Fairburn School

Fairburn School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within six months of the Education Review Office and Fairburn School working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz


Fairburn School is in Ōtāhuhu, Auckland and provides education for ākonga in Years 1 to 6. The school’s vision statement is Kia kotahi te hoe o te waka kia whaia te mātauranga: Towards knowledge and excellence we paddle as one’. This statement is underpinned by the Fairburn School values of Whakaute (Respect), Whakaarohanga (Consideration), Ngākau Māhaki (Kindness), Pononga (Honesty) and Kawenga (Responsibility).

Fairburn School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to:

  • strengthen effective oral language teaching practices throughout the school

  • empower ākonga to become self-regulated learners who take increasing responsibility for their learning

  • grow and maintain culturally responsive practices across the school.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Fairburn School’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how well the school conditions raise the achievement of all ākonga through developing learner agency.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to:

  • raise the achievement of all ākonga in the core curriculum areas of literacy and mathematics

  • enable ākonga to have ownership over their learning

  • embed assessment for learning practices across the school.

The school expects to see:

  • ākonga actively participating in and making decisions about their learning

  • ākonga working collaboratively with peers and teachers to provide effective feedback and feed forward

  • assessment for learning practices consistently integrated into teaching and learning

  • ākonga articulating their learning progress, achievement and next steps and involving their whānau in the learning process.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to raise the achievement of all ākonga through developing learner agency:

  • the school learning culture promotes the Fairburn School values and ensures all ākonga have a strong sense of belonging, identity and connection to the school

  • ākonga with diverse learning requirements are well supported, monitored and effectively resourced

  • staff foster professional and collaborative relationships that focus on the learning and wellbeing of all ākonga.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • developing shared understanding and expectations among ākonga, teachers and whānau of learner agency to enable ākonga to have ownership over their learning

  • providing ongoing professional learning opportunities that promote effective implementation of assessment for learning practices and strengthen school-wide consistency

  • continuing to inquire into teaching and learning to raise the achievement of all ākonga.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

9 August 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Fairburn School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of June 2023, the Fairburn School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Further Information

For further information please contact Fairburn School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

9 August 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Fairburn School - 31/05/2018

School Context

Fairburn School is a large contributing primary school in Otahuhu that caters for children from Years 1 to 6. Māori children make up 12 percent of the current roll of 609. Pacific children make up 58 percent, with the largest groups being Tongan and Samoan.

The school’s overarching vision is to create a friendly and challenging environment that encourages all children to take increased responsibility for their own learning and behaviour, and to achieve this in partnership with their families. The school’s values underpin the culture of respect, consideration, kindness, honesty and responsibility.

Outcomes for children that are valued by the school and its community include a passion for ongoing learning, confidence, achievement success, and the holistic development of the whole child.

The school’s current achievement targets are aimed at:

  • lifting the achievement of Year 3 children in mathematics

  • specific targeting of Year 4 boys in writing

  • improving achievement of all children in reading, writing, and mathematics.

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

  • reading, writing, mathematics and other curriculum areas

  • learning support and special programmes

  • teachers’ moderation and assessment against curriculum levels

  • overall progress towards targets

  • cultural and other characteristics of the school and its community.

Since the 2015 ERO evaluation the school has a new principal, mostly new trustees, and a new enrolment scheme. The school has provided internal professional development in relation to teaching mathematics and writing.

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 continues to work towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. The majority of children achieve well in reading, with a smaller majority achieving well in writing and mathematics.

A disparity in boy’s achievement in reading and writing has persisted over time. Deeper analysis of achievement information would help to more clearly identify children who need targeted support for accelerating learning.

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

The school has taken some steps to respond to Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration and continues to be a focus.

The school provides support to specifically engage children and their families and help them to focus on learning strategies. Learning support programmes are designed to accelerate reading, writing, and mathematics for children who are identified needing extra support. A Social Worker in Schools and health and pastoral teams also work closely with a number of children and their whānau who require intensive assistance so that basic social skills are met to better enable access to learning.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Effective school processes include:

  • a broad and well resourced curriculum with high levels of teacher expertise, and good systems for delivery, including digital technologies

  • aspects of collaborative inquiry processes and professional learning opportunities that align with the school’s vision, values, goals and targets

Strong connections and relationships enable the school and its communities to engage in valued partnerships to support children’s learning. Whānau and community involvement in school activities is welcomed and encouraged. Student-led conferences, and specific strategies to accelerate learning using digital platforms and other modes of communication, are engaging parents and children in learning.

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

To improve Māori achievement school leaders should develop an achievement plan, aligning it with the Ministry of Education’s Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 – 2017 strategy. School leaders and teachers need to more closely analyse information about Māori students’ progress and achievement to show how well they are supported to accelerate their learning.

Pacific children make up the majority of the school’s roll. It is now timely to disaggregate and further analyse data to provide more clarity about how well each Pacific group is achieving and set specific achievement targets.

Leaders agree that schoolwide internal evaluation needs to be strengthened and more clearly documented. Improvements should include:

  • monitoring progress against achievement targets

  • evaluating the effectiveness of schoolwide and class programmes, to inform the board’s decision making

  • continuing to evaluate learning support programmes to highlight children’s accelerated learning progress

  • further developing ‘teaching as inquiry’ processes that support a more streamlined and systematic appraisal process.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure policies align with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014
  • review health and safety policies to align with new legal requirements.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • building professional capability and capacity that supports teaching and learning

  • educationally powerful connections and relationships that are effectively engaging parents in children’s learning

Next steps

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

  • establishing internal evaluation processes and practices that use data from a range of sources, to better identify what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed

  • specific targeted planning for those children whose learning progress needs accelerating

  • developing a Māori achievement plan to accelerate learning and improve outcomes for Māori learners.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in three years. ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

31 May 2018

About the school


Otahuhu, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Primary School (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

31 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

April 2015
October 2011
August 2008