Taita College

Education institution number:
258
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
310
Telephone:
Address:

188 Eastern Hutt Road, Taita, Lower Hutt

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Taita College

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within 11 months of the Education Review Office and Taita 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. www.ero.govt.nz

Context 

Taita College is coeducational secondary school, located in Lower Hutt. It provides learning for students from years 9 to 13. The college’s mission is to develop the resilience and skills students need to become productive and up-standing citizens and its vision is ‘Tītiro whakarunga ki ngā puke | look upwards to the hills, aim high. At this time of this report, the college was undergoing change in its leadership team.

Taita College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to:

  • develop a progressive curriculum that offers diverse opportunities, including a Te Ao Māori lens through building on relationships, with a link to mana whenua and local iwi

  • focus on numeracy and literacy skills and achievement.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how well implementation of the explicit teaching of literacy is achieving equitable outcomes for learners.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the school has identified that many year 9 and 10 students need acceleration in literacy

  • to embed consistent, evidence-based practices for teaching literacy across the year 9 and 10 curriculum in order to support and accelerate student progress and achievement. 

The school expects to see:

  • teachers deliberately selecting practices and strategies for the explicit teaching of literacy in their subject areas to improve student outcomes

  • systematic use of year 9 and 10 assessment data to inform planning and to evaluate the impact of this initiative

  • improved proficiency in literacy of year 9 and 10 students and equity in outcomes.

Strengths

The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate how well implementation of the explicit teaching of literacy is achieving equitable outcomes for learners:

  • strengthening links with other Kāhui Ako schools are leading to more consistent transition data to inform planning

  • embedded support systems monitor student progress and wellbeing, and identify those students’ needing acceleration in their learning

  • relevant pathways are strategically developed for individual students in collaboration with students and their whānau

  • sustained, equitable outcomes in NCEA for senior students.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • working with the Taita/Stokes Valley Kāhui Ako to strategically select appropriate assessment tools to monitor student progress in literacy across contributing schools and into year 9 and 10

  • targeted professional learning in literacy strategies to strengthen teachers’ capabilities and enable consistency across learning areas

  • continued data analysis to evaluate the impact of this initiative on student achievement and equity of outcomes.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

26 October 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Taita College

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of September 2023, the Taita College Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

Yes

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Actions for Compliance

ERO has identified the following area of non-compliance during the board assurance process: 

  • the school needs to check a primary identity document and a secondary identity document, required for safety checking of workforce [Children’s Act 2014].

The board has since taken steps to address the area of non-compliance identified.

Further Information

For further information please contact Taita College Board.

The next School Board 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.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

26 October 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Taita College

Provision for International Students Report

Background

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.

Findings

The school is a signatory 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.  The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

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

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

26 October 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Taita College - 18/03/2020

Findings

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

1 Background and Context

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

Taita College is a co-educational secondary school located in the Hutt Valley. It has 391 students, including 47% who identify as Māori and 34% who are of Pacific heritage. The roll has dropped over the last two years.

The college’s vision for students is to ‘aim high for what is truly valuable, be persistent and don’t let obstacles stop you from achieving your goal’. This is underpinned by the shared values of ‘respect for our people, our place, our learning’.

A commissioner, in place at the time of the September 2017 ERO review, completed their term once a new board of trustees was established at the end of 2018. The commissioner then took on the role of Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) to support the board. The LSM role was revoked by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in June 2019.

There have been several changes to staffing since the 2017 ERO review, including the appointment of an additional assistant principal funded by the MOE.

A community marae, Te Whakaruruhau, is situated within the school grounds.

The school is a member of the Taita-Stokes Valley Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning. It is also working collaboratively with the neighbouring Naenae Kāhui Ako.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The August 2017 ERO review identified the following areas requiring development:

  • establishing and sustaining practices that promote increased learning, engagement and progress for all students

  • ensuring the curriculum offers meaningful and relevant pathways for learning

  • building the effectiveness of teacher practice

  • improving and developing effective, evidence-based internal evaluation across the school

  • further building relationships and partnerships with the community

  • re-establishing a board of trustees.

Progress

Taita College has been making good overall progress in addressing and responding to the areas needing improvement.

The school has been effective in raising achievement and engagement for many groups of students. Since 2016, overall National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) has been improving. Level 3 results generally show a good increase. Disparity in achievement for boys and Pacific students has been reducing. In 2018 the majority of students achieved NCEA Levels 1 and 2, with most achieving Level 3.

The achievement of some groups of Māori students must continue to be prioritised for improvement.

Positive and respectful relationships are clearly evident. Pastoral care systems and practices provide good support for students’ wellbeing and care. Staff work collaboratively to promote positive and safe learning environments.

Strategies to raise achievement at junior levels have been contributing to improving outcomes. The majority of students who enter the school are assessed as not meeting the school’s curriculum expectations. Students who need to improve their rates of progress are clearly identified, and a range of interventions and strategies are put in place to respond to their needs. The school’s achievement information for 2018 shows that the majority of students who needed their learning accelerated made better than expected progress.

Changes to the senior curriculum are increasing the range of meaningful and relevant pathways available to students. These respond effectively to their strengths, interests and individual learning needs. Introduced programmes and options are helping to promote engagement and achievement, particularly for boys. A significant review of the junior curriculum is enhancing provision for Year 9 students and having a positive impact on improving literacy outcomes. Extending this into Year 10 is identified by leaders as an important next step.

An emphasis on promoting wellbeing is contributing to increased engagement. There has been a strategic focus on improving attendance. Absences are well monitored and responded to. A recent and comprehensive review of the school’s provision for student wellbeing has identified areas to strengthen practice. The next step is for leaders and teachers to effectively address the review’s recommendations for improved practice.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The college is making good progress towards sustaining and continuing to improve its performance. Many initiatives and developments are at an earlier stage of development and will need to be embedded, consolidated and sustained over time. Ongoing capability building is likely to contribute positively to this.

Teachers are well supported to improve their practice through a sound performance management process. Staff have had opportunities to participate in purposeful and relevant professional learning that is aligned to the school’s strategic priorities for improvement. A key focus has been to strengthen teachers’ awareness of the cultural and learning needs for Māori learners individually and as a group. A useful inquiry framework is supporting teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. They benefit from opportunities to share successful strategies and methods that promote new learning.

Improving use of assessment tools to track and monitor student learning provides a clear picture of their achievement and progress. Leaders have strengthened the systems for gathering and sharing learning information. There is now a more systematic approach to tracking and monitoring achievement and wellbeing data to inform teachers’ decision making and responses to individual student needs.

The school’s review process for key areas of its performance is contributing to some changes to teaching and learning that are promoting improved outcomes for students. The next step is to continue to strengthen internal evaluation to deepen understanding and sense making of trends and patterns in learning and achievement over time. Developing clearly stated outcomes in strategic planning and how these will be measured will assist leaders to provide more detailed reports to trustees about the impact of actions on achieving goals and targets.

An elected board of trustees has been successfully established, and the support provided by the MOE withdrawn. Trustees receive clear information about student achievement and progress, and school operations. Frameworks to support effective governance are in place. Trustees have been provided with guidance and have been participating in training. The board has started to review the school’s vision and strategic intent. ERO affirms this direction. Continuing to build governance capability and effectiveness remains a priority.

Increased links with the wider community are helping to promote student learning and engagement. Continuing to strengthen learning partnerships with parents, whānau and the community should be an ongoing focus.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

During the onsite stage of the review, ERO found that some school policies had not been reviewed within the last three years. In order to improve current practice, the board must ensure that all policies and procedures are reviewed and updated in a timely manner.

Conclusion

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

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.

The longitudinal review of Taita College has now concluded. The next review of Taita College will be a full education review.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

18 March 2020

About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

258

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

391

Number of international students

Nil

Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

47%
14%
34%
5%

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

18 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

September 2017
September 2014
July 2011

Taita College - 27/09/2017

Summary

Taita College is a co-educational secondary school in the Hutt Valley. It has 460 students from Years 9 to 14, including 45% who identify as Māori and 34% who are of Pacific heritage.

The college has recently refreshed its vision and values encouraging students to “aim high for what is truly valuable, be persistent and don’t let obstacles stop you from achieving your goal.”

To support positive conditions for learning, the college is welcoming and inclusive. Shared values promote “respect for our people, our place, our learning”. An orderly and encouraging environment supports teaching and learning. The grounds include a community marae, Te Whakaruruhau. The library now operates as a “knowledge hub” and has a school wide initiative operating in partnership with Hutt City libraries.

A new principal was appointed in 2016. The board of trustees elected in 2016 was dissolved in June 2017. A commissioner appointed by the Secretary for Education now has responsibility for all aspects of governance.

The college has participated in Ministry of Education initiatives, Kia Eke Panuku and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L). It has joined the Taita-Stokes Valley Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako and is working collectively with the neighbouring Naenae Kāhui Ako.

The college has made progress towards addressing the next steps outlined in the September 2014 ERO report. Some areas, including strengthening the use of assessment information to meet the needs of diverse learners and internal evaluation, continue to be priorities.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all students?

Taita College is focused on improving its response to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Overall results in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) have fluctuated since the previous ERO report. The trend shows a decline in achievement at all Levels during 2015, followed by some improvement in 2016. While achievement is improving, it remains below the average for all schools nationally and the average for schools similar to the college.

In 2016, just under two thirds of students left the college with at least NCEA Level 2, an increase from 2015. There is disparity in achievement for Māori students in most areas, shown in both entry and leaver data. Outcomes for Pacific students have generally improved over time.

More work is needed to establish and sustain practices that promote increased learning, engagement and progress for all students. This includes:

  • ensuring the curriculum offers meaningful and relevant pathways for learning
  • building the effectiveness of teacher practice
  • improving and developing effective evidence-based internal evaluation across the school
  • further building relationships and partnerships with the community.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Equity and excellence

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

Taita College leaders and staff must continue to have a relentless focus on improving the effectiveness of responses to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The college is seeking to build on some recent improvements in overall achievement and has introduced further changes to the curriculum and assessment to promote increased engagement in learning.

Leaders recognise that achievement for groups of students at NCEA Levels 1 and 3, and in University Entrance needs significant further improvement. Girls achieve better than boys, with the gap widening as they move through the school. Improving attendance and engagement for some students is a priority.

Deliberate actions have begun to address disparity in achievement for Māori and other students. Teachers have strengthened their response to these students’ cultural and learning needs. Some improvements in overall achievement and engagement are evident. Pacific student achievement shows improvement, particularly at NCEA Level 2. However, disparity between Māori and others in the school and nationally continues. This is evident in both rates of progress up to Year 10 and NCEA achievement. Approximately half of Māori students leave the college with NCEA Level 2 or above.

Data from Year 9 students’ previous schools is used when they enter the college. This shows that most of these students require accelerated progress in literacy and numeracy to meet curriculum expectations. Those needing improved achievement are targeted. Reported information shows increased progress for some students. The proportion of Māori experiencing accelerated progress is less than for their peers in the school.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Taita College continues to develop processes for the achievement of equity and excellence.

To support positive conditions for learning, the college is welcoming and inclusive. Shared values promote “respect for our people, our place, our learning”. An orderly and encouraging environment supports teaching and learning.

For students entering the college, there are well-considered processes to respond to their learning and pastoral needs. Good communication with contributing schools, parents and whānau results in useful information for teachers. The college’s membership of Taita-Stokes Valley Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako should provide opportunities to extend collaboration with primary and intermediate schools, to raise students’ achievement and support their transition to the college.

Curriculum leaders have extended the range of pathways that respond to the needs and aspirations of students and their whānau. More students are involved in vocational courses developed as part of useful relationships with external providers. New courses and programmes cater for Māori students at risk of not achieving at expected levels. Information collected by the college indicates that most leavers go into employment or further study.

Teachers have worked to improve students’ engagement and participation in the curriculum through integrating authentic contexts for learning and responding to their interests and strengths. Professional learning for staff has been underpinned by Kia Eke Panuku. This has prompted culturally responsive inquiries into the effectiveness of teaching. Students’ culture, language and identity are increasingly woven into curriculum content and teaching practices. Pastoral data indicates improved engagement since 2016.

Leaders and teachers focus on building strong relationships with students and their sense of belonging within the college. Students work with their tutor teacher to develop individual learning plans and set goals for improvement. Monitoring and review provides good information for parents and their children. Increased communication and sharing of learning information is evident.

Pastoral care is well considered. Students’ achievement and pastoral needs are closely tracked and monitored throughout their years at the college. Supporting their wellbeing for success is a priority. There are strong links with external agencies, institutions and support groups that are used appropriately, as required.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

In time, re-establishment of a board of trustees to work strategically and collaboratively with the principal, staff and students, and realise the community’s vision and values, will be important to sustaining development for equity and excellence.

Changes made since 2016, are intended to improve the equity and excellence of learner outcomes. These closely align to the college’s renewed vision, values and strategic priorities. They include further building relationships and partnerships to reflect community aspirations to improve outcomes for all students.

Ongoing focus on developing practice to accelerate the progress and achievement of Years 9 and 10 students is needed. Initial strategies have been implemented for Year 9 students aimed at accelerating their literacy learning and achievement. An inquiry-based approach for all Year 9 classes was introduced in 2017.

An appropriate range of data about student engagement, learning and achievement is collated. The college is seeking to strengthen the use of assessment tools and information to show the impact of practices and initiatives that are intended to raise achievement.

Leaders and teachers are increasingly reflective. Extending leaders’ capability to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of departmental practice for teaching and learning, should assist in strengthening the college’s overall capacity to respond effectively to students’ increasingly diverse needs.

The college identified that the previous appraisal system lacked consistency and rigour. A new performance development and professional review cycle, implemented in 2017, reflects the Practising Teacher Criteria and usefully links to the school’s strategic goals. Further strengthening this process and ensuring its robust implementation should result in better monitoring and guidance for improvement in teacher practice.

Priorities to accelerate students’ learning include:

  • a comprehensive review and cohesive development of the curriculum to address disparity in educational opportunities and outcomes and ensure meaningful and relevant pathways through and beyond school
  • setting specific, measurable targets for accelerated achievement and increased engagement aligned to school priorities
  • strengthened evidence-based internal evaluation to investigate and show the impact of actions taken to accelerate students’ progress and improve their achievement.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all students who need it?

Taita College is reviewing and developing the conditions needed to promote significantly improved learning, engagement and progress for all students. Disparity in achievement for Māori and other students is evident.

Leaders and teachers know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated and now need to continue to:

  • develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner

  • improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement

  • build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all students.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

27 September 2017

About the school

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

258

School type

Secondary (Years 9 - 14)

School roll

460

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 45%
Pacific 34%
Pākehā 18%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

27 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014
Education Review July 2011
Supplementary Review August 2009