Kutarere School 21/06/2011
To the Parents and Community of Kutarere School
This review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions the school has taken towards addressing issues specified in the previous review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.
The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Kutarere School follows.
Kutarere School is a small school located in the Eastern Bay of Plenty near Whakatane and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. Two classrooms currently operate. Students in Years 1 to 4 receive instruction immersed in te reo Māori and students in Years 4 to 8 receive a bilingual education.
This review follows five previous Supplementary Reviews dating back to 2004 when ERO identified concerns about the governance and management of the school. The principal during the last four ERO reviews left the school during 2010 and an acting principal was appointed. In September 2010 a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) was appointed by the Ministry of Education under Section 78N of The Education Act to work alongside the board and acting principal to advise and guide trustees about a range of issues, including the appointment of a new permanent principal. At the time of this ERO review in May 2011, a permanent principal had not been appointed and the acting principal continues to be the professional leader of the school.
The school has made significant progress in re-establishing a positive relationship with the community. Parents and whānau expressed a renewed confidence in the school and felt welcome approaching the acting principal and teachers to discuss the education of their children. This consultative and inclusive approach has resulted in the establishment of a partnership between the school and whānau in supporting positive student conduct and improved student achievement.
The acting principal has worked with trustees, teachers and The Tuhoe Education Authority (TEA) to improve wide ranging aspects of school operations. His inclusive approach and hard work has contributed to improvements in teaching and learning, an emerging culture of respect among teachers and students, and increasingly settled learning environments. High expectations for student conduct are now evident and well understood by teachers and students. There is a need for teachers to continue with professional development about teaching and learning, including a focus on the use of assessment information and developing teaching strategies.
With valuable assistance from the TEA and the increasing use of standardised assessment tools, teachers have made a start in establishing a framework for school-wide assessment. As a result, teaching programmes are able to target individual learning needs. At this early stage of the implementation of the new framework, data gathered shows that many students are achieving below expected levels for their age.
The board is effectively led by co-chairpersons who bring dedication and knowledge to their governance roles. They work closely with other board members, the acting principal and the LSM to govern the school in the best interests of the school and community. The board and LSM are aware of the degree of urgency in appointing a permanent principal so that the momentum of school improvement is maintained and sustained. In addition, there is also a need for ongoing board training to ensure clarity of roles, expectations and accountabilities in both governance and management.
Future Action: ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one to two years.
Review Coverage: When ERO has reviewed a school we encourage boards to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to do. You should talk to the board or principal if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.
If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.
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