St Matthew's Collegiate (Masterton) - 21/12/2017

School Context

St Matthew’s Collegiate is a state-integrated Anglican school for 298 girls in Years 7 to 13. The roll includes 18 Māori students and six of Pacific heritage.

The board of trustees includes representatives that act as the agents for the Trinity Schools’ Trust Board (TSTB) which oversees the school’s special character, property and boarding operations.

The school states that as part of the Trinity of Schools its mission is to provide an education that will encourage young woman to engage, progress and achieve in every aspect of their lives: academic; spiritual; cultural; social; and sporting. Key goals for 2017 focus on: improving academic achievement; school, home and community relationships; personal development of students; and promoting student engagement with learning.

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

  • mid-year and end of year progress and achievement for students in Years 7, 8 and 11, and annual student achievement for Years 7 to 11
  • National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) and other national qualifications.

Years 12 and 13 students attend the majority of their classes at Rathkeale College, another of the Trinity of Schools.

The school is a member of the Masterton (Whakaoriori) Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako. 

Evaluation Findings

Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

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

Consistently high proportions of students in Years 11 to 13 experience success in the NCEAs, University Entrance and New Zealand Scholarship awards. There are high levels of endorsements in both certificates and subjects. Māori and Pacific students achieve similar high levels of success.

Strong progress is evident in promoting equity and excellence in student outcomes. Most junior students reach the expected curriculum level by the end of Year 8. Almost all learners leave with NCEA qualifications that enable them to access their individual future study or work pathway.

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

There are clear school systems to identify and effectively respond to Māori students who require support to be successful learners. Māori student achievement data shows that the school accelerates individual progress of most learners in Years 7 and 8.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Sustained good performance is evident in key areas of the school’s student-focused culture. This includes respectful, learning-focused relationships between students and staff. Learners are well known as individuals. School values are promoted and reinforced, resulting in a supportive environment where students are purposefully engaged in learning. Strategies to increase student wellbeing are a priority. Student voice is sought and responded to, and students are successful
self-directed learners.

More culturally responsive practices for students result in extended opportunities for students to learn te reo Māori, waiata, karakia and ngā tikanga Māori. Teachers understand the importance of continuing to develop meaningful learning contexts that celebrate Māori learners’ language, culture and identity.

Systems and processes are highly focused on improving students’ progress and achievement, and on each learner reaching their potential. Years 7 and 8 students’ achievement and progress in is effectively tracked and monitored, with similarly robust processes for Year 11 students working towards NCEA Level 1. Assessment practices are sound, with some useful moderation in writing. Processes to track, monitor and evaluate the progress of students who require support with their learning continue to improve and respond to need. The special education needs coordinator keeps a register of students who require additional support, including for NCEA assessments.

School leaders support teachers to improve their professional practice. A focus on building teachers’ cultural competency is increasing contexts to celebrate and learn through te ao Māori. Improvements continue in the use of digital technology to enhance learning. Teachers are growing their skills to foster students’ independence and self-management. 

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

Guidance for continued improvement to outcomes for students and to school conditions for learning should be assisted by clarifying expectations in several areas. These include expectations for student wellbeing and annual improvement targets for Year 9 and 10 students’ literacy and mathematics learning. The school’s curriculum framework should more clearly reflect the New Zealand Curriculum principles to bring greater cohesion to programmes for students in Years 7 to 13, and establish common expectations for effective teaching practice.

Continued development across various dimension of internal review and evaluation should provide a stronger basis for the school to know about the effectiveness of its performance and make decisions for the future. Some useful examples of evaluation by curriculum leaders look at what is working well and what needs to be done differently. Schoolwide processes for measuring valued student outcomes are developing. Leaders and teachers should strengthen teacher inquiry and document appropriate appraisal procedures to support growth in teacher capability.

There is an increased awareness within the board of the need to evaluate and report the impact of the board resourcing decisions. Trustees together with the TSTB now need to build greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities, complete review of policies and procedures, and further clarify the accountabilities and responsibilities of St Matthew’s Collegiate and Rathkeale College for Year 12 and 13 students attending classes at Rathkeale.

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. 

The previous ERO report identified that the school needed to improve processes for police vetting of staff and contractors. Progress is evident in implementing these checks.

To further improve practice, the board should review police vetting and safety checks to reflect best practice guidelines under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for students in the school hostel

St Matthew’s School Hostel is owned by the Trinity Schools’ Trust Board (TSTB) and accommodates 89 students, 31% of the school roll. Boarding students’ learning is supported by the physical environment, relationships within the hostel and between the hostel and the school.

The hostel owner has attested that most of the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met. The TSTB should clarify whether it is fully meeting the administrative requirements for operating the hostel.

ERO recommends that the TSTB:

  • regularly reviews the hostel policies and procedures to ensure they are up-to-date and fit for purpose
  • ensures that it regularly receives focused reports on key areas of hostel operation, such as students’ health and safety and wellbeing.

Provision for international students

St Matthew’s Collegiate is a signatory to the code of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) introduced on 1 July 2016.

The school has attested that it has met three of the four key requirements of the code. ERO identified that the school has not yet updated its policies and procedures to ensure they reflect the new Code requirements due by December 1st 2016.

At the time of this review there were eight international students enrolled, from South Korea, Thailand, Japan and China. All are boarders and the hostel matron provides pastoral care. An appropriate and supportive English Second Language programme is in place.

To improve practice, the board should ensure that the international student programme meets the requirements of the new Code, including the focus on pastoral care. 

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • consistently high achievement in national qualifications and in relation to curriculum levels, with strong progress in promoting in-school equity of outcomes for students
  • student-centred conditions for learning that include highly supportive teaching approaches, growth in culturally responsive practices, and responding to student voice.

Next steps

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

  • clarifying schoolwide expectations for curriculum, teaching and student wellbeing and setting annual targets for of Year 9 and 10 students’ progress and achievement
  • improving internal evaluation processes and practices to support knowledge building and decision making for school governance, operation and future development.
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO has requested that, following the internal evaluation workshop, the board together with the TSTB develops and sends to ERO an action plan to address the findings of this report. ERO intends to maintain liaison contact with the school to discuss progress in relation to this plan.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that:

  1. the New Zealand School Trustees Association considers providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in:

    • board understanding of its roles and responsibilities
    • school procedures to support a robust governance framework. 

  2. the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, as Administrator of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, follow up with the school its approach to reviewing policies and procedures to meet the requirements of the 2016 Code, including the specific pastoral care requirements for international students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

21 December 2017

About the school

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

246

School type

State Integrated Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

298

Gender composition

Female 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                     6%
Pākehā                                 86%
Pacific                                    2%
Other ethnic groups               6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October - November 2017

Date of this report

21 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review   September 2014
Education Review   October 2011
Education Review   October 2008