Mohaka School

Education institution number:
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

1978 Mohaka Coast Road, Mohaka

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Mohaka School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 16 months of the Education Review Office and Mohaka 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.


Mohaka is a full primary, rural school south of Wairoa. The school caters for learners from Years 1 to 8. The kura has whānau, hapu and iwi connections to Ngāti Pāhauwera. The guiding tauparapara for Mohaka school is: taku rekereke, taku tūrangawaewae: where I plant my feet, is where I make a stand.

Mohaka School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • to raise levels of achievement in literacy

  • to raise levels of achievement in mathematics.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan available at the school.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively teaching practices in literacy and numeracy promote improved outcomes for all learners.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the need to improve learner outcomes in literacy and numeracy across all year levels of the school

  • to ensure that professional learning in literacy is translated into tangible and actionable steps that lead to improved outcomes for learners

  • that consistent teaching expectations are aligned with best practice, research and evidence to promote learner progress and achievement

  • strong literacy and numeracy foundations will empower learners as they transition through their schooling.

The school expects to see equitable and excellent outcomes in literacy and numeracy for all learners with accelerated progress for target students.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate how effectively teaching practices in literacy and numeracy promote improved outcomes for all learners:

  • whakawhanaungatanga is valued and central to school's community and sense of belonging

  • well-established connections, communications and relationships with whānau, hapū, iwi to support student learning and outcomes

  • school practices that effectively support students within an environment that grows their identity, language and culture for Māori to succeed as Māori

  • a commitment to continued growth in teacher capacity and capability through professional learning leading to improve outcomes for all learners.

Where to next?

Moving forward the school will prioritise:

  • targeted professional learning aligned to literacy and numeracy needs

  • further analysis of data to identify specific areas of need and ongoing monitoring of learner progress and achievement

  • ensuring that assessment activities are fit for purpose and support targeted instruction/deliberate teaching and learning

  • strengthening reciprocal and learning centred relationships with community, families and whānau to support improved achievement in literacy and numeracy.

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

13 November 2023                                                             

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Mohaka School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

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

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Actions for Compliance

ERO and the board have identified the following area of non-compliance during the board assurance process: 

  • ensure all staff employed have a current police vet.

[ s 104 Education and Training Act 2020]

The board has since addressed the area of non-compliance identified.

Further Information

For further information please contact Mohaka School, 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

13 November 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Mohaka School - 13/05/2019


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

1 Background and Context

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

Mohaka School is a small rural school located in a coastal area of the Wairoa District. It has students in Years 1 to 8. The roll of 42, includes 38 Māori students.

Since the November 2015 ERO report, the school has experienced changes in personnel. New teaching staff were appointed in 2018. A new board chairperson was appointed recently.

Community engagement and a focus on student wellbeing continues to be a strong feature of the school.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

ERO recommended:

  • trustees and the principal continue to make accelerating student achievement a priority

  • the principal and teachers continue to review, update and deliver a curriculum that reflects the unique cultural and historical aspects of the community in which the school is located

  • trustees and teachers use evidence-based evaluation to measure the impact of programmes on student outcomes

  • teachers use assessment information and their professional knowledge to evaluate how effectively teaching practices are improving students’ learning

  • the performance management process be strengthened to better support teacher development and performance.

In order to improve practice the board needed to:

  • ensure the performance of the principal and teachers are appraised annually against the Practising Teacher Criteria (now Standards for the Teaching Profession) based on relevant evidence
  • strengthen the appointments policy by including reference-checking procedures
  • develop an annual plan to guide policy review.

The school has made some progress in addressing the areas for development identified in the previous report.

The school has sustained a positive culture that is focused on student wellbeing. A wide range of external agencies works closely with the school. Teachers work collaboratively with whānau to support students’ engagement and participation in learning.

Student achievement in writing and mathematics is a strength. The school’s 2018 achievement data reports that the majority of students achieved to expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is evidence that students make significant progress in all areas from Years 4 to 8. However, the ongoing trend of under achievement in reading, particularly evident for students in Years 1 to 3, remains a concern to be addressed. The 2019 achievement targets should be refined to more specifically focus on this age group.

Evidence indicates that in 2018, most students made progress and some accelerated their learning, particularly in writing and mathematics. Processes to track and monitor the progress of priority learners have been strengthened. This enables teachers to monitor more closely target students’ progress and be responsive to their needs. Sustaining these processes should provide teachers with a better picture of progress and acceleration of student learning over time.

The principal and teachers have reviewed curriculum documentation and developed a more coherent document to support teaching and learning. The curriculum is aligned to the principles, values and key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum, that are reflected through the school’s valued outcomes for students. The curriculum is strongly underpinned by enviro schools, with students learning through local contexts and authentic experiences. Reviewing the range and use of assessment tools to better inform teaching and learning remains a priority.

A new appraisal process has been implemented. This is aligned to current Teaching Council requirements and includes teaching as inquiry. Further strengthening this process and continuing to develop teachers’ understanding of the inquiry process, should enable them to know the impact of the curriculum and teaching strategies on improving outcomes for students.

The board has implemented an appropriate appraisal process for the principal, accessing external expertise for guidance and advice.

Trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to focus on:

  • improving learning outcomes for all students, particularly those in Years 1 to 3 and with a focus on reading
  • improving assessment processes and practices.

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 made progress in addressing the areas for development in the previous report.

Trustees are regularly informed about school operation and student achievement. They are focused on improving wellbeing and learning outcomes for all students. They are aware that all school policies and procedures need to be current and meet legislative requirements and are working to achieve this. As the school transitions to a new system, particular attention needs to be given to policies that guide school practice in relation to health and safety and personnel.

For ongoing improvement, sustainability of operation and coherency of approach to accelerating student achievement, trustees and the principal should seek assistance to:

  • develop a strategic plan for student achievement priorities and stewardship development
  • clearly define roles and responsibilities to progress these identified priorities
  • have annual planning that clearly shows specific actions, responsibilities and timeframes
  • develop success measures
  • regularly monitor progress using these success measures.

Internal evaluation processes and practices are not well understood. Developing a shared understanding of internal evaluation and using this to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum, process, practices and interventions should enable trustees, the principal and teachers to know what is working or not working, for which learners and why. Findings should then be used to inform decision-making for ongoing improvement and sustainability.

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.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to some key policies and procedures.

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

  1. comply in full with any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure the safety of students and employees
    [National Administration Guidelines 5]
  2. develop and implement personnel and industrial policies, within policy and procedural frameworks set by the Government from time to time, which promote high levels of staff performance, use educational resources effectively and recognise the needs of the students.
    [National Administration Guideline 3]

4 Recommendations

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

The board should seek support from:

  • the New Zealand School Trustees Association to address the actions in this report
  • the Ministry of Education to develop strategic planning for ongoing improvement and sustainability.


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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

13 May 2019

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 21, Female 21

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

13 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2015
November 2012
March 2006