ERO gives school top marks for progress
Waimate High School is celebrating a glowing Education Review Office (ERO) report.
The report said "improved attendance, fewer behaviour incidents, more involvement in school events and more active student leadership" showed improved student engagement and a more positive school culture.
It said academic success was promoted through "well-targeted initiatives to help support students' learning goals and pathways".
In January last year, the ERO recommended making improvements to the school culture, learning environment, and to make better use of school-wide planning and review processes to promote ongoing school improvement. It recommended the Education Ministry support the board.
The latest report noted the board received useful support from a professional development provider last year that enabled trustees to set up more efficient and effective processes.
At the beginning of 2011, a new deputy principal was appointed along with other staff.
ERO noted the membership of the board has remained stable.
It said the board had made good progress in improving governance systems and practices, and made good use of surveys to gather the views of students, parents and staff to help inform its decision-making.
Principal Janette Packman said the report reflected the hard work of the board and staff.
"Particularly pleasing is the acknowledgement of our positive school culture. Higher levels of engagement are evident both inside and outside the classroom. A combination of factors ... is resulting in better engagement."
She said the school had received positive feedback from the community on the report.
"[The school] is now seeing the real benefit of this initiative on the learning culture of the school.
"The training provided for teachers is building their confidence in using restorative approaches consistently to resolve any conflicts or unacceptable behaviour."
The report recommended the school continued to manage the process of change effectively, monitor students' progress over time to help staff and the board evaluate the impact of programmes, practices and decisions, and to build on the ways they were engaging with the school's Maori community.
Mrs Packman said an application for a new project had been successful and would provide funding to support that area.
Board of trustees chairman Martin Cochrane said he was "very pleased" with the school's progress.
- © Fairfax NZ News