Tangaroa College - 28/11/2016


Tangaroa College has developed good systems for improving educational outcomes for students particularly at the senior levels of the school. Increased monitoring and building capacity of staff has begun to show positive achievement outcomes. The school is aware that this framework now needs to be applied to the junior school.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Tangaroa College is a multicultural secondary school located in the South Auckland suburb of Otara. The school has students from predominantly Pacific backgrounds, as well as a number of Māori students. The school values and celebrates its diverse Pacific and Māori cultures, and has maintained strong links with the school community.

Over the last three years the school has participated in professional development to improve student achievement through a variety of providers.

A significant feature of Tangaroa College that enhances student outcomes and opportunities for future pathways is the provision of three academies, the Teen Parent Unit (TPU), and the Alternative Education Centre. These initiatives all play an important role in creating meaningful pathways and lifelong learning opportunities for students.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school uses achievement information very well in Years 11 to 13 to make positive changes to learners’ engagement.

There have been significant shifts in achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA), particularly in the past two years. These include:

  • merit and excellence endorsements at Level 3 have increased since 2014
  • there have been very positive shifts at Level 1 since 2015
  • boys’ achievement at Level 3 is similar to girls’ achievement
  • NCEA student achievement generally exceeds that of similar schools at Levels 1 to 3
  • the school’s NCEA achievement particularly at Levels 2 and 3, is better than the national averages.

The school’s focus is on improving outcomes for priority students, particularly in Years 11 to 13, has resulted in significant progress for these students.

There has been a deliberate and well considered approach to developing school systems. The organisational focus on using data is enhancing thinking and teaching practices, particularly at the senior levels of the school.

Senior leaders are using very good systems to evaluate the impact of programmes and initiatives to bring about positive changes for learners. This has resulted in the heads of learning and deans implementing worthwhile strategies to improve the monitoring of teaching practices and of student progress.

The school continues to promote a caring, collaborative, and inclusive learning community. There are high levels of pastoral care in place. Very good systems of planning, monitoring and coordination of learning support are in place. Teachers’ close knowledge of students and their connections with students’ families across the school reflect the importance of partnership and community engagement in the school. This supportive culture has helped students to improve their attitudes to learning and so provides better student achievement outcomes. The next step is to report more regularly to the board of trustees on the impact of pastoral care systems in the school.

Senior leaders should now apply the successful approaches they are using with the senior students to focus on improving student achievement for Year 9 and 10. They should also closely monitor student progress and teaching practices at these levels. Their commitment to working in closer partnerships in learning with the contributing schools in the community is an important step.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s senior curriculum is effective. Positive outcomes for learners are evident.

The senior curriculum focuses on programmes that offer a wide range of opportunities and career pathways. These include:

  • three academy programmes: Services, Construction and Health Sciences
  • good links with tertiary institutions for academic, vocational pathways and apprenticeships
  • promoting equity and excellence in learning particularly at the senior level.

There has been a significant focus in 2016 on literacy development across all junior learning areas. The emphasis in Year 9 is to enable students to improve their literacy levels in order to support their progress and achievement. The school has identified the need to review the junior curriculum to improve achievement and promote more successful outcomes at the senior level.

The appraisal system is supporting teachers to develop culturally responsive pedagogy that promotes and supports student learning.

Senior leaders have identified that their next steps for Years 9 and 10 are to implement similar approaches to those that have occurred at senior levels. These are to:

  • collate and report achievement data against The New Zealand Curriculum levels and learning areas
  • report more clearly and specifically on student progress and achievement to parents and to the board
  • build student capability to articulate their learning, including their next steps
  • continue to build consistency and understanding in teachers’ use of achievement information.

Senior leaders should review the implementation and effectiveness of the student action plans to specifically identify what students need to improve on in their learning. This would also help to provide next steps and identify clear strategies to help students know how to improve in these curriculum areas.

Extending the Positive Behaviour for Learning strategy (PB4L) across the school for continuity and consistency would also be a useful development. It could also be useful to consider ways to gather students’ views about the school and how they can contribute most meaningfully to achieving desired outcomes.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school is effective in promoting educational success for Māori.

Eighteen percent of the school roll identify as Māori. There have been significant increases in Māori student achievement, particularly at NCEA Levels 2 and 3 in the last two years. Māori achievement in NCEA at this school is above the national averages. School leaders attribute the improved results to the increased use of achievement data, academic counselling, target setting and specific monitoring of progress at the senior level. Improving engagement with Māori whānau continues to be a goal for the school.

The next steps for senior leaders is to ensure that deeper scrutiny of achievement data occurs for Māori students in Years 9 and 10. Senior leaders should also review the support for te reo Māori to enhance adequate resourcing of this important area for Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The recent board election has resulted in a mixture of new and experienced trustees. The board has sought support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association to help trustees develop their governance roles. Trustees have made good use of analysed achievement data to evaluate the impacts of programmes to improve outcomes for students. Trustees continue to promote the meaningful partnerships with families and the wider community that are an important foundation of the school’s philosophy.

School leaders show a clear commitment to improving outcomes for all students and ensuring access to educational pathways in partnership with the wider community. Strategic and broad ranging professional development has supported the school’s drive to improve educational achievement outcomes for students and reduce disparity.

Senior leaders are continuing to develop whole school knowledge of self review underpinned by a model of teacher inquiry into data. There is considerable commitment to developing the evaluative capability of school leaders at all levels. Data are increasingly well used to inform good decisions at all levels of school leadership.

The next steps for senior leaders are to:

  • ensure internal evaluation focuses on outcomes for students and identifies implications for teachers’ own professional practice
  • continue to grow the capability of teachers to reflect on practice and to share strategies to accelerate students’ progress and achievement.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

The school has not yet started to align its policies and procedures to meet the requirements for the 2016 code.

At the time of this review there are 9 international students attending the school.

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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should review its policies and procedures for dealing with their responsibilities as a good employer. In particular they should:

  • ensure regular reporting of safety checks and teacher registration to the board
  • update guidelines for appointing staff
  • align performance appraisal and appointment policies with current legislative requirements
  • ensuring that all staff are appraised annually
  • ensure that the principal’s performance agreement is signed annually.


Tangaroa College has developed good systems for improving educational outcomes for students particularly at the senior levels of the school. Increased monitoring and building capacity of staff has begun to show positive achievement outcomes. The school is aware that this framework now needs to be applied to the junior school.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

28 November 2016

About the School


Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition



Cook Island Māori




other Pacific










Special Features

3 Academies, Teen Parent Unit, Alternative Education provider

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

28 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2013

September 2010

November 2007