Westshore School - 12/12/2017

School Context

Westshore is a Years 1 to 6 school located in Napier. It has a roll of 149, with 34% identify as Māori.

Since the August 2014 ERO report there has been interruption to the continuity of the senior leadership team. Over 2016 and 2017 both the principal and deputy principal have taken 12 months refreshment leave at different times. A relief principal and the assistant principal have acted to cover their respective roles. The recent resignation of the deputy principal further contributes to this lack of continuity.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards.

The school is currently receiving support from the Ministry of Education through a School Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner.

The school is a member of the Ahuriri Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school reported that at the end of 2016 most students are achieving at or above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall the schools’ achievement data has trended down from 2014 to 2016.

Significant disparity for Māori learners and boys exists in reading, less so in writing. Achievement in mathematics for both groups has remained static.

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

There is an urgent need to establish a coordinated schoolwide response to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Mid-year 2017 assessment data does not show a clear picture of sufficient progress being made for these students.

Students requiring additional learning support are identified and some are supported through individual planning. A schoolwide coordinated approach needs to be established to better respond to the needs of individual students, their families and whānau.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Students learn in a positive environment where their relationship with adults and their peers are warm and respectful. Pastoral care and wellbeing of students is closely monitored.

Students are keen to share their learning with others and work well together.

Teachers are open to new ideas, are reflective and engage in discussion.

Board members bring a range of expertise to stewardship, and are growing their understanding of their roles and responsibilities as trustees.

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

From 2012-2014 the school participated in an ongoing ERO evaluation process to support improvement. Progress noted in 2014 has not been sustained over the past three years.

Schoolwide systems and processes to guide teaching and learning are not sufficiently developed or aligned to support achievement of equity and excellence.

Assessment practices need further development. This should include:

  • developing systems and processes to identify, track, monitor and report progress and achievement

  • reviewing the range of assessment tools used to ensure these are fit for purpose

  • developing clearly documented assessment guidelines and procedures

  • regular moderation of judgements about levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • strengthening the analysis of achievement information

  • developing a framework for teachers to:

    • inquire into and respond more effectively to students’ needs

    • know the impact of their teaching and programmes on student outcomes.

The senior leadership team and staff should review and develop a coherent, responsive curriculum, aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum and informed by current best practice. This should include:

  • consultation with the school’s community to identify the valued outcomes and aspirations of families and whānau

  • agreed expectations and guidance for effective teaching and learning

  • well considered contexts for learning for Māori and all students, that are enriched by community and cultural resources

  • ways the school is responding to the needs of 21st century learners.

Board, leaders and staff need to develop specific charter targets that relate to the acceleration of students that are at risk of under achievement. Aligning school processes to these targets would assist in improving progress and achievement of students.

The appraisal process requires further development to align with current legislative requirements and to build teacher professional capability and leadership. In 2017, the appraisal process has not been implemented for the principal or staff. This urgently needs addressing.

The board should develop a robust governance policy framework and processes for regular review. Urgency is required to ensure legal requirements are met in relation to non-compliant policies and procedures.

Leadership urgently needs strengthening in order to build collective capacity and to align school systems and processes to improve equity and excellence.

Trustees should seek targeted training that is relevant to their needs. This should strengthen and build cohesive governance practices.

The board, leaders and teachers should develop schoolwide knowledge and understanding of evidenced-based internal evaluation to better inform decisions for change, improvement and future sustainability.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

The board identified a number of areas in its board assurance statement that require attention to better meet legislative requirements. At the time of the review the school was unable to locate a number of policies and procedures.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • process and practices related to appraisal and assessment of the principal’s and teachers’ performance

  • the surrender and retention of property and searches of students

  • the reporting of suspected neglect and abuse

  • how the school supports students wellbeing through practices to prevent bullying.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. implement a performance management system for the principal and teachers that is evidence and inquiry based, linked to the professional teachers standards and the school’s annual targets
    [s77c State Sector Act 1998; (NZ Gazette No 180: Dec 1996)]

  1. develop a policy and procedure on the surrender and retention of property and searches of students
    [The Education Act 139AAA to 139AAF]

  1. develop a child protection policy that says how suspected neglect and abuse will be identified and reported.
    [Vulnerable Children Act 2014]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • establish a regular method of reporting about health and safety

  • further develop the appointments policy to include a procedure for checking proof of identity and verifying referees

  • document the practices the school uses to supports student wellbeing and prevention of bullying

  • consult with the school’s Māori community about strategic planning and provision for improving outcomes for Māori students

  • receive assurance at intervals of not more than six months that a trial evacuation has occurred.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • Teachers’ reflective practice and openness to new ideas

  • positive learning environments and respectful relationships.

Next steps

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

  • developing a coherent school curriculum that guides effective teaching and learning

  • establishing a coordinated schoolwide response to those Māori learners and other students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration

  • strengthening leadership

  • building teacher capability and effectiveness through performance management and appraisal

  • developing a collective knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation to inform change and improvement for future sustainability.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvement in:

  • raising student achievement through high quality leadership, effective teaching and cohesion of schoolwide systems and processes

  • internal evaluation

  • meeting legislative requirements.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

12 December 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 34%

Pākehā 56%

Other ethnic groups 10%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

12 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2014

Education Review August 2012

Education Review April 2009