Te Kura o Te Teko - 24/07/2020

School Context

Te Kura o Te Teko is a full primary school located in the small rural town of Te Teko. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 185 are all Māori, most of whom whakapapa to Ngāti Awa ki Rangitaiki, the local iwi.

The overarching vision of the school is to empower students to fulfil their potential as citizens of the world by building their identity as children of Ngāti Awa ki Rangitaiki and instilling the values of kinship, humility, hospitality, compassion, autonomy and spiritual belief.

An acting principal was appointed to lead the school at the beginning of 2020. Up until this time the school had operated an English medium syndicate and a Māori medium syndicate. These syndicates were disestablished at the beginning of 2020 and leadership responsibilities are being redistributed. There is an elected board of trustees who are representative of the local community.

There was no regular reporting to the board of trustees about outcomes for students in 2019.

The school is part of the Pūtauaki ki Rangitaiki Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

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 not yet achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for many of its students, particularly boys and those in English medium classes.

Māori Medium

Data provided by the school shows that in 2019 the majority of students were at or above expectations in pānui pukapuka, tuhituhi, reo -ā-waha and pāngarau. This pattern of achievement was similar in 2017. There was a spike in overall achievement in 2018. Girls significantly outperform boys in pānui pukapuka, tuhituhi and reo-ā-waha. Boys achieved significantly better than girls in pāngarau between 2017 and 2019.

English medium

The school reports that in 2019 few students were at or above expectations in reading. The majority were at or above expectations in writing. Less than half were at or above expectations in mathematics. There was a decrease in overall achievement between 2018 and 2019 in reading, but an increase in achievement in writing and mathematics. No data analysis comparing the achievement of boys and girls was available at the time of the review.

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

While the school has anecdotal data to show that some students have made accelerated progress, leaders and teachers are yet to collate and analyse this data formally across the school.

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?

Relationships among teachers and students are positive and caring. Whanaungatanga, the fact that many students and teachers are related, is used positively to promote a climate of respect in most classrooms. Students with ongoing resource funding (ORS) benefit from a supportive, inclusive environment in class. Students with high pastoral needs are well supported through the Health Promoting Schools programme offered by the school. There is an urgent need to complete the review of school-wide behaviour management systems and processes so that the generally supportive environment inside classrooms is also reflected outside the classroom.

There are strong, reciprocal relationships between the school and the local community. Longstanding intergenerational ties mean parents and whānau are very loyal to the school. They enrich opportunities for student learning in a number of ways, most particularly through support for sports, kapa haka and fundraising for trips, both local and overseas. Aspects of the school curriculum reflect the fact that most students whakapapa to Ngāti Awa ki Rangitaiki, including the karakia of many of the main religious denominations within Mataatua Waka, including the Hāhi Ringatū.

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

There is an urgent need for trustees to strengthen their role within the school. They need to:

  • review and improve their internal organisation and working procedures including the need to meet regularly
  • develop clear guidelines and expectations so that both trustees and leaders are clear as to what reporting, legislative and statutory requirements need to be addressed throughout the year
  • undertake training in their roles and responsibilities so that they are able to provide appropriate levels of scrutiny to leadership decisions, reporting and actions
  • evaluate the impact of resourcing decisions
  • appraise the principal.

Leaders need to improve their performance across all areas of their practice. They urgently need to:

  • develop, in collaboration with all stakeholders, a strategic plan that articulates the school vision, and sets out appropriate goals and targets for equity and excellence
  • regularly analyse student achievement and progress information with a focus on reducing disparity, and report on trends and patterns to the board
  • ensure an orderly and supportive environment conducive to student learning by reviewing and evaluating school organisation, staff roles and responsibilities, completing the review and improvement of behaviour management systems and practices, and providing multiple opportunities for students to give feedback on the quality of the teaching they receive
  • develop effective planning, assessment and evaluation of learning programmes by documenting expectations for teachers and developing systems for support and accountability
  • promote teacher learning and development by establishing a strategic annual programme of professional development that aligns with students’ learning needs and teacher professional learning goals
  • reinstate reporting systems such as parent/teacher interviews so that parents have multiple, formal opportunities to discuss their children’s learning and progress
  • using a range of evidence, most particularly student progress and achievement data, evaluate and review all areas of school operation with a focus on ongoing improvement. A priority focus needs to be the provision of learning support for students with additional needs.

Teachers need to:

  • ensure school-wide expectations for planning, assessment and moderation are met
  • develop their understanding and use of systems and processes for measuring, tracking and monitoring students’ accelerated progress
  • develop a better understanding of the use of assessment data to identify and respond to students’ next steps in learning through reviewing and improving the use of learning progressions
  • provide more opportunities for students to be responsible for their own learning by ensuring they understand their achievement levels, next steps in learning, and improving systems for giving feedback and feedforward
  • continue to develop the local curriculum with a focus on developing a sequential approach to the teaching of local iwi history.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Te Kura o Te Teko’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.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • relationships of respect and care between students and staff that promote a culture for learning
  • reciprocal relationships between the school and the local community which enhance opportunities for learning for students.

Next steps

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

  • building trustees knowledge and understanding of stewardship in order to ensure the school’s statutory responsibilities are met
  • strengthening leadership to ensure an appropriate focus on equity and excellence for all students
  • changing the focus of assessment to ensure that the progress of all students at risk of not achieving is accelerated.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to board administration, curriculum, health, safety and welfare, finance and assets.

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

  • ensure board meetings are conducted in accordance with the Education Act 1989 and Local Government Official Information Meetings Act 1987
    [Parts 7/8 Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987; Clauses 40/41 Sixth Schedule Ed Act 1989]
  • ensure there are a regular number of board meetings in compliance with the Education Act 1989 to enable the board to transact business appropriate to the board’s governance responsibilities under legislation
    [Clause 40, Schedule 6, Education Act 1989]
  • in consultation with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s community, policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students
    [NAG 1(e)]
  • comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]
  • annually assess and appraise the principal against all the professional standards for principals
    [NZ Education Gazette and relevant employment agreements]
  • ensure all teaching staff are appraised by a professional leader of the school based on the Standards for the Teaching Profession established by the Teaching Council for the issue and renewal of practicing certificates
    [(Ref: Part 31 Education Act 1989) – Standards for the Teaching Profession or Ngā Tikanga Matatika, Ngā Paerewa. (Māori medium schools)]
  • ensure appropriate workforce safety checks are undertaken for new children’s workers
    [Children’s Act 2014]
  • ensure there is a risk identification and control process in place that eliminates or minimises identified risks in relation to buildings, facilities, grounds and school vehicles
    [Health and Safety at Work Act 2015]
  • comply with the rules on the use of physical restraint in schools
    [Education (Physical Restraint) Rules 2017]
  • ensure the annual report is available to the public on an internet site maintained by or on behalf of the board.
    [Section 87AB Education Act 1989]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • complete the review of behaviour management systems and processes within the school
  • receive monthly reports on monitoring maintenance and hazards and satisfy themselves about compliance in relation to school buildings, facilities and vehicles

  • ensure reports are made to the board at least once a year about personnel practices.

ERO recommends that the school seek support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association in order to bring about improvements in:

  • knowledge and understanding of trustees’ roles and responsibilities
  • addressing issues of non-compliance.

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

  • stewardship
  • leadership
  • curriculum.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

24 July 2020

About the school

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