Hato Paora College

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Education institution number:
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Boys School)
Secondary Maori Boarding School
Total roll:

1314 Kimbolton Road, Feilding

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School Context

Hato Pāora College is a state integrated Catholic, Māori Boys’ boarding school located in a rural setting near Fielding. It caters for students from Years 9 to 13. The current roll of 123 is almost entirely Māori. Students come from all parts of the North Island to attend the school. Nearly all students board in the school hostel.

The school acknowledges and celebrates its dual Catholic and Māori heritages in its pepehā:

Ko Hato Pāora te Kura

Ko Parorangi te Marae

Ko Tama-nui-te-ao-katoa te Whare Tipuna

Ko Pāora te Whare Karakia

Ko Hato Pāora te Tangata

Ko Ngāti Kauwhata te Mana Whenua

Tihei Mauri Ora!

The college continues to promote a vision for the development of ‘good boys into fine young men’ of faith, who will be good citizens who know to 'whaia te tika' (do what is right). They will be proud of their identity and have the knowledge appropriate to uphold te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

The college is governed by a board of trustees and a proprietor’s trust board. After a period of disruption during 2017 and 2018, new chairs and trustees have been appointed. A new principal began work in Term 4, 2018. There have also been significant changes in school leadership and the teaching and hostel staff.

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

National Certificates of Educational Achievement, Levels 1, 2 and 3.

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?

The school is working towards achieving equity and excellence for all its students.

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data from 2015 to 18 shows the following trends:

  • most students achieve success at NCEA Level 1, 2, 3 and University Entrance
  • achievement information gathered over a longer period of time shows a relatively consistent pattern of achievement
  • a small number of students gained excellence endorsements at Levels 1, 2 and 3 in 2018
  • about 30% gained merit endorsements at Levels 1 and 2 and nearly 40% at Level 3.

The school collects achievement data for students in Years 9 and 10 in literacy and mathematics. Data for 2017 to 18 shows that a significant proportion of students enter the school at Year 9 achieving below expected curriculum levels in literacy and mathematics. Data provided by the school for 2018 shows that a small number of students make accelerated progress at Years 9 and 10 in literacy and mathematics.

Students with special needs are progressing against learning objectives appropriate to them.

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

The school is working towards equitable outcomes for those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school is beginning to use the data described above about accelerated progress for Years 9 and 10 students more effectively to respond in a more targeted way to their needs. Most students, including those who enter the school below curriculum expectation achieve NCEA Level 2.

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?

Trustees have returned the school to a position whereby it is able to meet its statutory requirements in regard to governance, personnel, health and safety and finance. They have begun to re develop the strategic vision of the school and strengthened the policy framework which guides school practice. Constitutional issues between the board of trustees and the trust board have been resolved. Trustees are highly committed to the college and to positive outcomes for students, they have developed a supportive working relationship with the new principal. A comprehensive new governance handbook now guides their practice. The school is in a good position to move forward from the significant historical issues that impacted in 2017 and 2018.

Leaders have a strong understanding and appreciation of the dual Catholic and Māori heritages of the college and a strong vision for its future. They are highly committed and have begun to improve and strengthen key school systems and processes in a range of areas of school operations. The school tone is stable and settled.

The learning environment supports a strong sense of belonging, brotherhood and cultural development. Traditional structures and systems such as daily church services, house competitions, and kapa haka continue to provide cohesion and develop school spirit. In 2019 leadership has further promoted the importance of both the Catholic and Māori heritages of the college. Catholic ceremonies have been refreshed and re-invigorated, tikanga Māori is more visible and te reo Māori more widely used. Behaviour management systems and values promotion have been strengthened in both the school and hostel. In the school, new incentive systems which promote the school values are being introduced. In the hostel, year group representatives provide better, more regular feedback to hostel leadership about matters related to student wellbeing and pastoral care. A new hostel handbook provides stronger guidance to hostel staff about respectful interactions with students. Students, staff and whānau report that relationships between students have improved since the beginning of 2019.

Curriculum design is increasingly responsive to the aspirations of students, parents and whānau. The introduction in 2018 of individual academic plans assists students to develop relevant programmes of learning that follow a meaningful pathway. Curriculum choices particularly for Years 11 to 13 have been expanded through partnerships with the local polytechnic. A collaboration with the local university is providing mentoring and rich learning experiences in science. There are a number of examples of authentic curriculum integration which provide students with opportunities to revisit and consolidate learning across a range of contexts. The Religious Education department is providing well-thought out support for literacy in its programme design. Students with special needs are identified and a growing number of interventions and strategies respond to their needs.

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

Teachers need to be more responsive to students’ literacy and mathematics learning needs particularly in Years 9 and 10. The school needs to develop an improvement plan focused on:

  • identifying individual student learning priorities
  • actions to respond to these
  • regular monitoring of progress
  • evaluating the impact of the plan.

The plan should also include ways to empower students to take more responsibility for their own learning and strengthening the cultural responsiveness of both learning programmes and teacher strategies.

Leaders and teachers need to ensure the curriculum is more coherent. They need to develop an overarching curriculum framework aligned to the aspirations of students, parents and whānau and the dual heritages of the school. This framework should also include clear expectations about effective teaching practice.

Leaders need to ensure that ongoing, regular internal evaluation is embedded in all aspects of school operation. This should include:

  • better use of student progress and achievement data to evaluate school and department programmes
  • developing and implementing an annual plan in relation to the strategic plan and focussed on improvement in outcomes for students
  • strengthening school targets so that they more effectively allow the identification of those students who are at risk. At Years 9 and 10 these targets need to be focused on acceleration for all. The principal should report more regularly against these targets to the board
  • stronger alignment between these targets and school systems and processes such as teacher appraisal
  • more regular evaluation of programmes and initiatives based on student progress and achievement data.

3 Other Matters

Provision for students in the school hostel

The Hato Pāora Hostel currently accommodates 120 students, 98% of the school roll. It is owned by the Hato Pāora Trust Board. The hostel owner has attested that most requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

The hostel is an integral part of school life and supporting the vision of ‘taking good boys and growing them into fine young men.’ Activities within the living environment allow for the expression of Catholic character and Māori culture. Increased certainty around staffing is allowing the hostel to more effectively support the vision and develop systems that promote it. A wider range of recreational activities has been made available.

Boarders are housed within bays in five year-level dorms, directed by a Kaitiaki/House Parent. Communal spaces have recently been developed and associated facilities are being extended.

To further improve provision for boarders:

  • the Director of Living should continue to ensure practices meet the requirements of maintaining a current Building Warrant of Fitness
  • the Trust Board should, in association with school and hostel staff, complete the documenting of procedures related to supporting welfare of students and ensure practices align with these
  • staff should increase the ways they collect feedback from boarders and whānau about the quality of care and support for wellbeing.

Ongoing hostel matters should feature in the school’s strategic and annual planning to ensure a more unified approach across all areas of the school.

4 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.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • stewardship that has a clear understanding of its role
  • leadership that is committed to realising the potential of the school for its students
  • a learning environment that uses both the Catholic and Māori heritages of the school to promote belonging and solidarity
  • a curriculum that is increasingly providing meaningful pathways to employment.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening literacy and mathematics programmes at Years 9 and 10 to more effectively respond to students’ learning needs
  • clarifying and fully documenting expectations about quality teaching to ensure teacher practice aligns with current theory and research
  • embedding internal evaluation in all aspects of school operation to ensure the continuous improvement of student progress, achievement and wellbeing.

The board of trustees and senior leaders have agreed to provide ERO with planning that shows how they are to address the above areas for improvement and against which ERO will monitor progress.

Actions for compliance

The board has a clear policy and procedural framework and now needs to ensure that these are well enacted in practice. ERO identified non-compliance in relation to teacher appraisal, board in-committee procedures, health and safety and personnel procedures and consultation about the health curriculum.

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

  1. ensure the appraisal system aligns with current Teaching Council requirements and is fully enacted
    [s 77C State Sector Act 1988; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreements]
  2. ensure that the principal has a current performance agreement including annual appraisal against the professional standards for principals
    [NZ Ed Gazette and relevant employment agreement]
  3. ensure that current health and safety, student safety and personnel practices align with school policies, particularly with regard to the police vetting of non-teaching staff
    [NAG 5]
  4. clarify and enact board processes for moving into and out of committee and the minute taking of these meetings
    [Parts 7/8 Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987; Clauses 40/41 Sixth Schedule, Ed Act 1989; Public Records Act 2005 (Best practice)]
  5. ensure that consultation occurs about the school health curriculum in line with current regulations.
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

ERO recommends that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority follows up with the school its implementation of assessment of the National Certificates of Educational Achievement, Levels 1, 2 and 3, by ensuring the Managing National Assessment Audit goes ahead as scheduled in 2019.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

17 June 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori 98%
Other 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


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


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Number of students in Level 2 MME


Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

17 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2015
Education Review November 2012
Education Review March 2009

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Hato Pāora College is a state integrated Catholic, Māori Boys’ boarding school, located rurally on the outskirts of Feilding.

Almost all of the Years 9 to 13 students board in the school hostel. The roll has stabilised since the previous November 2012 ERO review and is currently 78 students. Nearly all students are Māori. An inclusive culture is promoted and boys from other cultures are well supported.

The college promotes a vision for the development of young men of faith, who will be good citizens who know to 'whaia te tika' (do what is right). They will be proud of their identity and have the knowledge appropriate to uphold te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

The college is governed by a board of trustees and a proprietors' trust board. Each board has specific functions but work together closely to support student success and wellbeing. Trustees have adopted a strategic aim to increase the college roll.

Stable leadership and governance have contributed to sustaining and improving the positive features outlined in the previous ERO report.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The college has high expectations for learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Achievement information is successfully used to increase achievement overtime. The majority of students achieve success in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) Levels 1, 2 and 3. Percentages of students gaining NCEAs and University Entrance exceed national figures.

High numbers of students proceed to tertiary education and the school supports and monitors school leavers. The numbers of students retained to 17 years is high. A strategic aim to increase the percentage of NCEAs endorsed for merit and excellence has been met. The college has increased the number of external achievement standards being achieved by students.

A strong focus on student wellbeing and creating a sense of belonging provides the foundation for achievement and success. Alongside aspirations for academic success is a clearly articulated vision to grow good boys into great young men and Māori leaders.

Strategic aims include students excelling and realising cultural distinctiveness and potential. Many boys represent and achieve in national events and competitions related to te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. These outcomes are reported to the board. Students’ leadership skills are purposefully developed through Marist leadership programmes and opportunities to lead within chapel, the boarding hostel and in school rituals.

Clear expectations for assessment and the use of student achievement information guide teachers’ practice. Detailed records are kept of individuals’ achievement and progress over time. The board of trustees receives regular information about student achievement and progress towards strategic goals.

Targets include Years 9 and 10 students’ achievement in literacy and mathematics. The next step is to more clearly articulate the expectation that students at risk of not achieving will increase their rate of progress over Years 9 and 10.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The curriculum reflects the dual special character of the college as Māori and Catholic. It promotes whānau aspirations for their boys and effectively supports student learning and the holistic development of young Māori men.

Students experience a curriculum that gives priority to Māori world views, values, beliefs and practices. They participate in many experiences that allow them to learn through their culture and strengthen their identity. Teachers increasingly integrate and reflect te ao Māori within classroom programmes.

The 5 R’s are embedded attitudes. Students express that showing Respect and taking Responsibility for their learning leads to positive Results, gaining Reward for their endeavours and developing Resilience over their time at college.

The college leaders and teachers make careful decisions about the range of learning programmes offered within the curriculum. This is clearly influenced by the small numbers of enrolled students. Te reo Māori and religious education are core and compulsory. Students’ daily programmes are supplemented with additional learning experiences in after-school time.

The college is responsive to individual students’ interests and goals and supports these through distance learning when appropriate.

Career guidance and mentoring is individually undertaken and students are well supported to consider future direction from Year 9. The key competencies, ethics and skills required for future career and learning success are emphasised in the curriculum. School leaders are beginning to use vocational pathways to examine a fuller range of possible future directions for students.

Students’ transition into Year 9 and on to tertiary education or the workplace is well managed. A special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) maintains oversight of those students needing additional support for their learning.

Relationship-based teaching and learning is a strong feature of the school. Students’ strengths, interests and learning needs are well known. Staff have a collective responsibility to respond to students' needs. They are developing a schoolwide approach to strengthening foundational literacy and numeracy skills for junior students. The intention is to ensure that all students will be capable of accessing the curriculum in Years 11 to 13.

An area for development is to consider and articulate the full range of learner outcomes that the community aspires to for its school leavers. In particular, deciding the expectations for students as global citizens, for developing digital literacy, for being self-directed learners and for student agency. This should support richer implementation and evaluation of curriculum success.

Guidance for teaching practice that responds to Māori learners is in place. There is opportunity to consider and more clearly document what the expected, effective teaching practices are that promote accelerated progress for students at risk of not achieving.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The college is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The trust board, board of trustees and school leaders work in partnership to achieve the college community’s vision and values. They have a very good understanding of their roles and responsibilities and bring rich, varied knowledge and skills to their positions. Agreed ways of working promote collaboration between the boards and with the principal. The principal and boards build relational trust and develop culturally responsive relationships to encourage active participation of parents and whānau.

Organisational structures, processes and practices successfully promote ongoing improvement and sustainability. The principal leads and manages change in ways that foster staff and community enthusiasm and participation. Her leadership skills and clear sense of strategic direction are acknowledged and valued at all levels of the college community. High expectations are made clear.

Leadership is ably supported by the director of living, with strong communication between the school and hostel a key feature. The pending appointment of a new director of learning should support the principal’s leadership of curriculum initiatives.

Processes to build inquiry and evaluation have developed since the previous ERO review. Heads of department report quarterly to the principal and board about actions taken to support wellbeing and student achievement. Useful templates pose evaluative questions and encourage teachers to reflect on the impacts of their teaching actions in relation to strategic goals. A yearly review of subject area achievement is also undertaken. Next steps are to:

lift the quality of evaluative comment in self review, to focus on impacts and outcomes rather than descriptions of actions taken

strengthen the alignment of school goals, individual teachers’ inquiry and appraisal and deepen the developmental focus for teachers.

Parents, family and whānau have a direct and ongoing influence on curriculum development and student learning and wellbeing. Trustees and leaders play a significant part in engaging and involving parents, family and whānau in learning and college activities. They are involved in decision-making in productive ways. Strong lines of communication support and strengthen reciprocal, learning-centred relationships.

Connections to the faith community are strong and mutually supportive. Links to the local Feilding community are being strengthened. The principal and staff seek opportunities to network with other education professionals. The use of external expertise and ideas is valued and recognised as important for innovation and knowledge building.

Provision for students in the school hostel

ERO evaluated the extent to which the college boarding house provides a safe physical and emotional environment that supports learning for students.

School boarding houses/hostels are required to be licensed by the Ministry of Education and comply with minimum standards specified in regulations.

The college boarding house, Te Whare Manaaki o Hato Pāora, accommodates 72 of the 78 students on the roll. It is owned by the Palmerston North Diocese and governed by the Hato Pāora Trust Board. The Trust Board has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Students experience living and learning environments that are seamless in their care, nurture and high expectations. Systems are well established to ensure that values and codes of conduct are consistent between the school and hostel. Strong leadership reinforces values of manaakitanga, wairuatanga, whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga and kotahitanga. These are well enacted. High levels of whānau support enable rich experiences for students.

The next step is to develop a stronger framework for evaluating the outcomes of hostel living.

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.


Students attending Hato Pāora College engage in a curriculum that effectively supports their faithbased, academic, cultural and sporting success as young Māori leaders. Seamless processes between hostel living and college learning promote wellbeing and achievement. Māori language, culture and identity are strengthened and celebrated.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

1 December 2015

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition





Special features

Special character: Catholic, Māori, Boarding Hostel

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

1 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

November 2012

March 2009

December 2005