Ngata Memorial College

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Findings

Ngata Memorial College has made progress in all areas identified for development. Systems and processes are in place to ensure achievement information is accurate and valid. The board and school leaders now use achievement information well to plan for and address the learning needs of identified at-risk learners. ERO has concerns about the sustainability of the school due to the changing composition of the board of trustees, teaching staff and student roll, and will continue to monitor the school.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Ngata Memorial College’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?

Ngata Memorial College is a composite school located in the township of Ruatoria, on the East Coast. It caters for students in Years 1 to 13. All of the 84 students attending are Māori and most affiliate to Ngāti Porou.

The school’s vision is based on the famous words of Sir Apirana Ngata, ‘E tipu, e rea, mo ngā ra o tou ao – walk upright, have pride in your heritage, strive tirelessly to attain the highest goals and take your rightful place in the world’.

Since the previous ERO report in 2018 the roll has dropped. This resulted in a curriculum and pastoral needs analysis (CAPNA) and the reduction of staffing at the end of 2018. The roll has recently started to increase.

There have been several changes to staffing since the 2018 ERO report. The principal resigned at the end of 2019 and an acting principal has been in the role since January 2020. There have been ongoing changes to the board of trustees, Limited Statutory Manager (LSM), teaching staff and senior leadership. The school was in the process of advertising for a new principal during the onsite phase of this review. These significant changes in personnel have had an impact on the sustainability of the progress made since the previous ERO report.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The previous ERO report identified the urgent need to:

  • build teacher capability to use assessment information to plan programmes that meet the individual learning needs of students
  • develop a planned approach to internal evaluation including an effective teaching as inquiry process to evaluate teacher practice in improving outcomes for students
  • develop and implement a curriculum that supports students’ engagement and learning
  • improve recruitment, appointment, appraisal and performance management process
  • strengthen board and principal practice in all aspects of governance including working through legal requirements as outlined in the ERO Board Assurance Statement.

ERO also identified several areas of non-compliance in curriculum, quality teaching, learning and assessment, performance management and staff appraisal, and the provision of careers education for Years 7 and above.

Progress

The school has made positive progress in all areas identified as urgent priorities for review and development.

Leaders and teachers have developed and implemented effective processes for the collation and analysis of assessment information. Assessment processes and practices are well known and understood by all staff. Robust schoolwide systems for marking and moderation have been developed. Leaders have established effective systems for tracking and monitoring students’ progress and achievement. Interventions and support for at-risk students are provided.

The school now has valid and reliable schoolwide data about student progress and achievement to report to whānau and the board of trustees.

Achievement data in the junior school at the end of 2019 was low in reading, writing and mathematics. Effective acceleration in literacy was evident, however not in mathematics. In 2020, students in Years 9 to 11 have been grouped using data, and learning programmes have been designed to best meet their needs. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has endorsed the improved assessment and moderation processes.

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results have significantly improved. In 2018 and 2019, achievement at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 was over 70% and in 2019 all students attained Level 3. Retention of students to Years 12 and 13 has improved. In 2019, achievement information for students in Years 9 to 11 shows a third of students made accelerated progress in literacy and half in mathematics. For those entering Year 9 at risk of underachieving and remaining at school, data shows that 72% made accelerated progress to achieve NCEA Level 2 or above.

The school has developed some processes for effective internal evaluation. Improved data tracking of at-risk students and effective evaluation of outcomes enabled interventions to be put in place to support students getting NCEA numeracy. This was in response to the need for trustees, leaders and teachers to strengthen processes for internal evaluation at all levels of the school, to support a continual focus on improving student outcomes.

The school has developed aspects of a localised curriculum that incorporate the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). The school’s vision and values, the key competencies of the NZC and the focus on literacy and mathematics are evident in documentation and planning for Years 1 to 10. Some teachers have integrated aspects of the local curriculum into their programmes. The Amorangi Academy has contributed to increased engagement, achievement and retention rates for students in Years 11 to 13 by providing them with opportunities to learn skills for local industries. In 2020, there is differentiation of courses for students in Years 12 and 13 with the option of a full academic course, a full vocational course or a combination.

All students in Years 9 to 13 have individual student action plans (ISAP) that collaboratively map out the learning pathway with students and whānau. The acting principal, board chair and trustees have consulted with the community about the vision, values and future direction of the school. This has influenced the newly developed charter and strategic plan. The school and ERO agree a key next step is to develop and implement a localised curriculum that reflects whānau and community aspirations and embeds te reo and tikanga Māori.

Significant progress has been made in the areas of personnel appointment and performance management. The school has developed and implemented a new appraisal process well. The appraisal process for the principal is now occurring annually and meets legislative requirements. Staff have engaged with a variety of school-based, regional and national professional learning. There is a need to strengthen systems for reporting to the board about the appraisal process and ensure unit holders are adequately appraised in their positions.

Key next steps

The key next steps for the school are to:

  • appoint a permanent principal to guide the strategic direction and provide leadership of learning across the school
  • implement training for the new board of trustees to understand their roles and responsibilities and ensure all governance requirements are met
  • continue to build teachers’ capability to use assessment information to plan programmes that meet the individual needs of students.

Building internal evaluation capability is an ongoing area for development for teachers, leaders and trustees. This includes:

  • teaching as inquiry to be focused specifically on acceleration, including using data to evaluate shifts in progress, and increasing collaboration with other staff
  • building leadership capability to adequately evaluate and report outcomes in relation to schoolwide achievement targets and results
  • trustees fully implementing the newly adopted review cycle to ensure a shared understanding of policies and procedures with staff, students and the community
  • trustees, leaders, teachers, students and whānau working collaboratively to develop and document an engaging, authentic, localised curriculum that reflects the aspirations of the community.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is not yet well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance. Contributing factors are:

  • ongoing challenge of recruiting and retaining a principal and teaching staff
  • ongoing challenges impacting on the ability of the board of trustees to effectively govern
  • the low roll and the impact on staffing.

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.

The new board of trustees recognises that to further improve practice they must:

  • fully implement the newly adopted review cycle to ensure a shared understanding of the policies and procedures and that these are well known and adhered to by trustees, staff, students and the community
  • ensure priority needs to be given to the policies, procedures, guidelines and practices that facilitate the provision of a healthy and safe environment for students and staff.

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education considers continuing the statutory intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to support the acting principal and trustees to bring about improvements in relation to:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • personnel
  • finance and property.

ERO recommends that trustees continue to seek training and support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) to better understand their roles and responsibilities and build and enhance governance capability.

ERO recommends the Ministry of Education provides ongoing support for the incoming principal and board to develop a plan that addresses the areas for development identified in this report.

Conclusion

Ngata Memorial College has made progress in all areas identified for development. Systems and processes are in place to ensure achievement information is accurate and valid. The board and school leaders now use achievement information well to plan for and address the learning needs of identified at-risk learners. ERO has concerns about the sustainability of the school due to the changing composition of the board of trustees, teaching staff and student roll, and will continue to monitor the school.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Ngata Memorial College’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

17 June 2020

About the school

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

Findings

Ngata Memorial College has been working through an ongoing period of unrest and uncertainty. The school needs to work effectively with its students, teachers, leaders, trustees, whānau and community to strengthen and improve its performance and provide better educational outcomes for students.

ERO intends to monitor the school's progress and carry out a longitudinal review process over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Background and Context

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

Ngata Memorial College is a composite school catering for students from Years 1 to 13 and is located in Ruatoria. The school’s vision is based on the famous words of Sir Apirana Ngata, ‘E tipu, e rea, mo ngā ra o tou ao – walk upright, have pride in your heritage, strive tirelessly to attain the highest goals and take your rightful place in the world’. Almost all students are Māori and affiliate to Ngāti Porou.

Since the previous ERO review in 2015, there have been a significant number of issues that have continued to impact on the school’s capacity to raise student achievement. Student roll numbers have decreased and there have been several changes to the leadership team and teaching staff.

The school appointed a permanent principal in 2016 after having six acting principals over 18 months. The principal has recently had a mentor provided to support her as a first-time principal. All members of the senior leadership team have been appointed to their roles within the last 12 months.

The school has had ongoing issues with financial management and the Ministry of Education (MoE) is working with the Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) and the board of trustees to manage these. The previous LSM resigned in March 2017 and a new LSM was appointed in August 2017. The board chair and a significant number of trustees are new to their roles. Changes to key personnel have had an impact on the school’s ability to effectively implement the key next steps identified in the previous ERO report, all of which continue to be serious areas of concern. 

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The previous ERO report identified these priorities for review and development:

  • teaching, learning and leadership
  • use of student achievement information
  • curriculum design and implementation
  • setting clear, specific, achievable targets
  • governance including self review
  • personnel management including appraisal, mentoring and performance management.
Progress

There has been some improvement in school culture. ERO observed students working in a calm, settled environment. Newly appointed personnel to the senior leadership team have a range of complementary skill sets and work well together. The new board chair and trustees have established a working relationship with the LSM and are working through personnel management issues.

There has been some progress made with managing school finances, with the board, LSM and MoE working collaboratively. The school has set clear, specific and achievable targets.

However, overall the school has made very little progress in addressing the priorities for review and development identified in the 2015 ERO report.

Key next steps

Overall the achievement for students in Years 1 to 13 continues to be low in comparison to schools of a similar profile. The school has developed systems for assessment in Years 1 to 10. However, there remains a need for leaders to build teacher capability to effectively use assessment information to plan programmes that meet the individual learning needs of students.

The school has developed a system for assessment and moderation in Years 11 to 13. However, there continues to be a need for leaders to further analyse and use National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data throughout the year to monitor progress and adapt learning programmes to student needs. There is an urgent need for leaders to improve:

  • the collation, analysis and use of assessment information across the school
  • the use of assessment tools in Years 1 to 10
  • meeting NCEA requirements for assessment and moderation practices Years 11 to 13 to meet New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) requirements
  • systems for tracking and monitoring the progress of students including regular reporting of student progress and achievement to the board
  • quality assurance processes by senior management across the school to ensure accountability.

There is an urgent need for the Ministry of Education to provide support for leaders and all teaching staff to build their assessment capabilities, and the collective capacity of the school to use data to inform decision making. Expectations for leaders and teachers for the management and use of assessment information need to be clearly documented and understood.

There continues to be a need to improve the recruitment and appointment process. The LSM is working through these processes to ensure that legal requirements are met. In addition, there is an ongoing urgent need to:

  • establish a mentoring programme for those staff who require specific support and assistance to improve their teaching practice
  • link appraisal goals with the school-wide focus on assessment
  • fully implement the performance management system for teachers and support staff
  • ensure a robust process of appraisal for the principal is completed annually
  • ensure the performance management system meets the requirements of the Education Council.

Leaders need to provide ongoing professional discussions and feedback to enable teachers to achieve appraisal goals and improve their practice.

There continues to be an urgent need for leaders to develop a planned approach to internal evaluation. This is necessary to assist the board and principal to strengthen their practice in all aspects of governance and management. Trustees need to ensure that all legal requirements are met, as outlined in the Board Assurance Statement. The LSM is currently working on this with them.

There continues to be a need to develop and implement an effective curriculum that supports students’ engagement and learning. This development should:

  • be in consultation with students, staff and  community to reflect meaningful local contexts
  • comply with The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • prioritise effective teaching and learning programme that meets the needs of students interests, needs and strengths.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Ngata Memorial College is still not well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Contributing factors are:

  • the principal is yet to lead learning effectively across the school
  • leaders have not developed the collective capacity to reflect, plan, act and report to its community using evidence which includes student achievement information from internal evaluation
  • teachers have yet to build their capability to improve and sustain levels of student achievement
  • trustees and leaders have not developed a sustainable cycle of planning, improvement and internal evaluation.

These aspects need to be addressed to enable the school to continue to respond effectively to the critical issues facing the school. 

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.

The board of trustees must ensure that there are:

  1. teaching and learning programmes developed and implemented to provide all students in Years 1 to 10 with opportunities to achieve success
    [The New Zealand Curriculum, National Administration Guideline 1]
  2. document a school curriculum that reflects the principles The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) Years 1 to 10
    [The New Zealand Curriculum: Foundation Curriculum Policy Statement]
  3. processes and practices in place to identify good-quality assessment information to develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of students who are at risk of not achieving
    [The New Zealand Curriculum, National Administration Guideline 1]
  4. policies and procedures implemented for the appraisal of staff
    [s77C State Sector Act 1998; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement]
  5. programmes provided for Year 7 and above with appropriate career education and guidance with a specific focus on students identified as at risk of leaving school unprepared for the transition to the work place or further education/training
    [Section 77 Education Act 1989; NAG1(f)]
  6. policies and procedures on all aspects of the good behaviour management practice outlined by MOE
    [Sections 139AB to 139 AE Education Act 1989]

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education considers continuing the statutory intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about the improvements in:

  • school finances
  • personnel management issues
  • reliability of achievement information across the school
  • performance management and appraisal processes
  • compliance with legislative requirements.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education provides urgent support for:

  • the principal in addressing areas for development identified in this report
  • the provision of professional learning and development in effective teaching and assessment practice in Years 1 to 10 and Years 11 to 13, for all teaching staff
  • leaders and staff in implementing an effective appraisal process and performance management system to build teacher capability
  • curriculum development and design.

ERO identifies the need for the LSM, trustees, the principal, senior leaders and teachers to work together to ensure that areas for further progress identified in this ERO review are incorporated into the college’s 2018 strategic and annual plans and appraisal goals. These plans should be sent to ERO when completed for ongoing monitoring, review and support.

Conclusion

Ngata Memorial College has gone through extensive turmoil, unrest and uncertainty. Subsequent changes of personnel at all levels of the school, including the LSM, board of trustees, senior leaders, and teaching staff are providing a more clear direction for the school. There is a need for the Ministry of Education to provide comprehensive professional support to help the school provide better educational outcomes for students.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 March 2018

About the School 

Location

Ruatoria

Ministry of Education profile number

206

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

77

Gender composition

Boys                      43
Girls                       34

Ethnic composition

Māori
Other

76
  1

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

19 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2015
June 2013
May 2010