Ngata Memorial College

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Findings

Ngata Memorial College has continued to make progress against areas identified for improvement. Focus now needs to ensure that leadership for learning is building a high quality and consistent schoolwide teaching and learning culture that improves outcomes for all learners in Years 1 to 13.

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 Ruatōria, on the East Coast. It caters for students in Years 1 to 13. Almost all the 112 students are Māori and most affiliate to Ngāti Porou. The roll significantly increased during 2021.

Since June 2020, the school has been part of a longitudinal evaluation process with ERO to support building capability for school operation and continuous improvement. A Limited Statutory Manager (LSM), Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association, have provided targeted support to address the areas identified in the 2020 ERO report. The LSM role ended term 1, 2021.

Since the beginning of this longitudinal process almost all trustees have remained in their school governance roles. A permanent principal was appointed at the end of 2020, and he remains in the role. Ongoing changes to teaching staff and senior leadership continue.

Sir Apirana Ngata’s words are the foundation for the school’s vision: E tipu e rea, mo ngā rā o tō ao, Ko tō ringa ki ngā rākau ā te Pākehā, Hei oranga mō tō tinana, Ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tīpuna Māori, Hei tikitiki mō tō māhunga, Ko tō wairua ki te Atua, Nānā nei ngā mea katoa.

2. Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The June 2020 ERO report identified concerns about the sustainability of the school due to the changing composition of the board of trustees, teaching staff and student roll. Key next steps included strengthening:

  • effective leadership of learning

  • knowledge and understanding of governance roles and responsibilities

  • teachers’ use of assessment information

  • internal evaluation capability.

Ngata Memorial College has continued to make progress against these areas. The school is better placed to sustain and continue improving and reviewing its performance.

Progress

Consistency is developing in schemes of work, themes for learning, planning templates and the use of formative assessment tools for literacy and numeracy. Leaders and teachers have had external professional learning and development to support: the use of the Curriculum Progression Tools, including the Learning Progression Frameworks; and the Progress and Consistency Tool, to support the effective use of achievement information to monitor and improve student outcomes. This professional learning has supported some collaboration in planning for teaching with primary and secondary teachers.

Developing high-quality leadership of learning schoolwide is now urgent. This should include:

  • a clearly developed plan and well communicated description for leaders’ roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for effective curriculum delivery, teaching practices and learning programmes across all year levels to achieve the school’s vision

  • strengthening mentoring and monitoring processes to ensure effective teaching and learning practices to build consistency of a schoolwide learning culture.

In 2021, the majority of students in NCEA Levels 1 - 3 achieved well. For the first time in six years, some students successfully attained University Entrance. Senior students’ participation and involvement in a wide range of activities have been widely promoted and shared. Leaders’ focus now needs to include tracking and monitoring individual progress and achievement for learners in Years 1 to 10, including celebrating, promoting and sharing success.

The board actively seeks community voice through a range of consultation initiatives for improvement. These initiatives have been well supported by whānau and the community. The school should consider how they have followed through by communicating with the community about progress towards realising whānau aspirations for their children. This communication should include sharing information about:

  • an authentic and localised curriculum

  • reciprocal learning partnerships with whānau to support successful learning

  • meaningful pathways that whānau have direct input into and clearly understand.

Leaders and new kaiako need support to learn and understand valued tikanga and kawa, to ensure that the learning environment respects and reflects te ao Māori. The school needs to re-establish a planned programme for the effective delivery of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori from Years 1 to 13. The board is trying to recruit a te reo Māori teacher. While this process is occurring, the school should look to its local community, hapū, iwi and local kura for support.

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 better placed to sustain and continue improving and reviewing its performance. Progress towards consolidating systems, processes and practices identified for improvement continues to be made. Strategic evaluation and planning is underway to better meet the unique vision, values and valued outcomes of the kura, for tamariki and their whānau.

Governance is strongly supporting consistency and cohesion for ongoing schoolwide improvement. Deliberate and well-considered actions are extending members’ in-depth knowledge of their roles and responsibilities, effective stewardship and building stronger accountabilities for school leadership. The presiding member continues to be the poutokomanawa for the school. Trustees continue to hold the aspirations of the school’s vision for the students that attend. They are knowledgeable about education, Poroutanga and the community the school serves. To better support members to know the impact of resourcing decisions on improving outcomes for learners, it is timely that regular principal reports to the board show analysed information about:

  • student achievement and progress for all learners from Years 1-13, across the curriculum

  • groups of learners differentiated for age and gender

  • rates of progress over time for all learners achieving below curriculum expectations against expected improvement trajectories

  • progress against strategic goals and plans.

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.

During the course of the review, ERO identified the following areas of non-compliance. In order to address these, the board of trustees must:

  • ensure all staff employed have a current police vet
    [s 104 Education and Training Act 2020]

  • undertake and record sufficient identity checks on the appointment of staff.
    [Children’s Act 2014].

Conclusion

Ngata Memorial College has continued to make progress against areas identified for improvement. Focus now needs to ensure that leadership for learning is building a high quality and consistent schoolwide teaching and learning culture that improves outcomes for all learners in Years 1 to 13.

The school will transition into ERO’s Evaluation for Improvement process | Te Ara Huarau.

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

5 May 2022

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 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.