William Colenso College - 21/12/2017

School Context

William Colenso College provides education for 365 students in Years 7 to 13. At the time of this ERO evaluation, 80 students were in Years 7 and 8. Māori students comprise 57% of the roll and Pacific 8%.

The college states that its valued outcomes for all students are to Aspire, Act, Achieve - Wawatatia, Mahia, Ekea. Key values supporting this include: Manaakitanga- Respect, Whanaungatanga - Belonging and Hirangatanga - Excellence in effort.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics for Years 7 and 8

  • progress and achievement in relation to curriculum levels for Years 9 and 10

  • accelerated progress in Years 7 to 10

  • achievement in Years 11 to 13 within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework

  • progress and achievement in relation to the school’s annual targets

  • outcomes for students with additional learning needs.

The Hawkes Bay School for Teenage Parents and an associated early childhood centre are located within the college grounds. The college is part of the Matariki Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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?

Achievement has increased significantly in some areas since the 2014 ERO evaluation, but areas requiring improvement remain.

The college reports that in 2016 just over 40% of Years 7 and 8 students were at or above expectation in reading and writing, and 52% in mathematics. The Year 8 data was significantly improved from the previous year.

Overall achievement in reading, writing and mathematics improved from 2015 to 2016. Māori achievement was below that of their peers within the school in mathematics. Most of the small number of Pacific students achieved at or above expectation for their year level. Males’ achievement in literacy is lower than that of females, particularly in writing.

Since 2014, there has been significant improvement in National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results overall and for Māori students, especially at Levels 1 and 3. The percentage of students at all year levels gaining NCEAs is similar to the national percentages.

The difference between in-school Māori and non-Māori NCEA achievement has reduced over time, but a disparity remains at Levels 1 and 2. Females at Levels 1 and 3 achieve higher than males.

A current focus is to increase the number of NCEA certificate endorsements. Provisional 2017 data indicates good progress with this at Level 1.

The percentage of students leaving the college with at least NCEA Level 2 has remained about the same since 2014. This is an area needing improvement. Leavers with NCEA Level 3 increased significantly in 2016. Leaver qualifications for females are higher than for males.

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

When they enter the college a significant proportion of Year 7 students are below curriculum expectation in reading, writing or mathematics. Many Māori, Pacific and other students make accelerated progress of more than one year in Years 7 and 8. Some of these learners reach expectation. However, for a significant number progress is not sufficient for them to be at the expected level by the end of Year 8.

Improved achievement in NCEA has enabled more Māori and other students to extend the pathways available to them within the school and once they leave.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

An inclusive and supportive approach to young people, focused on realising their potential, is highly evident. Educationally powerful relationships and a whole-school commitment to community collaboration are prioritised. Collaboration within the Matariki Kāhui Ako is improving transition between schools and contributing to teacher knowledge and capability that is likely to improve outcomes for learners.

Deliberate strategies are strengthening connections with whānau. Leaders are increasingly using whānau input in decision making the curriculum Student, whānau and community voice are sought and valued.to ensureresponds sufficiently to student and whānau knowledge and aspirations.

Culturally responsive and relationship-based teaching practice is emphasised and effectively promotes learning. Teachers’ professional learning and review focuses on establishing conditions for students to participate within caring, collaborative and inclusive learning environments. The curriculum strongly reflects te ao Māori and cultural knowledge. Māori and Pacific languages, culture and identity are valued.

The curriculum and individual programmes respond to student strengths, needs and potential pathways. The school is building knowledge of leavers’ destinations to determine how effectively the curriculum contributes to meaningful pathways for students.

Students’ pastoral needs, wellbeing and sense of belonging for educational success are supported effectively. Restorative practices strengthen respect within classrooms and the school. The student support centre individualises its services. Te Whānau Ora provides for the learning of students who need extra support. Well-considered care plans for those with more complex needs include wraparound support, adapted programmes and links to external agencies.

cademic mentoring within senior classesStudents needing acceleration or improved achievement in national qualifications are identified at each year level, with strategies to support them. Staff and other adults take collective responsibility for assisting them to achieve success. This includes a.

Achievement information is used to identify the focus for teaching, need for extra support, the progress students make and outcomes. Increased use of assessment data over time for individual students is enabling greater consideration of the impact of teaching and the curriculum on their progress.Regular monitoring of progress is shared with trustees and contributes to the board’s decision making.

Leaders collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence. Expectations for supporting the success of all students are well established. Use of relevant expertise and development of leaders’ and teachers’ collective capacity contributes to inquiry and knowledge building for sustained improvement in student outcomes.

Trustees actively represent the school and education community in their stewardship role. The strategic plan provides a suitable framework for continuing improvement. Annual targets are based on accelerating the progress of identified groups of students.

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

The college acknowledges that accelerating progress in the middle school and improving senior qualifications for a number of students, is a continuing priority. It has identified a need to:

  • continue developing the use of learning progressions for Years 9 and 10 to assist teachers to better prepare students for achievement in Year 11
  • strengthen use of standardised assessment tools in Year 10 to show student progress over time
  • increase the percentage of students leaving with at least NCEA Level 2 through continuing to extend culturally responsive and relational practices and development of the senior curriculum
  • further develop transition practices to support more effective engagement and learning, particularly for those likely to be at risk of low achievement, including for students who start in the college at senior year levels.

ERO’s evaluation agrees with these priorities. The board should also set a leaver qualification target as an important indicator of the quality of student outcomes.

Improving student attendance through a range of strategies has resulted in significant improvement over time for some. For a small number there continue to be high levels of absence, as a significant barrier to their learning and achievement. Trustees have previously set targets for improving attendance, and see the need to reinstate these to prioritise strategies to improve attendance for those students at risk.

An appropriate, generally well-implemented process supports the performance appraisal of teachers. Leaders should continue to strengthen the school-wide quality of some components of the process to ensure it contributes effectively to improving all teachers’ practice.

Leaders and teachers are reflective and improvement focused. A range of processes and prompts guide analysis and encourage evaluation of the impact of their practices for priority learners. Continuing to enhance internal evaluation should focus on more clearly identifying the impact of teaching and initiatives on student learning outcomes.

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.

Provision for international students

The college is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care on International Students) code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The college has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. Comprehensive ongoing review enables it to effectively monitor compliance with the Code.

At the time of this review there were 30 international students attending the college.

Leaders and school personnel ensure suitable support for international students. All students have homestay accommodation. The college has regular contact with the families who host students.

School staff work collaboratively to provide appropriate pastoral care. Wellbeing and achievement is well-monitored. Positive relationships are built with students. They are effectively integrated into wider college life and participate in a range of sporting and cultural events.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • relationship based, culturally responsive and personalised approaches that promote student and whānau belonging and assist learners to realise their potential
  • pastoral and wellbeing provision that responds holistically to students’ diverse needs and increases their opportunity for learning success
  • collaborative leadership that establishes coherent processes, maintains high expectations and is improvement focused.

Next steps

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

  • consolidating home and school collaboration linked to learning, and decision making that is responsive to students’ learning needs, as identified by the school

  • increasing the attendance and engagement of some students to improve their opportunity for educational success

  • enhanced internal evaluation to determine the impact for students of teaching and initiatives, and contribute to ongoing development.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

21 December 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Year 7-15)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 57%
Pākehā 22%
Pacific 8%
Asian 7%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

21 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2014
Education Review October 2011
Education Review November 2008