Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Senior School - 29/05/2017


Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate has made good progress since 2015. Targeted support from the MoE has assisted the board and senior leaders to improve governance and leadership practices. Teaching and learning practices and the collegiate curriculum design are increasingly fostering students’ wellbeing and academic success.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara comprises three schools, a junior, middle and senior school, each with its own principal and staff. The Collegiate schools are located on the same site and are governed by a single board of trustees. Students at the schools are predominantly from Pacific nations, particularly Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands. Twenty percent of Senior School students are Māori.

The 2015 ERO report identified concerns about several aspects of the schools' performance as a collegiate. These included the quality of governance and leadership, and the effectiveness of curriculum and teaching in supporting students’ pathways through the three schools. The report also noted concerns about the quality of bicultural practice and responsiveness to Māori students. For this reason ERO decided to monitor the school’s progress through a longitudinal evaluation process over two years.

Since July 2015 the board has accessed significant external support through the Ministry of Education (MoE) to assist with school improvements. This support, that includes governance and leadership advice and curriculum and assessment facilitators, has been used well by the school.

Since the 2015 evaluation, ERO and the school have collected evidence to evaluate progress made over the past two years. 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

The key priority areas for the collegiate, identified in the 2015 ERO report, included:

  • improving the quality of achievement for students
  • developing a more culturally responsive, seamless curriculum for students across the collegiate schools
  • building board and leadership capacity to embed and sustain positive development and change
  • using internal evaluation for improvement in all areas of school operations, leadership and governance.

From these priorities the collegiate schools developed four strategic goals to guide improvement.

  • Goal 1. Leadership to implement the collegiate’s collaborative vision
  • Goal 2. Establish a collegiate-wide cohesive pedagogy
  • Goal 3. Provide a seamless pathway that accelerates student learning
  • Goal 4. Success for Māori learners as Māori.


The board and school leaders have made significant progress in each of the development priorities identified in the 2015 ERO report. Trustees have taken deliberate steps towards achieving the goals identified in the board’s development plan, and have constructively used external assistance to improve governance and leadership across the collegiate.

A collegiate-wide commitment to raising student achievement by accelerating the progress of students is evident. Good improvement has been made in the tracking and monitoring of student progress within and across the three schools. Leaders and teachers are making more deliberate use of achievement data to inform curriculum planning and to better meet the learning needs of individuals and groups of students.

Years 1 to 8 National Standards data show positive shifts in achievement as students move through the schools. This improvement in achievement can be attributed to the impact of recent professional development initiatives, and a collaborative focus on strategies to promote student success.

In the Junior School there has been an improving trend in achievement in all National Standards, with significant lifts in mathematics and writing over the past three years. Māori achievement has also improved and is close to parity with other students. A similar pattern of improvement is evident in the Middle School. In 2016 Māori achievement exceeded 85 percent at or above National Standards. Boys’ achievement has also lifted significantly in mathematics and writing.

In the Senior School, Years 9 and 10 student progress in literacy and mathematics is now being more closely tracked and analysed. This analysis is used to develop strategies to accelerate progress, and support success in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). The current collegiate focus on literacy and mathematics learning should increase teachers’ understanding and use of appropriate acceleration strategies.

The 2016 NCEA results show that Level 2 achievement is now close to national levels of achievement, and Level 3 results exceed the national average. Māori achievement levels in NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 show significant improvement, and the disparity between Māori and other students is reducing. A higher proportion of students are leaving school with Level 2 or higher qualifications, and student retention at school continues to improve.

Over the past two years significant progress has been made in promoting Māori success as Māori. A deliberate, strategic collegiate-wide focus is evident through board policy and processes and staff professional learning. Capably led by the Māori development group, there is now a collegiate-wide commitment to making Māori language, identity and culture more visible throughout the curriculum. A bilingual unit of two classes has been established in the Junior School and further developments are planned to support the learning of te reo and tikanga Māori across the collegiate.

Good progress is being made in providing more seamless curriculum pathways for students and adapting systems to better respond to students’ learning aspirations and requirements. These efforts increasingly involve cross-curricular and cross-school collaboration to provide students with interesting, culturally relevant learning opportunities as they move through the collegiate. Curriculum and teaching strategies are becoming more aligned with tikanga Māori. Leaders and teachers are making good use of Ministry of Education resources and support to guide culturally responsive teaching practices.

Productive working relationships are evident across the collegiate, with leaders, teachers and students working together to promote success in learning. Collaboration is fostered through the growing use of cross-school development groups for specific curriculum areas including literacy, mathematics, health and physical education and English language learners (ESOL). Expansion of the range of collaborative collegiate-wide curriculum teams has the potential to provide more seamless pathways for students as they move from school to school.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate is well placed to continue the improvement path of the past two years towards realising the potential of the collegiate model. The board, principals, leaders and teachers have successfully worked together to promote culturally relevant, systemic change. There is now a focus on continuing to strengthen capability in leadership and teaching, and providing students with relevant learning and opportunities to pathway into their futures.

Senior leadership has strengthened significantly over the past two years, with the three schools’ principals working together, with external advisers, to design a model of collegiate leadership. Principals, middle leaders and teachers now have a more strategic approach to leadership, and are working collaboratively to achieve collegiate goals. A useful charter and strategic plan now guides development and provides a good framework for evaluating progress towards goals across the collegiate.

The board’s governance is increasingly effective and reflects the collegiate aims, vision and values. Trustees’ strong community relationships support the work of the board. They are well informed about student progress and achievement across the collegiate and are focused on accelerating student learning. Trustees reflect the diversity of the community and bring a range of knowledge and experience to the board. The board is continuing to develop its evaluation capacity, using external support where appropriate.

Performance management across the three schools continues to strengthen as a result of evaluation of appraisal systems and processes in each school. An inquiry based appraisal process is underpinned by the school goals and expectations for improvement in practice. The support of an external appraiser has been influential in developing the capability of the principal group to function as a collegiate team, building relational trust and mutual respect.

The board and senior leaders plan to continue progressing the development priorities noted in this report. In particular, they have identified the following three key areas for development:

  • continuing to develop a curriculum that is responsive to students’ interests, aspirations and pathways through the collegiate
  • further developing trustees, leaders and teacher’s cultural awareness and responsiveness through professional learning opportunities
  • becoming part of a Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL) to strengthen educational success for students in the local community.

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 MoE continue to provide expertise to support the collegiate embed and build on improvements in governance, leadership, and seamless curriculum pathways. 


Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate has made good progress since 2015. Targeted support from the MoE has assisted the board and senior leaders to improve governance and leadership practices. Teaching and learning practices and the collegiate curriculum design are increasingly fostering students’ wellbeing and academic success.

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

Steffan Brough

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

29 May 2017

About the School 


Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition




Cook Islands Māori







Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

29 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2015

May 2013

May 2010