Waimana School - 24/06/2014

1 Background and Context

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

This report evaluates the progress the board and principal have made in addressing issues from the 2012 ERO report. That ERO report identified significant issues relating to aspects of governance, leadership and teaching practice. The report also identified the need for the board to address issues of non-compliance with statutory requirements.

The issues identified in the previous ERO report have been compounded by an ongoing decline in the school’s roll resulting in a reduction in teaching staff. The board of trustees have worked hard to build its capacity to effectively govern the school. Leadership has remained stable.

The advice and guidance of the Tuhoe Education Authority (TEA) has been effective in guiding and supporting trustees to understand their roles and responsibilities. The TEA has since been disestablished.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The priorities identified in the 2012 ERO report related to:

  • support and guidance for trustees to enable them to effectively carry out their roles and responsibilities
  • the need for further consultation with the community and local iwi to address the falling roll and identify the future direction of the school
  • the design and implementation of a school curriculum that reflects The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aoteraoa
  • the development and implementation of robust assessment practices
  • implementing effective processes to monitor, analyse and report patterns of student attendance to the board and community
  • improving teacher capability in the use of assessment information to identify the learning needs of students and to implement appropriate teaching programmes
  • implementing a targeted school-wide approach to professional learning and appraisal for teachers.

Progress

The board are committed to improving their governance responsibilities and addressing ongoing issues facing the school. Initial consultation with the community to develop strategies to address concerns about the decline of the student roll has been completed. The board has begun to collate this information which it intends to use to establish strategic priorities for the school.

Trustees have a greater understanding of the importance of planning strategically for ongoing school improvement. A next step is for trustees to develop a planned programme of self review so that the board can determine the effectiveness of its strategic plan and governance operations. A governance manual is being developed and should assist trustees in strengthening their understanding of their roles and obligations, and support the induction of new trustees. Prudent financial management is a positive development for the board.

Trustees have made significant progress in addressing issues of non compliance signalled in the last ERO report. Health and safety policies are now developed and the principal has a signed performance agreement with the board. The board’s obligation to ensure teachers are appraised annually has been resolved. An external appraiser has been confirmed to undertake the appraisal of the principal and teachers in 2014.

The board appreciates the support and guidance that was provided by the TEA. Trustees indicate they are better informed about student achievement and engagement data and are now more able to use this data to guide board decisions. Changes to TEA funding allocation means they are no longer able to fully support the governance of the school. The guidance and advice of TEA has helped to support the sustainability of the school’s progress.

Issues of professional leadership relating to use of achievement information and improving teacher professional knowledge and practice remain ongoing areas of development for the principal. There is still considerable work to be done to raise student achievement in relation to the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. The effective use of assessment information, including moderation practices, continues to be an area requiring development.

Student achievement overall indicates that many students are achieving below the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. The decline of achievement in writing is of concern to the school. Achievement in reading is better with 70% of students achieving at or above National Standards.

There remains a need to improve levels of attendance. While attendance patterns are now more closely monitored and the information is reported to the board, current patterns show that improving levels of attendance is a continuing challenge for the school.

Class sizes are small and include students of different year levels, ages and abilities. Teachers need to improve how they cater for the individual tuition of these diverse groups of learners. To achieve this, teachers need to develop and embed high quality literacy and numeracy programmes. Although teachers have participated in extensive professional learning and development with external facilitators, the impact of this teacher programme on student learning and achievement is unclear.

The school has worked hard to develop a school curriculum that embodies both The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Developed in conjunction with the TEA, the curriculum now includes a school vision and values aligned with iwi goals and aspirations for education. A profile of a ‘successful student’ has been developed in conjunction with the school's aims and expectations for students.

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 making progress in sustaining and improving its performance. However, there remains a need to:

  • strengthen aspects of governance including implementing a formal programme of ongoing self review
  • increase school roll numbers
  • strengthen professional leadership in relation to curriculum, building teacher capacity, assessment and moderation
  • address low levels of student achievement

Priorities identified for review and development

There remains a need for trustees to continue to improve their knowledge and understanding of governance roles and responsibilities. Addressing the falling student roll and improving teaching practice are also areas of urgent priority for the board. Leadership remains an area for improvement. The principal must improve her capacity to more effectively lead curriculum developments and improve the quality of teaching across the school, as too many students are achieving below national expectations.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education continue to provide guidance and support for the school to address the issues identified in this report.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

24 June 2014

About the School

Location

Waimana, Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number

2057

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

38

Gender composition

Boys 20

Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

38

Special Features

Rumaki Education

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

24 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

April 2012

May 2010