Te Kura o Hata Maria (Pawarenga) - 29/06/2018

School Context

Te Kura o Hata Maria is a small, rural, state integrated Catholic school located in Pawarenga near the Whangape Harbour. The school has a roll of 24 students. Two classes provide the option of immersion te reo Māori or bilingual education. All students and most staff affiliate to the local hapū Te Uri o Tai, and to Te Rarawa and Te Aupōuri iwi.

The Catholic Education Office is supporting the kura as it works to achieve a different special character status. At the time of this review, consultation processes were underway.

ERO’s 2015 review identified concerns about the implementation of the school curriculum, the quality of teaching, and assessment processes and practices. These areas of concern remain. The report also identified areas of non-compliance that are still to be addressed.

In December 2016, following the resignation of the board of trustees, the Ministry of Education (MoE) appointed a commissioner. The commissioner has a positive working relationship with the principal and whānau.

Te Kura o Hata Maria is a member of the Hokianga Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

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?

The school is not yet achieving equitable or excellent outcomes for its students.

The school has limited information about student achievement and this has resulted in limited reporting to the MoE, the previous board and the commissioner. ERO does not have confidence that the existing student achievement data provides accurate or useful information about students’ learning.

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

The school does not effectively respond to students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school identifies achievement targets in reading, writing and mathematics for students in both the bilingual and the immersion classes. Writing is seen as a priority for development. Teachers have shared strategies with whānau that they could use when supporting their children’s learning at home.

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?

Students are confident in and proud of their cultural heritage and the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Teachers and volunteers immerse students in local te reo me ōnā tikanga Māori across the school day. Students participate regularly in marae events including noho marae, pōwhiri and tangihanga.

Older students experience leadership opportunities. Attendance at a conference that is designed to develop and promote leadership is a highlight for these students. They also have opportunities for leadership on the marae. Students participate in three-way conferences with their whānau and teachers to discuss their learning. All students have good access to digital devices in the classrooms.

Whānau are committed to and value their kura. They regularly help out and support students during classroom programmes. Whānau are able to extend their own knowledge of te reo Māori during noho marae. The school value of manaaki is promoted by the principal and well enacted across all aspects of the school day.

There has been significant MoE support for the school in recent years, with opportunities for professional learning and development(PLD) for staff. There are plans to access PLD to help teachers implement Te Marautanga o Aotearoa(TMOA), the curriculum for Māori-medium learning.

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

Educational leadership needs to be strengthened to ensure all legal requirements are met. For the school to function well and to manage school-wide operations, greater levels of knowledge about effective policies, procedures and appraisal processes are required.

The student management system (SMS) recently acquired by the school, should help school leaders to establish effective and reliable assessment systems and practices. This should result in greater clarity and ease of retrievable documentation.

There is a need to develop a local curriculum that aligns with the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMOA). More regular high quality instruction and better use of the school day to ensure students have opportunities to learn is required. A well formed and delivered curriculum would help the school to achieve its ‘graduate profile’ for students.

School leaders need to develop a culture of reflection and internal evaluation to promote continual school improvement. Developing processes and practices that make better use of data would help them to identify what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed.

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.

Appraisal audit

The school’s processes for teacher and principal appraisal, and for endorsing teachers’ practising certificates, do not align with the requirements of the Education Council of New Zealand.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance in relation to governance, management, curriculum, health and safety, and personnel management.

In order to address these, the school must:

  1. maintain an ongoing programme of self-review in relation to policies, plans and programmes, including the evaluation of student achievement information
    [National Administration Guidelines, 2 (b)
  2. report in a meaningful and appropriate way to the school’s community about the achievement of students who are at risk of not achieving, and against plans and targets for Māori students’ achievement
    National Administration Guidelines 2(c)
  3. develop and implement personnel policies and procedures that meet legal requirements and good employer obligations, and for the induction of new staff and the annual appraisal of all staff, including the principal
    National Administration Guidelines 3; State Sector Act 1988, s77A, C; Education Act 1989, s349-350
  4. review all health and safety policies, procedures and practices to ensure there is a safe physical and emotional environment for students and to comply with all legal requirements, including those relating to behaviour management and discipline, education outside the classroom and crisis management
    National Administration Guidelines 5
  5. consult with the community on the delivery of the health curriculum at least once every two years
    Education Act 1989, s60B.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • te reo me ōna tikanga Māori, to promote children’s identity as Māori

  • whānau commitment to the kura to support best outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • educational leadership to make and sustain school improvements

  • curriculum leadership and teaching practice to ensure students have regular, good quality opportunities to progress and learn

  • specific teaching strategies to accelerate learning

  • working more closely with whānau to build more learning focused relationships

  • internal evaluation and inquiry that better identifies what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed.

ERO recommends that the school seek support from the MoE in order to bring about improvements in teaching and learning.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider continuing intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about the improvement in:

  • governance and management practices.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

29 June 2018

About the school


Pawarenga, Far North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 15 Boys 9

Ethnic composition


Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015
Supplementary Review December 2012
Supplementary Review February 2009