Ngataki School

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Education institution number:
1055
School type:
Composite
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
34
Telephone:
Address:

5265 Far North Road, Ngataki, Kaitaia

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Findings

Ngataki School has made very good progress since 2014 under the leadership of the principal. Children are benefiting from improvements in the curriculum and teaching practices and are now highly engaged in their learning. It is now time to re-establish a board of trustees that reflects the local community.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Ngataki School is located in the Far North and caters for children from Years 1 to 8. Most of the children are Māori, with connections to Ngāti Kuri, Ngāpuhi, and Te Aupouri. The school has two permanent teachers and two classrooms. One room caters for children in Years 1 to 4, and the other for children in Years 5 to 8.

Since 2013, ERO has maintained contact with the school through a longitudinal review process. This approach was based on the school’s poor performance and lack of positive outcomes for children over a long period of time. ERO’s 2009, 2013 and 2014 reports for Ngataki School identified concerns about the quality of teaching and learning, curriculum design, leadership and governance, including financial management and systems for quality assurance and internal evaluation.

After a period of staffing instability, including the principal’s leadership, an acting principal was appointed in July 2013. At the same time, the board of trustees was dissolved and a commissioner was appointed by the Ministry of Education (MoE). In July 2014, the commissioner, a Ngāti Kuri Trust Board representative, was directed by the MoE to establish a combined board of trustees for both Ngataki and Te Hapua Schools. The commissioner appointed a permanent principal to lead both schools, a role that began in Term 3, 2014. This experienced principal continues to hold a dual leadership role. A board of trustees has not yet been established to govern Ngataki and Te Hapua Schools.

ERO has continued to visit Ngataki and Te Hapua Schools from 2014 until the most recent evaluation visit in May 2018. During this time, the MoE has provided professional learning support for teachers and the principal. ERO’s visit to Ngataki School in November 2016 identified that very good progress had been made in all areas identified as priorities for improvement, except governance.

Since that time, the school has continued to engage in significant, targeted professional learning to improve the school’s curriculum design and enactment, and teaching and learning practices. Ngataki School’s teachers have partnered with teachers from Te Hapua School to share and further develop effective teaching and learning practices. This approach has involved teachers, children and whānau making weekly visits to each other’s schools for shared teaching and learning programmes.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

ERO and the school identified priorities for review and development that included improving the quality of:

  • leadership and governance, including the development of a charter, strategic planning and policy framework, and improvement of self-review and personnel management systems
  • the school’s curriculum design and enactment, including careers education for students in Years 7 and 8
  • teaching practice, including teachers’ understanding and use of student achievement information.
Progress
Curriculumand teachingand learning

Teachers are highly skilled practitioners. They work collaboratively with each other, the principal, and with their teaching colleagues from Te Hapua School, to design and implement a responsive and meaningful curriculum for children from both Ngāti Kuri schools. Effective and ongoing partnering with whānau enables children to experience a curriculum design that is based in Ngāti Kuritanga.

Learning programmes immerse children in te ao Māori, including scientific inquiry within the Ngāti Kuri rohe. These localised experiences support children, teachers and whānau to learn within and about their own environment. Significantly, they promote children’s pride in their language, culture and identity. Learning programmes enhance children’s critical thinking and problem solving skills. Field trips and using digital devices help to provide significant learning opportunities for children, staff and whānau beyond the local area.

As a result of effective teaching practices, positive relationships, and authentic and personalised learning programmes, children are highly engaged, enthusiastic and motivated learners. Children’s ideas about the curriculum are valued, and they have choice about what and how they learn. Extensive professional learning is helping teachers to promote children’s oral language skills, in te reo Māori and English. This learning provides a strong basis for continual improvements in children’s writing.

Teachers integrate reading, writing and mathematics effectively with other areas of the curriculum. This work is informed by research and external professional support. Teachers’ use of standardised assessment tools, including the MoE’s Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT), and other professional learning is improving their understanding and use of student achievement information.

Most children achieve at or beyond expected levels of the curriculum in reading and mathematics. The majority of children achieve at expected levels in writing. To further improve children’s writing skills and achievement, this core curriculum area is the current strategic focus for teachers’ professional learning. Most children also achieve well in science and the arts.

The key next step is to strengthen how well teachers and children use achievement and other learning information in order to become increasingly responsive and adaptive as learners and leaders.

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 well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Leadership and governance

The school is benefiting from the principal’s strong and capable leadership. Her collaborative approach is strengthening teachers’ and children’s resilience and their confidence to take learning risks, and to be effective leaders and learners. A well-managed change approach, including open and honest communication, is building trust and mutual respect between teachers and staff, and with the community. The school’s meaningful consultation is deepening learning partnerships with Ngāti Kuri whānau and is promoting an engaged and productive learning community.

In partnership with the Ngāti Kuri Trust Board, teachers and whānau, the principal has created a strategic vision and goals for both schools that are connected to The New Zealand Curriculum and to Ngāti Kuri expectations. Strategic goals are well aligned to teachers’ professional learning and to their inquiry-based appraisal. Internal evaluation is used purposefully to sustain and further improve outcomes for learners.

Key next steps

Key next steps for leadership and governance include:

  • developing a framework for reviewing policies against current practices and legislation
  • aligning the teachers’ appraisal procedures with current Education Council requirements
  • continuing to strengthen internal evaluation to inform the school’s strategic direction and change for ongoing improvement
  • evaluating, in partnership with whānau, how well the dual leadership role of the principal is working for both schools.

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.

In order to improve practice, the commissioner should support the principal by:

  • authorising excursions out of the school that include an overnight stay
  • consulting with whānau every two years about the delivery of the school’s health curriculum.

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education work with the school and whānau to reconstitute a board of trustees that represents the school’s community.

Conclusion

Ngataki School has made very good progress since 2014 under the leadership of the principal. Children are benefiting from improvements in the curriculum and teaching practices and are now highly engaged in their learning. It is now time to re-establish a board of trustees that reflects the local community.

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

3 August 2018

About the School

Location

Ngataki, Kaitaia

Ministry of Education profile number

1055

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

27

Gender composition

Boys 14 Girls 13

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

26
1

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

3 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

February 2015
March 2013
November 2009

Findings

Ngataki School is a small rural school in the Far North. ERO's ongoing concerns about the school centre on the poor quality of education provided for students, but also include governance and management capability.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Ngataki School is a small rural school in the Far North that caters for students from Years 1 to 8. Most students are Māori and many affiliate to the local iwi of Ngāti Kuri and Te Aupouri.

Since the 2009 and 2013 ERO reviews, significant staffing changes have continued. This staffing includes the appointment of an inexperienced, provisionally registered teacher as principal during 2012. Both reviews identified ongoing and significant challenges for the school, including those relating to:

  • the quality of teaching, learning and student achievement information
  • the quality of curriculum planning and development
  • the use of information and communication (ICT) across the school, and
  • the quality of school leadership and governance, including financial management and self-review systems.

Over the years, school personnel have found it difficult to establish good quality education for children. Because of the nature of the challenges facing the school, ERO decided in 2013 to undertake a longitudinal review. This approach involved visiting the school and maintaining contact with the board and principal to evaluate progress over a two year period.

During 2013 and 2014 the local Ministry of Education (MoE) has provided support and guidance for the school to improve the quality of leadership and governance. However, many of the concerns that had been identified in earlier ERO reviews remain as challenges for the school and have yet to be addressed at the time of this 2014 ERO review.

There have also been significant changes in school governance and leadership over the past two years.

In June 2013, the principal took leave and subsequently resigned. In July 2013, an acting principal was appointed.

In October 2013 the board of trustees was dissolved and the MoE appointed a commissioner, who is a representative of the local iwi. In July 2014, the commissioner was directed by the Minister of Education to establish a combined board of trustees for Ngataki and Te Hapua schools. This combined board has not yet been established. ERO has had little information from, or involvement with, the commissioner about his plans for and work within the school since his appointment.

A permanent principal to replace the acting principal was appointed by the commissioner. She began in the school at the beginning of Term 3, 2014. The new principal has a dual leadership role, with responsibility for both Ngataki School and Te Hapua School. The principal will share her time between them and provide professional and educational leadership for both schools.

ERO will continue to work in an evaluative capacity alongside the new principal and staff to provide feedback on progress and the quality of the school’s provision of education for students.

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 for review and development at the time of ERO’s 2013 longitudinal process were:

  • building leadership capability
  • developing teachers’ capabilities in the use of assessment practices to support student achievement
  • strengthening curriculum delivery and the use of effective teaching practices
  • strengthening board understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities.

Progress

There has been limited progress in addressing these priorities for review and development.

Strengthening curriculum delivery and the use of effective teaching practices

The new principal has identified that a next step is to differentiate programmes for individual learners in order to increase their achievement and engagement in learning. She is beginning to provide opportunities for teachers to discuss and develop shared understandings about effective teaching strategies that help students learn, and teachers to plan collaboratively to support this learning. ERO found evidence of teachers using some effective strategies that are likely to help students learn. Recent work to collect assessment information in reading should help to identify students who will most benefit from participating in learning support programmes to improve their reading comprehension.

Developing teachers capabilities in assessment practices that support student achievement

There remains work to do in developing teachers’ knowledge and understanding of effective assessment processes. Teachers’ judgements about students’ progress and achievement is not reliable. At this stage most students are not achieving the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers are not yet using student achievement information sufficiently well to plan programmes of work that meet the learning needs of individual students. Accelerating student achievement is a matter of urgency.

Key next steps

ERO and the new principal agree that in order to effect significant improvement it is important to:

  • develop assessment processes for teachers to accurately assess and report on student progress and achievement and to better plan to meet student learning needs
  • implement teaching strategies that accelerate and improve progress and achievement
  • encourage collaborative learning partnerships between home and school to support students to achieve better.

The principal and teaching staff would benefit from on-going support from the Ministry of Education and other professional development providers, as she works with staff to plans for and implement the above key next steps.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Ngataki School is not yet well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Building leadership capability

The new principal is an experienced school leader. She is providing some leadership stability for Ngataki and Te Hapua schools and is finding ways to share her time equitably between both schools. She is also developing a good understanding of both school and community contexts. The principal and teachers are aware of the challenges and development priorities for both schools.

Strengthening board understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities

The new principal and commissioner have yet to develop a professional working relationship to improve school performance. Very little face-to-face contact has occurred between the principal and the commissioner since her appointment.

The commissioner has not yet established a combined board of trustees for both Ngataki and Te Hapua School. A strong working relationship between the commissioner, the principal and the community is vital for the success of the school at this time of development and change.

The commissioner should work with the principal to undertake an ongoing review of the successes and challenges of the principal’s dual leadership role. This review should provide useful feedback to the MoE and the community about this model of principalship. The principal should be a significant contributor to such a review.

Key next steps

ERO recommends that the commissioner and principal:

  • initiate a thorough review of the school’s processes for meeting its legislative obligations, including a review of its policy framework, and ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken to meet its legal requirements
  • develop a charter in consultation with the community that takes into full account the National Education Guidelines and all statutory obligations
  • develop a strategic plan that identifies the most urgent learning needs for all students and groups of students who are at risk of not achieving
  • establish robust performance management systems based on reflective practice for all staff.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the commissioner and principal of the school were asked to complete an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. The commissioner has not responded to ERO’s request to complete the Board Assurance Statement with the principal.

ERO is unable to be assured the all reasonable steps have been taken to meet legislative obligations related to:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO was unable to check the following items that 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.

ERO is not confident that many aspects of the board’s legal requirements are being met. To comply with legislative obligations, the commissioner, principal and teaching staff must:

  1. develop a school charter, strategic and annual plans, and an ongoing programme of self review that includes the evaluation of student achievement
  2. provide teaching and learning programmes which incorporate The National Curriculum, as expressed in The New Zealand Curriculum 2007
  3. provide teaching and learning programmes that meet the diverse needs of students and ensure that students have access to all essential learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum
  4. provide career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and above, with a particular emphasis on specific career guidance for those students who have been identified by the school as being at risk of leaving school unprepared for the transition to the workplace or further education
  5. ensure that clear plans are in place that support a safe physical and emotional environment for students and staff[National Administration Guidelines 1998, 1, 2 (a) (b),5 ].

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education:

  • undertake a review of the effectiveness of the current intervention
  • monitor and support the work of the principal in her new dual leadership role
  • provide ongoing, targeted support for teaching and learning.

Conclusion

Ngataki School is a small rural school in the Far North. ERO's ongoing concerns about the school centre on the poor quality of education provided for students, but also include governance and management capability.

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

Dale Bailey,

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern,

9 February 2015

About the School

Location

Kaitaia

Ministry of Education profile number

1055

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

24

Gender composition

Boys 12

Girls 12

Ethnic composition

Māori

Irish

Fijian Indian

21

2

1

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

9 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2013

November 2009

September 2006