Waimahia Intermediate School - 12/07/2017


Waimahia Intermediate School has experienced significant change, including being re-named since the 2013 ERO review. Since the last ERO review the board was placed in a position of crisis management where they had to respond to a number of complex and sensitive challenges involving leadership and some staff. Urgency is now needed to improve many areas of school operations including governance, the provision of an effective and responsive curriculum, and teaching practices.

The school roll at the time of the review, stands at 224. Thirty-five percent of students are Māori, and 47 percent Pacific, nine percent Pākehā, and six percent Fijian. Children who are of Cambodian, Indian, African and Filipino descent also attend the school. The new principal and deputy principal are committed to making improvements to ensure school practices provide equity and excellence for students.

The current board has some longstanding trustees and some who have more recently been elected. There have been MoE initiatives and professional development over the last few years, particularly guiding teachers to better support children’s literacy learning.

The achievement of students in relation to the National Standards increased slightly in 2016, and is comparable with other schools. However, there is disparity in the achievement of Māori students.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is not yet effective in achieving equitable outcomes for all students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school does not yet have effective processes to enable the achievement of equity and excellence.

The board and school leaders will need external support to:

  • develop a responsive curriculum that better responds to the needs of students
  • support leaders to improve teaching practices to accelerate student learning and to moderate student achievement information
  • assist the board to establish effective governance processes, including internal evaluation and a clear strategic direction. 

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is not yet effective in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s valued learning outcomes include empowering students through their education, matauranga, mana, and manaakitanga. A culture of singing waiata is also valued in this school. This contributes to the tone, valuing of one another and setting a culture of confidence for students, staff and the wider school community. Positive education outcomes are still yet to be achieved for many students.

Māori and Pacific students’ achievement has not progressed adequately in relation to the National Standards. Although the school reports that many students have accelerated their learning, this is still insufficient progress for students to effectively access the curriculum at secondary level. Māori students are not achieving as well as Pacific students.

The school should analyse the progress made by Māori and Pacific students in the bilingual units to identify their progress.

The school has not moderated achievement information internally or externally over the past few years. ERO has no evidence that the schools achievement information is dependable.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Many school processes are not yet effective to enable achievement of equity and excellence.

A new principal in term four 2016 and new deputy principal at the beginning of 2017 have been appointed. The board is aware of the need to improve many school systems including health and safety, curriculum delivery, financial, property management and the strategic direction of the school. The board have been working to address these matters and shared aspects of progress during the recent ERO review.

Priorities for school leaders are to establish effective school systems to guide curriculum development, improve overall student achievement analysis information and grow teaching practices that supports children’s learning. The new leadership team will need external support to implement effective appraisal processes, improve teaching and raise expectations for teachers’ inquiry into the effectiveness of their teaching practices.

The school’s vision, values and motto are well embedded, and identified by children. The curriculum will need to be documented and revised in consultation with its community. Leaders should also identify how they will accelerate student achievement to progress forward for equity and excellence.

In recent years the school has participated in professional development in literacy learning. Although variability in teaching capability and capacity across the school is evident, many initiatives have been implemented to support teaching and learning. The recent professional development to support teaching practice and children’s learning shows a willingness to improve practice.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The developments required for school processes to achieve equity and excellence include school leaders:

  • reviewing and documenting the curriculum in consultation with the community
  • developing school wide systems and practices to gather, collate, and analyse student achievement to inform future learning and programme development
  • implementing internal and external moderation processes
  • strengthening overall teacher judgements to specifically accelerate student learning
  • increasing student ownership of their learning so they understand their progress and achievement and are able to plan their next steps
  • ensuring professional development is targeted to increase student achievement acceleration, improve teaching practices and establish internal evaluation to monitor the progress of students, teachers and initiatives
  • developing and documenting programmes for Māori and Samoan Bilingual classes that provide good guidance for bilingual pedagogy, including enrolment processes, assessment practices, policies and bilingual initiatives to support students to achieve their bilingual literacy aspirations and goals
  • building capacity and capability of teachers to raise the level of te Reo Māori in their classes, and to recognise the importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Further developments required to achieve equity and excellence include trustees:

  • developing a strategic plan for forward direction
  • implementing policy review particularly with health and safety matters that impact on children
  • ensuring a planned property management programme is administered consistently
  • ensuring reporting expectations are being met with regards to the delivery of the curriculum, specific targeted student achievement acceleration of student achievement, appraisal processes, school resourcing and all legislative requirements
  • implementing a rigorous and systematic process of internal evaluation to ensure effective governance results in equity and excellence for children.

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
  • 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

No teacher appraisal processes were completed in 2016. The new leadership team will need to introduce robust and systematic appraisal processes in regards to the Education Councils current legislated requirements to bring about an effective performance management system.

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to appraisal processes, management of health, safety and welfare, review of many policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and ensuring processes for attendance, stand-downs, exclusions and expulsions of students is recorded and documented systematically.

In order to address this the board must:

  1. ensure all staff are appraised annually
    State Sector Act 1998; s77C 

  1. consult with the community about the school’s health curriculum every two years
    Education Act 1989 Section 60B 

  1. review health and safety policies to ensure they meet the requirements under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 

  1. ensure the management of health, safety and welfare is effectively monitored across all school operations
    Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 

  1. improve processes for monitoring student attendance
    Education Act 1989 s25; National Administration Guideline 6.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should strengthen the documentation of all stand downs, suspensions and exclusions according to Ministry of Education procedures. 

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school is not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

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


ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to:

  • support governance processes and systems to strategically progress forward

  • develop curriculum management including accelerating student achievement

  • provide professional development to support teachers and leaders implement the changes required

  • support the leadership team bring about changes to progress equity and excellence.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

12 July 2017

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Provision of Māori medium education

Bilingual classes

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

12 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2013
February 2007
October 2003