Tutira School - 08/08/2019

School Context

Tutira School is a small rural school, situated on the main road between Napier and Wairoa. It draws students from a wide geographical area. Students bus to school with some living a significant distance from the bus stop and school. There is a reasonably high turnover of students due to the seasonal workforce and rural and farming nature of the community. At the time of this ERO evaluation there are 28 students enrolled, with 14 identifying as Māori.

Since the July 2016 ERO report there have been significant changes in staffing and board personnel. In 2018, the school operated for some time with a relief teacher in the junior room and no release teacher for the principal. Since the beginning of term 2 2019, the school is fully staffed.

The school responded positively to the recommendation from the previous ERO evaluation. A Raising Achievement Plan was developed and steps taken to progress areas identified for ongoing improvement. These did not progress as expected during 2018.

The school vision states ‘Stand together to learn, to grow, to succeed’. School and community learning values emphasise: ‘Authenticity; Innovation; Inspiration; Engagement’. These sit alongside school behaviour values of: ‘Respect; Integrity; Kindness; Responsibility’.

The school continues to be an active participant in the Enviroschools programme.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is a member of the Mataruahou Napier City Kāhui Ako.

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?

School reported data for 2018 data shows equitable outcomes for students. Most students achieve at curriculum expectations. Māori students achieve well with most at expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The data from the end of 2018 showed that all Year 8 students achieved above expectations. The board and teachers now have more dependable data to discern trends and patterns over time and move more students to achieve above expectations towards excellence.

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

Most students targeted in writing in 2018 made expected progress with some making accelerated progress.

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?

The inclusive environment supports the individual needs of students and they are encouraged to be successful learners. Teachers know children well and work quickly to implement strategies to assist them to experience success at school. Virtual learning classrooms are used well to engage children in a range of learning experiences that extend them. These are evident for mathematics, art and te reo Māori.

Students engage in a broad range of authentic learning experiences. The curriculum encompasses the local environment. Sustainable practices are a natural part of children’s daily lives. They work confidently alongside external agencies such as the Department of Conservation and Regional Council. Students are confident environment champions.

The board governs the school well. The succession plan provides for future development. Trustees undertake appropriate training and demonstrate support for the principal, teachers and staff to provide children with appropriate resources and experiences for them to experience success as learners. There is an ongoing focus on strengthening trustee capabilities.

The teaching team is relatively new and staff work collaboratively to extend and improve practices to benefit children. Professional learning and development clearly focuses on working as a team and developing consistency across the school.

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

Achievement targets were not set across the school in reading, writing and mathematics in 2018. Teachers should set appropriate literacy and mathematics achievement targets and actions to accelerate student achievement for those who need this. A key step is to regularly monitor and report to the board how well the school is raising achievement, particularly for those students whose progress needs accelerating.

Continuing to promote collaborative learning partnerships with parents and whānau should encourage their ongoing involvement in their children’s learning. The curriculum is in the process of review and this provides opportunity to continue to include a place-based element and support parents and the board to understand how it will be implemented.

Staff continue to develop agreed assessment practices so that ongoing, reliable achievement information informs teaching and learning. This includes teachers’ use of The Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) for making dependable judgements about students’ achievement.

The principal has recently introduced an online system to monitor and track student achievement. It has the potential to increase students’ understanding and expectations for their learning and achievement. Understanding of, and capability to use this tool by parents, trustees, students and teachers is ongoing.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Tutira School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a focus on achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students
  • a culture of collaboration among trustees and staff that focuses on maintaining a positive climate and expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school
  • deliberate learning experiences for students that are focused on them making connections with the wider environment while demonstrating school learning and behaviour values.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to strengthen assessment across the school to determine ongoing strategies to achieve equity and excellence for all students
  • using data from a range of sources, for internal evaluation that determines the impact of initiatives and innovations on student outcomes
  • implementing the new Tutira School Curriculum to support ongoing student learning
  • developing and implementing consistent and sustainable learning-focused partnerships with parents and whānau to support positive outcomes for students.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

8 August 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 15, Male 13

Ethnic composition

Māori 14
NZ European/Pākehā 14

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

8 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2016
Education Review April 2012
Education Review March 2009