Ngutunui School

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Education institution number:
1853
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
41
Telephone:
Address:

400 Ngutunui Road, Puketotara, Pirongia

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Education Review Report
Ngutunui School

This review is designed to support schools that were experiencing difficulties at the time of the last review. ERO provides ongoing evaluation over the course of one-to-two years as the school works to improve its overall performance and build its self-review capability.

This report answers key questions about the school’s background and the context for the review. The report also provides an evaluation of how effectively the school is addressing areas identified for review and development and the quality of its practices and systems for sustaining performance and ongoing improvement.

Findings

Ngutunui School will transition into ERO’s Te Ara Huarau Evaluation process.

1 Background and Context

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

Ngutunui School is a rural Year 1 to 8 school, located south of Pirongia and between Te Awamutu and Ōtorōhanga. Since the 2021 ERO report a new principal has been appointed and there have been staff changes. Two classes currently operate for 42 learners, 15 of whom identify as Māori.

School resources include a swimming pool, community hall and tennis courts, that are well supported by families and the wider community. The school aims to provide a foundation for students to achieve success and develop lifelong skills and competencies.

Ngutunui School has been involved in a longitudinal review process with ERO to support progress needed to address the priorities for review and development identified in the 2021 ERO report. ERO evaluations of progress have involved meetings with the principal, board of trustees and teachers.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development
  • strengthening school governance and leadership to support better outcomes for students

  • building teacher capability to more effectively use achievement information

  • improving relationships between the school, whānau and wider community.

Progress
  • strengthened school governance through relevant board training

  • improved teacher capability through a more consistent approach to teaching and learning, and more effective use of student achievement information

  • improved relationships, communication, and engagement between the school, whānau and wider community.

Key next steps

Key areas that remain for the school to improve outcomes for learners are to:

  • review and refine the school’s strategic and annual plans

  • establish regular consultation processes with all school stakeholders

  • continue to develop and implement processes for consultation with Māori parents and whānau

  • review and redefine the school’s local curriculum in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

Sustainable performance and self review

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

Ngutunui School is in a good position to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance. The school has worked well to prioritise and address the areas for development identified by ERO. The board, new principal and teachers are developing a range of useful strategies to support future developments.

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.

In order to meet legislative requirements, the board of trustees must:

  1. fully implement a robust appointment process including the sighting of required documentation and background checks

[Children’s Act 2014, and regulations 5 – 8 of the Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015]

  1. ensure the school implements policy guidelines in regard to Police Vetting for employees
    [Children’s Act 2014, and regulations 5 – 8 of the Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015]
  1. ensure there are processes and practices in place to identify, minimise, eliminate and report about risks to safety in the environment.
    [Health and Safety At Work Act 2015]

Conclusion

Ngutunui School will transition into ERO’s Te Ara Huarau Evaluation process.

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

14 April 2022

About the school

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

School Context

Ngutunui School is a full primary school catering for Year 1 to 8 students. It is located south of Pirongia Village. The current roll of 40 students, including eight who identify as Māori, learn in three multi-level classes. The school mission statement encourages ‘a place where people and nature are nurtured and the whole school environment is a learning resource’. The school promotes the values of respect, courage, resilience and excellence.

Since the 2017 ERO review there have been several changes of leadership that has impacted on school-wide systems, practices and reporting of student achievement. There has been significant changes of staff and a new principal and deputy principal were appointed at the end of 2019. An experienced chairperson leads a newly formed board of trustees.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Due to the changeable leadership over the last three years ERO does not have confidence in the dependability of the school’s 2019 student achievement information. The school is unable to reliably demonstrate how well students’ progress and achieve in reading, writing and mathematics over time.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is unable to dependably identify the rates of acceleration for Māori and other students who are at risk of not achieving. Strengthening the management and use of student achievement information is an urgent priority for school leadership.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

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

Caring and positive relationships are evident between teachers and students. Teachers know students well and successfully promote tuakana-teina relationships where older students support their younger peers. Aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori are naturally integrated in the senior classroom programmes. Students are engaged in learning, and enjoy extra opportunities including trips, sporting competitions, and events. The new initiative of the Mahi Club is providing leadership opportunities and choice.

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

The priorities identified in the previous 2017 ERO report have yet to be addressed. Trustees and leaders have agreed the need to give priority to:

  • accessing training to more clearly understand their trustee and leadership roles and responsibilities
  • developing a clear strategic direction for the school
  • strengthening the shared understanding of school policies and procedural guidelines
  • re-establishing productive relationships between teachers, parents and the wider community
  • implementing a robust appraisal system to build teacher capability
  • developing a school curriculum that supports student’s engagement and provides meaningful learning opportunities
  • reporting on annual targets focused on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students
  • building teacher capability, including aligning professional learning and development to school goals
  • collating and analysing robust student progress and achievement data and strengthening its use by students, teachers, leaders and trustees.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Ngutunui 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.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • caring and positive relationships between teachers and students and classroom programmes that support student’s confidence and sense of wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • significantly strengthening school governance and leadership to support better outcomes for students, particularly those at risk with their learning.
  • building leadership capability to more effectively use achievement information to improve student achievement and address disparity
  • building teacher capability to more effectively use achievement information to plan and deliver a responsive curriculum particularly for the most at-risk students
  • strengthening the relationships and building productive partnerships between the school, whanau and the wider community.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consultation with the Māori community, physical restraint and health and safety.

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

  • in consultation with the Māori community, develop and made known the school’s policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students
    [Nag 1 (e)]
  • implement guidelines issued by the MOE on the practice and procedure to be followed in relation to physical restraint by authorised staff
    [Education Act 1989 (Physical Restraint Rules 2017)]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • report to the school’s community on the progress and achievement of students including Māori and at-risk learners
  • document emergency evacuations.

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvement in:

  • planning and implementing a strategic approach to address the urgent priorities identified in this report
  • the implementation of policies and procedures to meet legislative requirements
  • gathering reliable schoolwide progress and achievement data to better respond to student learning needs and inform ongoing school improvement
  • implementing an effective appraisal process and performance management system to build teacher capability
  • curriculum development and design to engage students in meaningful learning.

ERO identifies the need for trustees, leaders and teachers to work together to ensure that areas for further progress identified in this ERO report are incorporated into the school’s strategic and annual plans and appraisal goals. These plans should be sent to ERO when completed for ongoing monitoring, review and support.

Phil Cowie

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

29 June 2020

About the school

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