Mata School

Education institution number:
2609
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
2
Telephone:
Address:

Huiarua Station, Tokomaru Bay

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Mata School - 18/06/2019

Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Mata School’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?

Mata School is an isolated rural school located on Huiarua Station, 45 minutes inland from Tokomaru Bay. It is staffed with one full-time sole charge principal and another teacher is employed as the principal’s release teacher. They regularly team teach providing children with personalised learning programmes. The school caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of ERO’s onsite visit there were six students on the roll, of whom most are Māori. The roll continues to be highly transient.

The school’s motto is ‘excellence through effort’. The principal has consulted with whānau to develop a localised curriculum and a graduate profile that encourages students to be ‘confident, ambitious, respectful and organised’. The curriculum also promotes academic knowledge and skills, and values te ao Māori.

Mata School has been involved in a long-term review process with ERO to support school progress and development. The principal has received support in his leadership role from the Ministry of Education (MoE) and from a leadership advisor. Trustees have received support from New Zealand School Trustee Association (NZSTA).

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development
  • strengthening moderation processes with other schools

  • accessing professional development for teachers about effective strategies for accelerating learning for at-risk students

  • developing and implementing a localised curriculum that reflects whānau aspirations for a graduate profile and the key competencies and intentions of theNew Zealand Curriculum(NZC)

  • building governance capability and sustainability

  • implementing a robust appraisal and performance management process for the principal

  • meeting all legislative obligations for health and safety

  • strengthening internal evaluation processes and practices.

Progress

There has been significant progress made in several of the areas identified for review and development in the 2018 ERO report. The principal and release teacher continue to provide quality individualised programmes for students. They have also strengthened the processes for moderation of student assessment and work collaboratively with local schools to ensure the reliability of their achievement data. The principal and release teacher have attended professional development that is supporting them to work effectively with students that need to make accelerated progress.

The school has consulted with students and whānau to develop a localised curriculum that prioritises Mana Tangata, Mana Awa, Mana Whenua and Mana Moana. A graduate profile has also been developed that reflects whānau aspirations. The documented curriculum is reflective of the intentions of The New Zealand Curriculum and supports students’ development of the key competencies. Students continue to benefit from participating in a range of sporting, cultural and educational activities with other local schools. Staff actively promote learning partnerships with parents and whānau to support student learning and acceleration.

The board of trustees has received training from NZSTA about the role of governance and strategic planning, and from the Ministry of Education about finance. The board has implemented a succession plan for the pending election including for the role of board chair. The principal engaged with the ERO Internal Evaluation Workshop to build capability in this area.

The principal continues to engage with a leadership advisor to effectively build his leadership capability. A collaborative process for the appraisal and performance management of the principal began in 2019 through a professional learning group of East Coast principals, supported by an external facilitator. This is supporting the professional growth and learning of the principal as well as meeting the requirements of the Teaching Council NZ. In 2018 the principal was not adequately appraised in his principal or teacher role.

Key next steps

There is an ongoing need for:

  • the new board chair and trustees to build their capability in all aspects of governance including internal evaluation

  • the principal and release teacher to continue to focus on student achievement and acceleration for at-risk learners

  • the implementation of the newly developed localised curriculum

  • ongoing professional development of the principal in his leadership role through the appraisal process.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Mata School is working well to sustain and continue its performance. Factors contributing to sustainability are:

  • ongoing support for the principal in his leadership role

  • the provision of training and support for the board of trustees in their governance role

  • students benefitting from a contextually relevant curriculum

  • parents and whānau actively engaging in learning partnerships with 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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

ERO noted the following areas of non-compliance.

  • The principal was not adequately appraised against the professional standards for principals or teachers as outlined in the Teaching Council requirements. A process is in place for 2019. The board must ensure that this process is fully implemented.
    [Ref: Part 31 Education Act 1989]

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the board seeks ongoing support and guidance for:

  • the incoming board chair and new trustees, from New Zealand School Trustees Association
  • the principal, from the current leadership advisor.

Conclusion

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

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

18 June 2019

About the School

Location

Huiarua Station, East Coast

Ministry of Education profile number

2609

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

6

Gender composition

Female 4 Male 2

Ethnic composition

Māori
Other

5
1

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

18 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2018
September 2016
July 2013

Mata School - 29/06/2018

Findings

Mata School although small and isolated provides a rich, broad curriculum and a positive environment for students. 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 as a result.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Mata School is an isolated rural school located on Huiarua Station, inland from Tokomaru Bay. It is staffed with one full time sole charge principal and another teacher is employed as the principal's release teacher. They regularly team teach providing children with personalised learning programmes. The school caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review there were six children at the school most of whom identify as Māori. The roll is highly transient.

The school is located between Mount Hikurangi and Mount Arowhana on the Raukumara Range and the Mata River as reflected by the school logo. The school aim is to develop learners and leaders who are confident, family oriented, reliable, respectful, inquisitive, honest, loyal and effective communicators.

Since the previous ERO report in 2016, the staff and board have remained stable.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development:

  • assessment capability and moderation in Years 1 to 8
  • reporting on achievement to board and parents
  • targets for accelerating at-risk learners and planning for specific individual learning needs and strengths
  • curriculum review and development
  • teaching and learning
  • internal evaluation.

Progress

There has been significant progress made in several of the areas identified for review and development in the previous ERO report. The principal and release teacher bring a range of complementary skills and work well together to improve student outcomes. However, the retention of teaching staff and board membership is an area of concern.

The principal and release teacher have made good progress in using assessment information to support student learning. They have developed a useful assessment schedule that includes an appropriate range of nationally referenced tools and achievement focused resources. This has strengthened the reliability and dependability of achievement data. Teachers make good use of achievement information in their planning, particularly for literacy and mathematics. They have developed and implemented learning progressions to help students monitor their own learning and achievement.

The school has made significant progress in reporting reliable achievement information to parents. The board does not receive overall reports on the achievement of the school due to privacy considerations for the small number of children that attend the school. However, they are well informed of the progress of their own children. Parents are regularly updated on their child’s progress through informal contact with teachers. They also receive comprehensive individual written reports about progress and achievement particularly in reading, writing and mathematics. A feature of these reports is specific next learning steps. The school sets targets to accelerate the progress of students at risk of not meeting expected curriculum levels. Individual education plans are developed for each child designed to meet the needs and strengths of students. These plans support accelerated progress for these students.

The school has made significant progress in developing expectations for teaching and learning. ERO observed a calm and settled classroom with high levels of student engagement and positive relationships between children, teachers and whānau. Teachers use an appropriate range of strategies to support student learning. Teachers work collaboratively and make good use of skills and knowledge to support accelerated learning, particularly in reading. The classroom is well presented. It reflects the programmes for learning and promotes a strong sense of belonging for students.

The school has developed a broad, engaging curriculum. This local curriculum places priority on utilising the environment and the wider community to provide authentic contexts for learning. Students have regular interactions with their peer group at neighbouring schools and there are many events including sporting, cultural and educational activities available to support learning. A feature of the programme is the active promotion of tuakana/teina and ako, with multiple opportunities for teachers, whānau and students to share their expertise and lead learning in the local surroundings.

Next steps

The principal and release teacher should:

  • regularly access moderation with other schools to further strengthen achievement information
  • continue to seek professional learning and development opportunities that support effective strategies to accelerate the learning for those students that require this
  • document the school's local curriculum to support ongoing sustainability and provide coherent learning pathways that reflect the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • develop and implement a graduate profile for Mata School that reflects whānau aspirations
  • strengthen internal evaluation processes and practices

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

ERO has concerns about the future sustainability of the school due to:

  • pending changes to the membership of the board including the position of board chair
  • the viability of the board and its ability to fulfil governance obligations
  • probable future changes to staffing
  • the instability of the school roll.

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.

ERO noted the following areas of non-compliance:

  1. The principal was not annually appraised in 2017. There is a process in place for 2018. This process must assess the principal's performance against all the professional standards for principals
    [s77C State Sector Act 1998; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement].
  2. The board needs to develop and implement policies and procedures for the appraisal of staff and ensure this is based on the Standards for the Teaching Profession established by the Education Council of New Zealand for the issue and renewal of practising certificates
    [Ref: Part 31 Education Act 1989].
  3. The school needs to comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once every two years, after consultation with the school community
    [Section 60b Education Act 1989].
  4. The board needs to receive regular reports on its compliance with Health and Safety at Work Act
    [HSWA 2015]
  5. The board needs to establish, implement and show documented evidence that suitable human resource management practices are implemented including police vetting of non-teaching staff, employees, contractors and paid children's workers have Identity Confirmation.
    [Section 77A State Sector Act; Vulnerable Children's Act 2014; requirements for Safety Checks of Children's Workers Regulations 2015]

In order to improve current practice the board of trustees should:

  • meet regularly and access specific training to support their understanding of the governance role in relation to charter development and ensure the school policies reflects the context of this small isolated school.

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that the board seeks ongoing support and guidance for:

  • the incoming board chair and new trustees from the New Zealand School Trustee Association (NZSTA)
  • the principal, from the current leadership advisor.

Conclusion

Mata School although small and isolated provides a rich, broad curriculum and a positive environment for students. 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 as a result.

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

29 June 2018

About the School

Location

Tokomaru Bay

Ministry of Education profile number

2609

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

6

Gender composition

Girls 5 Boys 1

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

5

1

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2016

July 2013

June 2010