Published: 04 Sep 2017
Evaluation indicators
Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua


“It’s amazing what people can do when you stop telling them what to do.”

Leadership engages in collaborative consideration of the evidence to inform a considered response to issues identified. Solutions are sought only after a thorough analysis of the problem and consideration of the evidence about what is likely to make the most difference. The implementation of new initiatives is closely evaluated.



Key messages:

  • Distributing leadership is sharing the power not just the work to be done.
  • Data drives decision making
  • The consideration of evidence ensures that the best solution is selected
  • Respectful relationships and the opportunity to have a voice leads to shared ownership of outcomes


Things to think about:

  • How well does your school use a wide range of evidence to inform decision making?


The evaluation indicators this video illustrates

  • Domain 2: Leadership for equity and excellence 
    • Evaluation indicators
      • Leadership collaboratively develops and pursues the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence
      • Leadership ensures effective planning, coordination and evaluation of the school’s curriculum and teaching
      • Leadership builds collective capacity to do evaluation and inquiry for sustained improvement


This video is part of a series

This video is part of the series Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua. We created this series to inspire schools with examples of success in action. These examples highlight the benefits of fulfilling the evaluation indicators we use to review schools.

The full video series can be found here.

Remote video URL

(We open on a close-up as someone gestures towards a document with a pen. We hear a man speaking in the background. As he says “some of” the camera shows the speaker sitting at a table, a woman sitting on either side.)


If you could read down this list and put a tick by some of these now, what would they be?


(The video changes to show a woman sitting in an office, speaking into the camera. Text along the bottom of the screen reads, “Sandy Griffin, Deputy Principal, Manurewa Central School”.)

Laurie encourages people to share.


(As she says “so” the camera returns to the meeting. A woman speaks as the man flips through the documents on the table.)

He encourages that collaboration so that we can gather length and breadth and depth to the issues.


(We now see the man from the meeting in an office, speaking to the camera. Behind him is a corkboard with various documents pinned to it and a shelf with several framed photos. Text along the bottom of the screen reads, “Laurie Thew, Principal, Manurewa Central School”.)

Everyone's got something to offer.


(Laurie continues speaking in voiceover as the video returns to the meeting. The participants speak among themselves.)

It's a matter of finding out what and giving them the chance.


(Another man speaks in voiceover. As he says “grow” the camera changes to show the speaker sitting in an office, speaking into the camera. Behind him on a shelf is an ornate vase, a framed class photo and a kete decorated with shells. Text along the bottom of the screen reads, “Chris Ward, Former BoT Chair, Manurewa Central School”.)

That's giving people encouragement to grow and develop, and also giving them acknowledgement.


(His voiceover continues as we see a meeting where Laurie is speaking while Chris Ward and a woman listen.)

He gets the buy-in from people by doing that.


(Laurie’s voice takes over as the scene continues. As he says “have” the video changes to show Laurie outside as he speaks to the camera. In the background is a playground. As he says “person” we return to Laurie in the meeting.)

You pull a team together who individually have got the confidence to be their own person, and allow people to have their say in a climate of respect.


(A woman’s voice now takes over the voiceover. As she says “encourage” the scene changes to show the speaker, sitting in an office in front of a window. Text along the bottom of the screen reads, “Michelle Dibben, Deputy Principal, Manurewa Central School”.)

One of the things that Laurie does encourage in the leadership team is those discussions, to ask questions, to think.


(She continues speaking as the camera returns to the meeting, where she sits across from Laurie Thew. The camera closes-up on her face as she speaks, followed by a close-up of another woman.)

We do have very different skills and strengths that we bring to the team, so we complement each other.


(Laurie takes over the voiceover as we see him flipping through documents. Some of them show graphs in green and red.)

We pore over the data because the data is actually the result of the efforts. That's in black and white. We want to see it and what does it tell us. And then we have the exciting bit, the "so what." We've got the data.


(The camera returns to Laurie in the office.)

Well, so what does this tell us? And that's where the debate gets really interesting.


(We very briefly see Michelle Dibben as she takes over the voiceover, before seeing her sitting alongside Sandy in Laurie’s office. Laurie sits behind his desk with a laptop and a notebook. Michelle is speaking but we cannot hear what she says.)

Laurie likes things presented to him as really thought out.


(The camera zooms in on Laurie, who nods as he listens. We see Sandy speak, then back to Laurie.)

So if you thought about where it could go wrong, where it could go right, then he's happy to give it a go.


(Laurie takes over the voiceover. At his desk he writes something in a diary.)

What we try to avoid doing is finding an issue or a difficulty and then jumping to a solution.


(The camera returns to Laurie speaking into the camera, zooming in on his face.)

So here is the issue we want to do something about, but let's brainstorm, first and foremost, why the situation is. Why is it like this? And once we understand why it might be like this, then we can have an approach to what we do about it.


(The video changes to Sandy Griffin speaking in her office. As she says “voice” we return to the meeting in Laurie’s office where they continue their discussion.)

If people feel that they've had a voice, then they have a vested interest in ensuring that outcomes are planned and those strategies are committed to.


(We once again see Laurie speaking into the camera in his office. As he says “trust” we see a scene of a school yard. Laurie walks towards the camera as children play behind him, two riding past him on unicycles.)

Once you develop that trust with people, then you can let them go.


(Laurie approaches a shed with “Kaitiaki” above the door. Inside he speaks with another man. The back wall is lined with shelves filled with jars and trays that hold various mechanical parts.)

My task then, is to help people to resource people.


(Laurie is then back in his office, speaking into the camera briefly before returning to the shed. He sits at a table, writing things into a notebook as he talks with the other man.)

You're not so much delegating jobs as delegating what we're trying to do around here. I learned a lot from the children that I taught.


(We return to Laurie’s office.)

And it was the children that taught me that it was amazing what they could do when I stopped telling them what they needed to do.