Muriwai School

Education institution number:
2617
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
35
Telephone:
Address:

1684 Wharerata Road, Muriwai, Gisborne

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Muriwai School - 19/06/2020

Findings

Muriwai School has a positive and respectful culture. Trustees and leaders have made significant progress in building constructive relationships with the wider community for informing school direction and the developing of a localised curriculum. ERO has concerns about the sustainability of the school due to ongoing governance challenges, the recruiting and retention of staff, levels of student achievement and the reliability of achievement information. They will continue to monitor the school as a result.

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

Muriwai School is located in a rural community south of Gisborne. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 27 of whom most are Māori and are of Ngai Tāmanuhiri and Ngāti Porou descent. The school provides a Māori medium rumaki full level 1 immersion class and an English medium auraki level 3 immersion class offering up to 50% te reo instruction.

The school’s vision is ‘Whaia te taumata – Be and do our very best’. The newly developed localised curriculum articulates the school values as aroha, kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, and ngākau mahaki. These values are all intended to develop students’ cultural understanding of Ngai Tāmanuhiritanga – to acknowledge, respect and treasure the hītori, tikanga, kawa and reo ake of Ngai Tāmanuhiri.

There have been several changes to staffing since the March 2017 ERO report. The long-standing principal resigned and two acting principals served until the current principal took up the role in Term 2, 2018. There have been two Limited Statutory Managers (LSM) in that time period and a third has been appointed at the time of this ERO review. In addition, there have been several changes to the teaching staff and the school is in the process of appointing a new principal’s release teacher. The board chairperson is the sole remaining member of the board of trustees. All other trustees were newly elected in July 2019.

These significant changes to personnel have had an impact on the school’s ability to address all areas identified for development in the 2017 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 2017 ERO report identified the urgent need to address the following priorities:

  • the development and implementation of assessment systems to ensure the dependability of achievement information is supported by appropriate evidence
  • the use of achievement information to plan for individual student needs and next steps for learning
  • establish reciprocal learning relationships with parents and families of at-risk learners
  • whānau involvement in the direction and decision-making for the school
  • the development of a rich localised curriculum that includes specific guidance for teaching and learning and covers core learning areas.

In March 2019, ERO and the school, re-prioritised the areas identified for progress and development due to the significant personnel changes. These areas were identified as:

  • revitalising interest in the trustee role and re-engaging with the community to encourage board participation
  • increased clarity about who the school community is, and the involvement of all stakeholders in developing the curriculum
  • establishing clearly stated, shared valued outcomes for students, involving parents, whānau and the community
  • curriculum development and implementation, including the use of student achievement information
  • ensuring the principal’s appraisal is effective and aligned with improving student outcomes.

Both the 2017 and 2019 priorities identified for review and development were the terms of reference for this ERO review.

Progress

The school has made significant progress in building positive and productive relationships with the school community. The board chair and newly elected trustees have been actively engaging all stakeholders to inform plans for school improvement. The principal has established strong working relationships with the three local marae. The principal and board chair, with the support of an external facilitator, have consulted with whānau, iwi and hapū, as well as the farming community to develop the strategic direction of the school.

Community consultation has informed the charter which now reflects the whānau aspirations for developing students’ confidence and capability in te reo me ōna tikanga and in their cultural understanding of Ngai Tāmanuhiritanga. There has been increased whānau involvement with the school. Whānau expertise and cultural knowledge has been utilised in implementing aspects of the localised curriculum and the careers programme. The draft curriculum document articulates the significance of mana tangata, mana whenua and mana moana. Student learning of their local environment and the purpose of kaitiakitanga are evident in work displayed, planning and documentation. Continuing to develop, implement and embed the localised curriculum is a key next step identified by the school and supported by ERO’s evaluation.

The school culture is positive and respectful. Students in both the auraki and rumaki are immersed in te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the day and their cultural identity is well supported. Teachers facilitate learning opportunities both locally and internationally. Overseas connections are utilised to help grow students awareness as global citizens with a strong sense of Ngai Tūmanuhiritanga. In the mixed-aged classes tuakana teina is highly evident to enhance learning opportunities.

Trustees have a clearer understanding of their roles and responsibilities as governors for the school. They have undertaken training in aspects of their governance roles. They work collaboratively and constructively with the principal to improve outcomes for students. All areas identified as areas for the board to improve practice in the 2017 ERO report have been addressed.

Key next steps

Assessment systems have been developed. However, there is a need to review and refine the timing of assessments to ensure there is coherency and purpose to the assessments. Further work is needed to ensure teachers’ judgements are dependable and well supported by appropriate evidence.

Achievement levels in the rumaki are low in panui and tau, and in auraki writing. Further support and guidance is required for teachers to understand more effective use of achievement information to plan for individual student needs. Teachers need to share with students next steps for learning to achieve accelerated progress for those students at risk of underachieving. In addition, developing learning partnerships with whānau is needed so they can further support their tamariki with their learning goals and accelerating progress.

Trustees acknowledge that developing a shared understanding of policies, procedures and practice and ensuring they are fully implemented is a key next step. The principal has been annually appraised and though this is compliant, consideration should be given to engaging an external appraiser with a clear focus on building leadership capability.

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 governance challenges
  • ongoing challenge of recruiting and retaining permanent teaching staff
  • reliability of achievement information and levels of achievement.

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 identified non-compliance in relation to adopting 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]

In order to improve practice, the board should ensure that:

  • the careers education programme for Years 7 and 8 documents current practice
  • the physical restraint documentation records who is authorised to restrain students and training for these personnel is provided
  • the 2019 annual report is available through the school website
  • the reporting and monitoring of maintenance and hazards are formalised to ensure consistency and timeliness.

4 Recommendations

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

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

  • effective management and implementation of the principal appraisal process
  • support for leadership and the board in managing their roles, including parent partnerships
  • effective curriculum development and implementation, including use of student achievement information
  • increased understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association provides ongoing support and guidance to trustees in their governance role.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education provide ongoing support in assessment capability and use of achievement information for accelerating learning for those students that require it.

Conclusion

Muriwai School has a positive and respectful culture. Trustees and leaders have made significant progress in building constructive relationships with the wider community for informing school direction and the developing of a localised curriculum. ERO has concerns about the sustainability of the school due to ongoing governance challenges, the recruiting and retention of staff, levels of student achievement and the reliability of achievement information. They will continue to monitor the school as a result.

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

19 June 2020

About the school

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

Muriwai School - 28/03/2017

Findings

Teachers know students and their families well and are caring and supportive of students. The school has undertaken useful developments to improve curriculum provision and school operation following ERO’s 2015 report. However, there is insufficient progress in key priority areas.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Muriwai School is a rural school located south of Gisborne. It caters for students in two Years 1 to 8 classes. About half of the students travel daily from Gisborne on the school’s bus. The principal, teaching and support staff, and several of the trustees are long serving.

The school has a sustained focus on supporting te reo me ngā tikanga Māori specific to Te Iwi o Ngāi Tāmanuhiri. Most students whakapapa to this iwi. Whānau have high expectations of students and the school in promoting their success as Māori.

One class provides instruction through te reo Māori immersion, and the other is bilingual. Student achievement in the bilingual class is assessed in relation to the National Standards aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). In the immersion class, it is assessed in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori aligned to Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

The August 2015 ERO report identified the need for the principal to lead improvement in a number of areas. These included the use and quality of assessment information, curriculum development, and provision for accelerated learning for students at risk. Improvements were also needed to appraisal, board reporting and internal evaluation.

Following that review, ERO decided to undertake a process of ongoing evaluation to support the school's development over a period of 1 to 2 years.

Since the 2015 ERO review, trustees have received training in their governance role from the New Zealand School Trustees Association. A Ministry of Education student achievement function (SAF) practitioner has provided teachers with support to improve their use of assessment information. A new teacher has been appointed for the rumaki class, and in 2016 three new trustees joined the board. 

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Initial priorities were to:

  • improve systems for targeting specific groups of students at risk. This included developing robust assessment practices to assist teachers to make judgements about students' achievement in relation to National Standards. Teacher inquiry and schoolwide evaluation of the effectiveness of targeted strategies for accelerating learning also required development
  • develop and implement a locally based curriculum with clear guidelines for teaching and learning. The curriculum needed to reflect whānau/iwi aspirations and provide for rich learning opportunities and progression for students. Monitoring of implementation and review of effectiveness of the curriculum also required strengthening.

Further priorities for improvement of governance were identified during 2016. More deliberate action by the board was needed to address identified priorities and enact responsibilities in relation to the principal’s appraisal, policy review and internal evaluation.

Progress
Improving assessment practices and systems

There is evidence of improved assessment practice by teachers. Guidance by the SAF practitioner has supported development of new systems to identify and monitor students at risk in their learning. This is helping teachers to look more deeply at assessment information and to group children for instruction.

Teachers are planning more deliberately for students’ learning needs and reviewing students' achievement and progress. Teachers now need to embed these processes and improve their understanding of learning matrices and progressions. This should support teachers to plan and implement next steps for students’ learning more effectively.

Developing effective, reciprocal learning relationships with parents and families is a key next step for teachers, especially for those students at risk of poor educational outcomes.

Improved processes have been introduced for regular and meaningful reporting to the board about student achievement. An action plan has been developed for monitoring and reporting of achievement. This is supported by templates for reporting on the progress of targeted students.

These developments are providing regular opportunities for assessment and reporting in relation to goals. Staff and trustees should ensure these systems continue to be developed, implemented and evaluated to ensure students’ progress is adequately promoted and monitored.

Teachers have worked with other schools and external providers to increase their understanding about making overall judgments about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga. Further work is needed to ensure teachers’ judgments are dependable and well supported by appropriate evidence.

The school is beginning to implement aspects of its plan to use the Ministry of Education Progress and Achievement Tool (PACT) to develop shared understanding and promote teachers' robust and consistent assessment practice.

Curriculum development

A school mural has been developed with the help of a local artist. This effectively represents significant tipuna, stories and locations related to local iwi and history. It should be a useful springboard for development, implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of the school's curriculum in promoting students’ sense of belonging, culture, language and identities as they learn.

External support has been accessed to develop a school curriculum document. This includes important elements aligned to the NZC and local kaupapa Māori. Consultation with parents and the wider community about the curriculum document has occurred. Teachers and the board have reviewed the responses.

Further development of the curriculum documents should now ensure that they include:

  • specific and useful guidance for teaching and learning
  • sufficient opportunities for learning in core learning areas
  • how local resources and educational opportunities will be used to enrich learning
  • more deliberate provision for students’ learning progression and career pathways.

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 sufficiently well placed to sustain or continue to improve and review its performance.

There are elements of progress, but this is not yet coherent, aligned or embedded. The principal and trustees still have significant work to do to ensure the school provides effectively for its students and families.

There is a shared school vision for students to be successful academically and as Māori. Whānau and the school community demonstrate a strong commitment to participating in school life and promoting the success of the school. An important next step for ongoing improvement is to establish systems for communication and input from families for setting direction, decision-making and evaluation of effectiveness.

Teachers know students and their families well. They are caring and supportive of students. Recent discussion of school values contributes to a positive school tone. Students are focused on their learning. They demonstrate a sense of pride and belonging in the school. They develop positive relationships and support each other as they learn.

A number of new trustees are accessing good support to understand and undertake their governance roles. The board provides strategic and action plans aligned to priorities. Development of collective action is required to ensure the board as a whole is effective in addressing priorities and leading improvement and review. 

Further development of professional leadership by the principal is required. An appraisal cycle for the principal was completed in July 2016, and a new appraiser has recently been appointed. The board has yet to implement a responsive plan of action and develop a new annual performance agreement with the principal to guide the current appraisal cycle.

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.

In order to improve practice, the board of trustees should ensure that:

  • policies are effectively reviewed in a timely manner and there is improved alignment between policies, procedures and practice
  • the cycle for appraisal of the principal is fully implemented and findings appropriately acted on
  • personnel matters are consistently managed within the board's in-committee procedures
  • all complaints are recorded and responses and outcomes are well documented
  • a clear system for teachers' reporting and checking of daily absences is established
  • useful, appropriate procedures are developed for all relevant policies
  • a system for the administration of medication is implemented
  • an anti-bullying policy and procedures are developed. 

4 Recommendations

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

  • effective management and implementation of the principal appraisal process
  • support for leadership and the board in managing their roles, including parent partnerships
  • effective curriculum development and implementation, including use of student achievement information
  • increased understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement. 

Conclusion

Teachers know students and their families well and are caring and supportive of students. The school has undertaken useful developments to improve curriculum provision and school operation following ERO’s 2015 report. However, there is insufficient progress in key priority areas.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

28 March 2017

About the School 

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

2617

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

36

Gender composition

Female 17 Male 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

33

3

Special Features

One rumaki class and one bilingual class

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

28 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2015

September 2012

May 2009