Twizel Area School - 20/01/2020

School Context

Twizel Area School is a state, co-educational school for students from Years 1 to 13. The current roll is 221 students, 17% of whom identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is ‘A learning community striving for excellence’, and the values focus on quality, respect and kotahitanga.

Key strategic priorities are to improve learning for all ākonga, especially Years 11 to 13, and strengthen learning relationships with the community.

Current targets include improving teaching and learning in reading, writing and mathematics, wellbeing and student self-management.

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

  • achievement in all learning areas and levels of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • wellbeing.

The school is part of the Southern Area Schools Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning. The principal leads the 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?

The school is effective in supporting most students in Years 1 to 10 to achieve equitable outcomes. Students who identify as Māori consistently achieve as well or better than their peers.

School data for 2017 and 2018 shows that most students achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics in Years 1 to 10. Mid-year school data for 2019, to date, shows that in Years 1 to 10 most students are achieving at or above curriculum expectations in reading and writing, with the large majority at or above curriculum expectations in mathematics. In 2017 and 2018 boys achieved less well than girls in reading and writing. Mid-year achievement information for 2019 shows that this disparity is being eliminated.

School NCEA data for 2016 to 2018 shows that a small majority of students achieved NCEA Level 3, and fewer than half achieved University Entrance. There is a fluctuation in achievement outcomes at NCEA Level 2. Most students achieve NCEA Level 1.

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

The school is yet to develop a clear picture of acceleration. Leaders and teachers do not routinely analyse data to identify how well learning is accelerated.

School data indicates that in 2018 the majority of students below curriculum expectations made accelerated progress in reading.

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 experience positive classroom environments and a coherent curriculum which offers personalised pathways for learning. The school capitalises on opportunities provided by the local environment and regional expertise to extend learning. There are opportunities for students to provide feedback on the school environment and wellbeing.

Positive, reciprocal learning relationships between teachers and students are clearly evident. Schoolwide culturally responsive practices are developing and reflect the learning and wellbeing needs of students. There are systems in place to support priority learners. These students are identified, tracked and their progress reported.

Leaders foster respectful, collegial relationships with staff, and are developing professional networks and connections to support teaching and learning. External expertise is used to provide guidance for the development and progress of teacher appraisal, teaching as inquiry and data management.

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

Trustees and leaders need to ensure they work in partnership to effectively promote positive student outcomes. This includes increasing relational trust with the school community by ensuring timely, consistent and strategic communication, including reporting and consultation opportunities.

The board has identified, and ERO confirms, that external expertise is needed to build governance capability. This includes:

  • developing knowledge and skills in effective governance
  • using strategic documents to create a useful work plan that prioritises actions for
  • improvement
  • clarifying expectations for leaders to regularly report on student progress and achievement over time.

As identified in the last two ERO reports, internal evaluation is not well used throughout the school. The senior leadership team needs to:

  • understand the purpose of, and develop shared knowledge about how to use evaluation to improve learning and achievement
  • develop a schoolwide framework and approach to internal evaluation
  • effectively use evaluation to identify those systems and practices that are most effective in promoting positive outcomes for all students.

Leaders and teachers should build data capability practices that more effectively support robust acceleration processes that promote equity of outcomes for all students.

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 Twizel Area School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs Development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall findings and judgement tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective practice for improvement and learner success 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 curriculum which provides a seamless transition for students across the school
  • learning partnerships which foster positive student outcomes
  • appropriate use of external expertise to develop teaching and learning practices.

Next steps

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

  • the board and leadership team building the relational trust necessary to collaboratively meet school and community expectations
  • supporting the leadership team and the board to build capability in governance
  • the ongoing development of internal evaluation practices to better understand which programmes, interventions and strategies are working effectively to meet the needs of students
  • building data capability to effectively analyse and report student progress and acceleration needs over time.

ERO strongly recommends that the school seek support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association in order to:

  • bring about improvements in relationships between governance and leadership

  • strengthen knowledge of governance systems and practices

  • strengthen communication and partnerships with the community to increase confidence in governance and leadership.

Since the onsite stage of this review, the Ministry of Education has appointed a Limited Statutory Manager to the school.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

20 January 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type


School roll


Gender composition

Boys 125, Girls 96

Ethnic composition

Māori 17%

NZ European/Pākehā 63%

Other ethnicities 20%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

20 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2016

Education Review June 2013