Waiharara School - 04/11/2013

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s Arotake Paetawhiti review?

Waiharara School is a small, rural school located on the Aupouri peninsula in the Far North.

The August 2012 ERO report identified some key areas of board and school practice that required further review and development. These areas included ensuring that:

  • the constitution of a board of trustees met government regulatory requirements, and
  • strengthening self-review practices at both board and school leadership level.

In 2012 the board did not have a good understanding of its governance role. Processes to ensure that the board was properly constituted and legislative requirements were being met were inadequate.

Since September 2012 a new board of trustees and chairperson have been elected and training has been undertaken to improve the quality of governance and school self-review.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The priorities agreed to by the school and ERO in 2012 were:

  • the establishment of a properly constituted board of trustees
  • the development of governance systems and operations that meet legal requirements
  • a cyclical self-review system that is well implemented and leads to planned and prioritised improvement at both board and school levels.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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


The school is addressing its areas for review and development well. The new chairperson is ensuring that progress is being made in governing the school and that trustees are receiving sufficient training to fulfil their legal obligations and responsibilities. Self-review is now contributing to the strategic decisions being made by the board. The principal has made significant progress in relation to self-review practices and the evaluation of programmes and processes.

A new board of trustees has been elected for Waiharara School. The chairperson reports that induction of this board has occurred. Training for new trustees is underway to help them address their obligations and there is agreement about board processes and procedures regarding self-review. The board is consulting with local whānau and iwi who also have representation on the board.

The principal has made clear progress in the application and use of evaluation in relation to teaching and learning. This is impacting positively on goal setting and self review and is leading to improved programmes and accelerated learning for students. The school is reviewing its charter with a view to developing more specific, measurable goals. There is also a growing awareness of teaching as inquiry and of ways to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning processes.

The community is being consulted in relation to the curriculum and the wider integration of te reo Māori into the learning programme. Formal consultation is being undertaken with Māori parents and iwi and the outcomes reported to families/whānau.

The board, with the principal, is embedding improvements to continue to improve and sustain school performance.

Further Development

The board of trustees and principal should continue to:

  • develop and embed cyclical self-review processes that lead to strategically planned and prioritised school improvement
  • develop meaningful consultation with the school community to identify and improve outcomes and success for their children.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

4 November 2013

About the School


Waiharara, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 12, Girls 10

Ethnic composition

NZ Māori

NZ Pakeha



Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

4 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

April 2009

June 2006