Takitimu Primary School

Takitimu Primary School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 2 years of the Education Review Office and Takitimu Primary School 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


Takitimu Primary School is a small, rural primary school for students in Years 1 to 8 located in Western Southland. It’s vision for learners is that they will be the best they can be and that they will demonstrate the school’s central value of kindness. At the time of this review the school was in the process of recruiting a new principal.

The school’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • promoting students’ hauora|wellbeing

  • development and delivery of localised curriculum

  • provision of quality leadership and teaching to support positive outcomes for students.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Takitimu Primary School’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how well school stewardship and leadership are fostering the conditions for responsive curriculum, effective teaching and a safe and positive learning culture.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the school has experienced ongoing leadership and staffing changes that have impacted on the sustainability and continuity of aspects of curriculum development, teaching and the provision of a positive learning culture

  • internal evaluation processes are not sufficiently developed to support and inform ongoing school improvement.

The school expects to see:

  • students feel cared about as individuals, successful as learners and a sense of belonging in their school

  • students make appropriate rates of progress in literacy and numeracy learning.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to strengthen the conditions for responsive curriculum, effective teaching and a positive learning culture.

Teachers who are actively engaged in professional learning to improve their teaching practice and curriculum knowledge

  • systems for promoting, recognising and monitoring positive behaviour expectations across the school

  • systems and interventions for identifying and responding to students who need additional support to make progress and achieve in literacy.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise strengthening:

  • strategic and annual planning, in consultation with the school community, to better provide direction for the school

  • reliability of assessment information, analysis and reporting to inform planning and improvement

  • guidelines and expectations for curriculum planning and implementation and effective teaching

  • professional support for teachers to continue to develop their teaching capability including for fostering a positive learning culture and using assessment skilfully to inform teaching and learning.

ERO has concerns about aspects of

  • strategic and annual planning, and self review; and

  • leadership of curriculum, teaching, and a positive learning culture.


To bring about the improvements identified ERO recommended that the Ministry of Education provide additional tailored support to the school in regard to governance, leadership of learning and curriculum for ongoing improvement.

The Ministry of Education is working alongside the school.

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

22 September 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

Takitimu Primary School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of October 2022, the Takitimu Primary School, School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Actions for Compliance

ERO and the board have identified the following areas of non-compliance during the board assurance process, the school has not: 

  • On the basis of good quality assessment information reported to the school’s community on the progress and achievement of students as a whole.

[Regulation 21 of Education (School Boards) Amendment Regulations 2022]

  • Developed policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students in consultation with the school’s Māori community.

[Section 127(1)(d), section 139(3) and NELP 5]

  • Complied with requirements for the retention and disposal of school records.

[Public Records Act 2005]

  • Undertaken regular review of health and safety policies and procedures/guidelines/practices linked to providing a safe physical and emotional environment for students.

[Section 127 (1) and (2) Education and Training Act 2020]

  • Received assurance at intervals of not more than six months that a trial evacuation has occurred.

[Reg 29 Fire Safety, Evacuation Procedures, and Evacuation Schemes Regulations 2018]

  • Developed a child protection policy that meets the legislative requirements.

[Children’s Act 2014]

  • Developed policies, practices and procedures on surrender and retention of property and searches of students that comply with rules and guidelines made by the Secretary for Education.

[sections 105 to 114, Part 3; Subpart 4 of the Education and Training Act 2020]

  • Made available to the school community information on the guidelines issued by the Secretary of Education on physical restraint and behaviour management; the names and positions of staff members authorised to perform physical restraint and the school’s policy on reducing student distress and the use of physical restraint.

[section 101 of the Education and Training Act 2020]

  • Complied with all aspects of safety checking of workforce and kept accurate records about each aspect of the safety checking process.

[Children’s Act 2014]

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

Further Information

For further information please contact Takitimu Primary School 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

22 September 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

Takitimu Primary School - 30/05/2019

School Context

Takitimu Primary School has a roll of 77 Year 1 to 8 children. Children come from a range of countries and cultures. Some children are English Language Learners (ELL). With changes in local employment opportunities, some children arrive or leave during the school year.

There have been significant changes in the school in the last three years. These include changes in principal, a new teacher, board chair and trustees.

The school’s vision is for students to ‘Be the best you can be’. Other stated priorities are that students will be confident, connected, lifelong learners. The school’s strategic goals are to improve student achievement in mathematics, school culture and community engagement. There are also targets to lift achievement for identified children in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress against school targets to lift achievement in literacy and mathematics
  • student wellbeing.

The school is part of a cluster of Western Southland schools, who work together for professional learning (PL), and activities for students, such as sport. Teachers have also participated in Ministry of Education (MOE) funded PL in literacy, mathematics and science.

The school has made good progress against some of the recommendations in the 2015 ERO report. Some recommendations remain as areas to further strengthen.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is achieving equitable and positive outcomes for most of its students.

Most children achieve at or above the school’s expected levels in reading. The majority achieve at or above expected levels in writing and mathematics. Over time school-wide achievement levels have remained fairly consistent.

There is some variability in achievement between different groups. Pacific and Māori children achieve at similar levels to NZ European in reading but not as well in writing and mathematics. Achievement rates are more varied for Filipino children because some are ELLs.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school successfully accelerates the learning of the majority of children identified as below expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2018 at least half of these children achieved at or above expected levels by the end of the year.

The school’s end of 2018 information did not include an analysis of progress for different groups of children, for example by gender or ethnicity. This means that ERO cannot evaluate how well the school is accelerating the learning of Māori or other groups of children.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The children are settled and well engaged. They learn and interact well alongside each other. Between children there is a respectful culture. Most children know and can explain the school values.

The learning support leader and teachers have developed very effective practices to identify, monitor and support children who need extra help to succeed in their learning. These children, especially ELLs, benefit from deliberate teaching and additional interventions. Teachers relentlessly seek the best way to support these children.

Children benefit from very effective teaching and assessment practices. Teachers plan carefully to meet the different needs and abilities of their children. They use an appropriate range of assessment methods and tools to make reliable judgements about children’s progress and achievement in literacy and mathematics. Deep analysis of standardised assessment data has enabled teachers to monitor children’s progress, identify gaps in learning and inform their planning and teaching. With recent changes in staff, it is important that these effective assessment practices are maintained.

Over time, teachers have benefitted from purposeful professional learning. This and their appraisal goals align well with the school’s strategic targets and goals. With external support, they carried out a comprehensive review of the mathematics and science curriculum guidelines. The review process used provides a useful model for ongoing review of other curriculum areas.

The school has a capable board of trustees. They understand that student wellbeing and achievement are their primary focus and use data to inform their decisions. Trustees have clear delegations and have sought relevant PL.

The new principal is well supported by the board, an external advisor and relevant professional development. He has developed action plans as to how the school will move forward.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has identified, and ERO’s evaluation confirms, that the next steps are to:

  • develop a more collaborative staff culture
  • strengthen community engagement (especially learning-focused partnerships with parents)
  • strengthen the way Māori and other cultures are valued.

Other priorities are to:

  • ensure the principal manages changes effectively, including better involvement of relevant staff in decision making and planning
  • ensure effective internal evaluation of different learning areas, and teaching and learning over time
  • complete the review of Takitimu Primary School curriculum, including reviewing with parents the school’s vision, valued outcomes for children and local curriculum priorities
  • strengthen aspects of reporting to the board by deepening analysis of student progress and achievement in mid and end of the year reports; extending reporting to include student outcomes in other curriculum or school priority areas; and more regular and evaluative reporting about progress towards meeting school targets and annual goals.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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.

During the onsite stage of the review, ERO found non-compliance related to managing bullying, cyber safety, physical restraint and post disaster relief.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • settled and engaged students who are ready to learn
  • effective assessment and teaching practices that contribute to students’ progress and achievement
  • the relentless focus by teachers on children who need extra support to succeed.

Key next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • improving staff culture and ensuring a more collaborative approach to decision making
  • implementing effective internal evaluation practices that identify what is working and what is not
  • strengthening aspects of reporting to the board
  • maintaining a strategic focus on better valuing of Māori and other cultures in the school to enrich learning and foster inclusivity.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to physical restraint and search and retention.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • ensure it meets all the requirements of the physical restraint rules. Specifically policies and training for staff in physical restraint
    [Education (Physical Restraint) Rules 2017]
  • ensure it has policies and procedures for retention of property and searches of students
    [139AAA to 139AAH of the Education Act]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • develop procedures related to managing cyber bullying and post-disaster relief.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

30 May 2019

About the school


Nightcaps, Southland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 42, Boys 35

Ethnic composition

Māori 17

NZ European/Pākehā 47

Other ethnicities 13

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

30 May 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2015

Education Review June 2012

Education Review October 2008