Tuturumuri School - 23/10/2019

School Context

Tuturumuri School is a small rural school situated in the Wairarapa, south of Martinborough. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO review, there were two students enrolled, nine less than at the time of the March 2015 ERO review. The roll has fluctuated significantly in recent years as families have arrived and left this farming community.

At the beginning of 2018 a notice of closure was issued for the school as no students were enrolled. A Ministry of Education appointed Limited Statutory Manager was put in place to support the board. With the advent of some enrolments, a temporary principal was appointed to manage the school. Two further changes of principal followed until the permanent appointment of a beginning principal was made in term one 2019. The notice of closure was lifted in term three 2018. The board now has the required number of trustees, some of whom are new to the role.

The school’s mission is to support students to ‘take up the challenge’. An interim one-year charter has been developed. Current goals are to increase community engagement, support digital citizenship and accelerate students’ progress, particularly in literacy, so all meet expected achievement levels. Plans are in place in 2019 to work in collaboration with the local community to identify a revised vision and values to underpin teaching and learning and the redevelopment of the localised curriculum, charter and strategic plan.

The major focus for staff professional development in 2019 is in literacy, multi-levelled teaching and e-learning.

The school is a member of the South Wairarapa Community of Learning | Kāhui Akio.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress in relation to school targets.

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?

Due to the low and fluctuating roll it is difficult to identify how well the school is achieving and sustaining equitable and excellent outcomes for all students over time. No reliable achievement data was made available for ERO, or the new principal, for the period prior to mid 2018.

End-of-year 2018 school data showed that the majority of students were achieving at or above curriculum expectations in reading and writing, with the majority below in mathematics.

With the low roll in 2019, individualised teaching is successfully promoting equitable and improved outcomes for each student in literacy and mathematics.

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

The school has been successful in accelerating students’ learning.

Tracked data from mid 2018 shows that all students made accelerated progress in reading, and the majority had their progress accelerated in writing and mathematics through the implementation of structured and focused programmes. Each student has had aspects of their literacy learning accelerated in 2019.

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?

A well-considered approach is in place for managing school development and operation. Trustees have shown significant commitment, securing strong community support and achieving the permanent appointment of a teaching principal. Together the principal and trustees have identified priorities for development. New operational guidelines have been put in place. External support has been accessed to support the revision and documentation of the school’s long-term planning and localised curriculum. These actions are likely to support improvement over time and a sustainable approach to managing the school.

There is an appropriate focus on building leadership and teacher capability. Development goals are well aligned with school priorities. Professional support and community contacts have been sought to support progress.

The school has well-developed facilities and offers a range of learning experiences. Students benefit from individualised learning programmes targeted to their needs. Their wellbeing is prioritised. Suitable assessment tools are used to identify their achievement and learning needs. Relationships between students, teachers and parents are relaxed and friendly. Specialised help is in place for any child who needs additional support.

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

The board and principal have identified, and ERO agrees, that in order to develop and sustain effective school practice and operation, key priorities should include:

  • continuing to secure community and iwi relationships and networks
  • working with the community to revise school direction and inform decisions about curriculum development
  • strengthening the board through training, succession planning and the development of guidelines, expectations and work plans
  • a focus on leadership and teacher development to promote ongoing improvement to student outcomes
  • ensuring guidelines for all aspects of practice are kept current and support shared understanding of good practice and accountabilities.

The implementation of a suitable internal evaluation process should enable trustees and teachers to better measure and report progress in developing school conditions and meeting goals, and inform decisions about further development steps.

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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees must put in place an effective system for identifying issues relating to compliance. The board has identified and is now taking steps to ensure:

  • a staff member holding a current first-aid certificate is on site during school opening hours

  • all requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 are met

  • a suitable career education and guidance programme is put in place for students in Years 7 and 8.

  • decisions made in committee are clearly recorded.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Tuturumuri 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:

  • providing individualised programmes of learning that are responsive to students’ identified needs
  • community support that strongly values the school
  • future-focused leadership that prioritises improved outcomes for students and sustainability of operation.

Next steps

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

  • documenting guidelines for the localised curriculum and student success to support shared understanding of school expectations
  • strengthening stewardship so that roles and responsibilities are clearly understood
  • understanding and using internal evaluation to determine the success of programmes and practices, and informing reporting and decision making.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

23 October 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 2

Ethnic composition

Māori 1

NZ European/Pākehā 1

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

23 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2015

Education Review December 2013