful systems to track the achievement of these students, and identify those who require additional support or opportunities for them to achieve. This shared responsibility for student outcomes is likely to promote their success.

The board and school leaders are committed to improvements in learner outcomes. Provision and support for equity for all learners is a school priority. Trustees support this through proactive resourcing. The school’s involvement in the Te Wheke Akoranga Kāhui Ako Marlborough Sounds|Community of Learning (CoL) is having a positive impact on teaching and learning.

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

The school needs to improve the use of learning information. School targets need to clearly focus on accelerating progress for those learners who require additional support. Leaders and teachers need to carefully track and monitor the sufficiency of progress for individuals and specific groups of students. This should improve the usefulness of the school’s internal evaluation to identify what is and what is not working to accelerate learner achievement.

Greater board scrutiny of the effectiveness of the school in achieving valued student outcomes should better inform trustees in their future strategic planning.

Leaders and teachers need to strengthen systems and processes to enable and sustain improvement and innovation. Greater coherence between strategic planning, annual planning, departmental goals and teachers inquiring into the effectiveness of their teaching practices is needed. The board should also implement reliable ways of knowing how satisfied all staff members are with their roles and responsibilities at the school.

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 (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 was one international student attending the school.

The school is effective in providing pastoral care and good quality education for its international students. They are well supported to integrate into the school and local community. International students have regular opportunities to provide feedback about their learning and wellbeing.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the way in which the school’s diverse curriculum engages learners and provides them with meaningful pathways as they progress through and beyond the school

  • knowing their learners and the pastoral care and support they receive

  • a school-wide commitment to improved learner outcomes that is likely to be evidenced in future achievements.

Next steps

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

  • better use of learning information that leads to improved internal evaluation and includes knowing about the impact of school programmes

  • strategic planning, including planning for the valued outcomes that the school has for its learners

  • specific planning to accelerate learning for those students not achieving equitable outcomes [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Paterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

19 December 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary Years 7 to 13

School roll


Gender composition

Boys: 56% Girls: 44%

Ethnic composition

Pākeha 57%
Māori 35%
Pacific 1%
Other 7%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

19 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2013

November 2010

November 2007