Spotswood College

Spotswood College

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 12 months of the Education Review Office and Spotswood College 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.


Located in New Plymouth, Spotswood College, Te Kura Tuarua o Ngāmotu, is a co-educational school providing education for learners in Years 9 to 13.

Spotswood College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for students are:

  • to ensure teaching and learning is visible, deep and culturally responsive
  • to embed new curriculum and build capacity of leaders of learning to improve engagement, achievement and retention
  • to grow staff, learners/ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi partnerships alongside local and global community partnerships
  • to build leadership skills in middle leaders, learners and the board.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively the school is addressing equity through the strengthening of whānau, hapū and iwi partnerships to meet the needs of all learners/ākonga in a Te Tiriti o Waitangi led school.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the school has identified partnerships for learning as a key support for ākonga learning and achievement
  • to identify more equitable ways to engage learners, whānau, hapū and iwi in co-constructing a curriculum to meet the needs of learners/ākonga and match aspirations of whānau.

The school expects to see:

  • parity of outcomes for all students
  • improved levels of engagement, attendance and retention for all learners and particularly Māori, Pacific and those with additional learning needs
  • strengthened partnerships for learning with whānau, hapū and iwi.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to address equity through partnerships for learning with whānau, hapū and iwi:

  • a strong values-driven school where inclusiveness and cultural responsiveness are prioritised
  • leadership that has a relentless focus on equitable and excellent outcomes through partnerships for learning
  • curriculum that places the student at the centre of their learning and responds to their needs, interests and passions
  • established internal evaluation practices to support robust decision-making for improved outcomes.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • ensuring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is at the forefront of all decision-making
  • implementing the evaluation action plan informed by whānau, hapū and iwi aspirations and guided by the collaboratively developed model for change (Korekoreka)
  • ongoing professional learning and mātauranga Māori school-wide
  • shifts in the school systems and structures to support Māori success.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

11 July 2022 

About the School

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

Spotswood College

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report to 2022 to 2025

As of February 2022, the Spotswood College Board of Trustees 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 Spotswood College Board of Trustees.

The next Board of Trustees 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.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

11 July 2022 

About the School

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

Spotswood College

Provision for International Students Report


The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.


Spotswood College has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Spotswood College has highly effective self-review processes in place to support the provision for international students. The school actively seeks multiple voices to inform and evaluate practice. The school makes changes in response to their internal evaluation.

Pastoral care and wellbeing of students are priorities for the school. There are multiple layers of support in place to meet the needs of students. Student progress and wellbeing is closely monitored. The school should extend the reporting of progress and achievement to the board to include all international students.

Students have many opportunities to engage in the school community and enjoy a range of experiences that are the result of collaboration with organisations in the wider community.

Provision for international students is clearly aligned with the strategic direction of the school. The values of inclusion, diversity and a kaupapa of students first, are evident in the provision for international students.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

11 July 2022 

About the School

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

Spotswood College - 15/01/2018

School Context

Spotswood College, Te Kura Tuarua O Ngamotu, is a co-educational secondary school in New Plymouth. At the time of the ERO review there were 700 students of whom 29% identify as Māori. The school values its links with the local iwi, Te Ātiawa and continues to build community relationships with hāpu. Nearly 10% of the roll have moderate to high learning needs.

Diversity, inclusion and care principles underpin the school’s vision and philosophy. The E Tū motto values of matauranga, whai wahi, and kotahitanga guide the school culture and overarching expectations for teaching and learning. These values and associated competencies are promoted, recognized and reinforced throughout school life.

Current strategic priorities are related to:

  • strengthening learning partnerships with students, parents and whanau
  • improving teachers’ use of culturally responsive and relational practices.

The charter goals for 2017 relate to:

  • all graduating students achieving at least a Level 2 National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) to provide access to tertiary and other learning pathways
  • raising attendance to 90%
  • increasing rates of literacy achievement in Years 9 and 10
  • increasing numbers of students learning te reo Māori.

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

  • achievement of all and groups of students in New Zealand qualifications
  • end of year achievement in all curriculum areas
  • literacy and numeracy achievement and progress at Years 9 and 10
  • student engagement and wellbeing
  • progress against school goals for valued student outcomes.

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 has made very good progress, to achieve high levels of equity and excellence in outcomes for diverse groups of learners.

Steady improvement since the 2014 ERO review has led to high numbers of students gaining NCEAs. In 2016, achievement for students overall in the school at NCEA Level 1 was 82%, with 95% at Level 2 and 80% at Level 3. Students achieve well above national rates at all NCEA Levels. Achievement of University Entrance is lower at 41%.

In 2016, most students left school having gained Level 2 NCEA with a significant increase in the percentage of students leaving with Level 3.

Māori student achievement has continued to improve across all NCEA Levels and is comparable with students overall in the school at Levels 1, 2 and 3. However, disparity remains in University Entrance.

Over the past three years boys and girls have achieved equity at Level 1 and 2, with a significant reduction of gender disparity for Māori boys at Levels 1 and 2.

Year 9 literacy data shows significant disparity between groups on entry. Many students at Years 9 and 10 make accelerated progress to achieve at expected levels. The school has identified a priority to raise overall literacy achievement in Years 9 and 10, with an emphasis on improving equity for Māori and increasing the choice of learning pathways for all students.

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

The school has established effective processes to identify and respond to those Māori and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration, especially in Years 11 to 13. An holistic and personalised approach to these students enables the school to better respond to the diverse needs and interests of these learners. As a result, nearly all achieve success.

NCEA data since 2014 shows rates of Māori achievement have continued to improve, especially at Years 12 and 13.

A strong focus on inclusion and care and the provision of a wide range of individualised programmes supports learners with additional needs to gain success and for many to accelerate their rates of learning and progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Trustees and senior leaders relentlessly promote the enactment of the school’s vision for equity and excellence. They purposefully select, develop and review strategies to drive improvement. Highly collaborative practices are evident across the school. Future focused trustees and leaders have complementary skills and experience that contribute to ongoing improvement in outcomes for diverse groups of learners.

Students’ wellbeing and pastoral needs are well supported to promote their engagement in learning and inclusion at school. Teachers make good use of a wide range of information about students to address and respond to their needs, strengths and challenges. Close tracking and monitoring of progress and achievement, especially in the senior school, improves partnerships for learning and success. Whānau structures, rewards systems and E Tū values expect, encourage and support students to be their best.

Improved and flexible curriculum provision together with increased opportunities and learning programmes enable most students to be successful. Students make well-informed choices from learning pathways that are responsive to their needs and aspirations. Students with high or complex needs receive individualised support in consultation with families, whānau and health specialists to achieve successful learning outcomes.

Leaders and teachers continue to build close relationships with a wide range of providers, agencies and specialists to cater for different learners’ needs. A cohesive response by leaders through responsive professional learning and development (PLD) and meaningful appraisal processes increase teachers’ knowledge and expertise to promote the school’s vision.

There is a deliberate focus on providing a culturally responsive learning environment, relationships and values that support Māori to achieve success and equity. This has been evident through:

  • a strategic approach to building professional capability and collective capacity
  • high expectations for cultural competencies to be embedded into practices
  • increased focus on curriculum perspectives and contexts that reflect te ao Māori
  • programmes and interventions that engage and retain students at risk of poor educational outcomes.

Leaders and teachers are making increased use of inquiry, and evidence based review and evaluation to promote equity and excellence. In some cases practices lead to measureable improvements in outcomes for targeted students. Faculty reviews are increasingly focused on improvement in outcomes for priority learners. Leaders and trustees are beginning to model the use of evaluation tools to measure effectiveness of processes and programmes and to inform schoolwide priorities for ongoing improvement.

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

Key next steps for trustees, leaders and teachers are to:

  • align student target setting from classroom through to department and strategic levels to improve measures and reporting of success for priority learners
  • continue to strengthen teaching, and tracking and monitoring of identified groups students in Years 9 and 10, to increase accelerated rates of progress in literacy and numeracy
  • continue building schoolwide processes and capability in inquiry and internal evaluation to better inform school planning for resourcing and decision making
  • extend inquiry into the valued outcomes of Māori students as defined by iwi, whānau and students to further promote success through their identity, language and culture.

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 school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were nine international students attending the school, including 2 exchange students.

ERO’s investigations confirmed robust systems and processes appropriately guide the provision for international students. Programmes of learning are suitably designed to meet the aspirations of individuals and their families. Achievement is regularly monitored and reported. Students receive good quality pastoral care with a clear focus on promoting their wellbeing and positive inclusion. Their cultures are valued and celebrated across the school and in the wider community. The school makes positive changes in response to its self-review findings that further strengthen the provision for International students.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • collaborative and equity focussed leadership and governance

  • culturally responsive teaching and relational practices

  • systems and structures that promote and respond to students’ wellbeing needs

  • responsive learning programmes and interventions.

Next steps

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

  • the systems and processes to better identify, respond and monitor the acceleration of literacy and numeracy achievement of target students in Years 9 and 10

  • strengthened partnerships with whānau and iwi to inform and support the promotion of the language, culture and identity of Māori learners

  • internal evaluation processes and practices. [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 January 2018

About the school


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 29%
Pākehā 59%
Asian 3%
Pacific 2%
Other ethnic groups 7%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

15 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, October 2014
Education Review, September 2011
Education Review, September 2008