Pukekohe North School

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Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Pukekohe North School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

1 Background and Context

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

Pukekohe North School is a full primary catering for students in Year 1 to 8. Since the last ERO review in 2017, the school has been involved in an ERO longitudinal review process. A new principal was appointed in Term 3, 2017 and a new deputy principal was appointed at the start of 2018. The school has experienced significant roll growth since the last ERO review. There are now 256 students attending, including 203 identifying as Māori and 37 from Pacific Island descent.

2 Review and Development

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

The school has made good progress in addressing many areas identified in the last ERO review. There is a calm and positive learning focused culture developing and students feel safe and included in all aspects of school life.

Priorities identified for review and development

Priorities include developing:

  • a range of assessment practices that provide reliable and valid student achievement data

  • measurable charter targets focused on the number of students whose learning requires acceleration

  • a strategic approach to building teacher capability through targeted teacher professional learning and development (PLD) in literacy and mathematics

  • a robust performance management process so that all teachers are appraised annually.

  • financial and personnel policies and procedures to support the effective governance and management of school operations.

Progress
Develop a range of assessment practices that provide reliable and valid student achievement data.

There is a well-considered and deliberate approach to ensuring students’ achievement data is reliable and valid. An annual assessment schedule has been developed and moderation processes have been implemented. Teachers know their students well and use a wide range of assessment tools to track and monitor their achievement. Student achievement and progress information is regularly collated, shared and reported. There is evidence of targeted students making accelerated progress.

Setting measurable charter targets focused on the number of students whose learning requires acceleration

The board has set measurable targets based on percentage improvements for groups of students over consecutive years. There has been regular reporting to the board about student achievement. Targets need to be further refined to reflect priority areas based on the analysis of student achievement data and to show the number of students whose learning requires acceleration.

A strategic approach to building teacher capability through targeted teacher PLD in literacy and mathematics

The school has received very good support from the Ministry of Education (MOE) to identify and source professional learning and development (PLD) for teachers. There has been a focus on developing a cross-curricular approach to reading, writing and mathematics. Learning progressions have been introduced and staff have received further PLD in implementing the Progress and Achievement Consistency Tool (PACT) in writing and mathematics. There is a need to continue to build teacher capability to improve student outcomes.

A robust performance management process so that all teachers are appraised annually

All staff have been appraised annually through a clear and robust appraisal process.

Ensure a safe physical and emotional environment for students and staff. (National Administration Guideline 5)

School leaders have:

  • developed and implemented a behaviour and discipline policy
  • implemented an extensive range of programmes and services to support the wellbeing, social development and safety of students
  • developed strong links with community support groups and support can be targeted where appropriate
  • gathered the views of students and data shows that students feel safer, happier and more engaged in their learning
  • implemented the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiative. This has been effective in developing a positive school culture.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has addressed all the key areas of review and development. There is a positive school culture amongst students and staff. Students are engaged in well-planned learning activities. Staff feel well supported and teacher capability has improved. Teachers track and monitor student achievement and know their students well. Trustees have undertaken training to better understand their roles and responsibilities.

However, overall the low levels of student achievement in mainstream and rumaki classes have not improved in mathematics and writing since the 2017 ERO review. There has been an improvement in reading across all areas of the school.

While the school has addressed all the areas of non-compliance in the previous ERO report, there are new compliance issues that have been identified and need to be addressed.

Key next steps

In order improve levels of student achievement the school needs to:

  • further refine student achievement targets on the number of students requiring acceleration
  • tracking, monitoring and reporting regularly on the progress and achievement of at risk students
  • continue to build teacher capability in effective strategies to accelerate the learning for those students who require it.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in curriculum, health, safety and welfare, and personnel.

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

  • consult with the community regarding the delivery of the school’s health curriculum
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]
  • specifically focus on anti-bullying programmes regarding homophobic and transgender bullying as part of the school’s anti-bullying curriculum
    [NAG 5; Good practice]
  • keep written records of every instance of physical restraint of a student that is carried out under the physical restrain rules
    [Ref: Sections 139AB to 139AE Education Act, Clause 9]
  • regularly report about compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act
    [Health and Safety At Work Act 2015]
  • report in its annual report compliance with the personnel policy on being a good employer.
    [S 77a State Sector Act 1988].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • processes to support the management of crisis situations including pandemic planning
    [NAG 5; Good practice]

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Pukekohe North School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

16 June 2020

About the School

Location

Pukekohe

Ministry of Education profile number

1435

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

256

Gender composition

Male 51% Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ Eurpean/Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

79%
4%
14%
3%

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

16 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2017
January 2014
September 2011

Summary

Pukekohe North School caters for children in Years 1 to 8. The roll of 171 includes 140 Maori and 31 Pacific children. The school provides Māori medium options for 168 children.

During the course of this review ERO identified ineffective school governance and a lack of professional leadership. The principal resigned while ERO was on site, and the board chair relinquished his position to take up a position overseas. The board has sought support from the Ministry of Education. An acting principal will lead the school during Term 2.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

In the absence of sound assessment and concerns about the consistency and reliability of teachers’ overall judgements in relation to National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga, the school cannot be assured of how well it is responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

There are some processes that provide a base to support the school to enable achievement of equity and excellence.

Significant developments are needed in many school processes to achieve equity and excellence. Governance, professional leadership, and curriculum and assessment practices are not well implemented.

The school’s 2016 achievement information indicates that approximately two thirds of Māori students are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Pacific children achieved slightly better than other ethnic groups, and girls achieved at significantly higher levels than boys. The 2016 data also shows that almost all of the children were at or above Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori in pānui, tuhituhi and pangarau. There is some concern about the reliability of the school’s achievement information.

The school is not well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children.

Although the school has some good systems and processes to achieve equity and excellence, ERO has identified issues and concerns that are impacting on the school’s ability to sustain and improve its performance. The main areas of concern are:

  • professional leadership

  • governance

  • curriculum and assessment 

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

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

Equity and excellence

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

In the absence of sound assessment and concerns about the consistency and reliability of teachers’ overall judgements, the school cannot be assured of how well it is responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. The school has not engaged in moderation, externally or internally, in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga. There is an urgent need for teacher professional development in assessment and moderation, using learning progressions.

Despite the concerns identified above, the student achievement data that has been gathered, suggests there is very little difference in achievement between the different ethnic groups represented in the school. There has been a lack of improvement in learning outcomes for boys in comparison to girls over time. This suggests it is important that the school reduce the disparity of achievement for boys, and to ensure the curriculum is responsive to their learning strengths and needs.

Of greatest importance, is the need for the school is to establish sound systems and practices so the student achievement they gather, is accurate, valid and reliable.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

There are some processes that provide a base to support the school to enable achievement of equity and excellence.

The school has additional learning support and interventions in place to promote positive outcomes for at risk learners. The progress of children in these programmes is carefully tracked and monitored.

An extensive range of initiatives and services support children’s pastoral care needs. Children benefit from a holistic approach to meeting their wellbeing.

Strong learning partnerships with parents, particularly those with children who are at risk learners, are being encouraged. Good communication enables these parents to support their child’s learning at home.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Significant developments are needed in many school processes to achieve equity and excellence. Governance, professional leadership, curriculum and assessment systems and practices are not effective. Urgent priority must be given to improving performance through the implementation of:

  • Assessment systems and practices that are well understood and consistently implemented. Achievement information must be used effectively to inform decision making at board, leadership and classroom level.

  • Moderation practices that are sufficiently well developed and understood to ensure dependability of Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs).

  • Targeted action to reduce disparity of achievement, which includes specific, measurable targets that align with identified groups of at risk learners.

  • Professional development to build teacher capability in assessment, and teaching practice to raise and accelerate achievement in literacy and mathematics. This must be relevant and ongoing for all teachers.

  • A robust performance management process for the principal that is consistently implemented annually, in accordance with all contractual and legislative requirements.

  • Policies and procedures leading to close monitoring of school finances and expenditure by the board.

  • Personnel management practices that are consistent with board policies and procedures, and in accordance with the relevant legislative requirements.

The alignment of these key school-wide processes is necessary to develop an internal evaluation system that is coherent and which will enable the board, leaders and staff to continually evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s overall performance.

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

  • 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. 

Appraisal audit

The school has sound systems to ensure the endorsement of teachers practising certificates reflect the requirements of the Education Council. 

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to curriculum guidelines and assessment practices that are not sufficiently comprehensive to enable the progress and achievement of students to be evaluated.

In order to address this the board must:

  1. Through a range of assessment practices, gather information that is sufficiently comprehensive to enable the progress and achievement of students to be evaluated.
    (National Administration Guideline 1b)
  2. Report to the Secretary for Education by March 1 school-level data on Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori and/or National Standards.
    (National Administration Guideline 2Ab)
  3. Ensure a safe physical and emotional environment for students and staff.
    (National Administration Guideline 5)

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school is not well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children.

Although the school has some good systems and processes to achieve equity and excellence, ERO has identified issues and concerns that are impacting on the school’s ability to sustain and improve its performance. The main areas of concern are:

  • professional leadership

  • governance

  • curriculum and assessment

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

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

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing ongoing support for the school in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • governance systems and practices

  • professional leadership and management practices

  • curriculum and assessment practices

  • internal evaluation. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

20 June 2017

About the school 

Location

Pukekohe

Ministry of Education profile number

1453

School type

Full primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

230

Gender composition

Boys 60% Girls 40%

Ethnic composition

Māori 85%
Pacific 13%
Pākehā 2%

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

3

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

168

Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

134

Number of students in Level 1 MME

34

Number of students in Level 2 MME

Nil

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

20 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review January 2014
Education Review September 2011