2019 Education Review Office report
We have received our 2019 confirmed ERO report.
Positive culture and increased roll for Westland High School
The latest ERO report is in for Westland High School and it cites vast improvements, praising the “positive progress the school has been making”. Among the highlights celebrated are improvements in community relationships, student behaviour, student attendance, teacher-student relationships and increased academic and wellbeing support.
The report describes a “settled learning environment” in which students feel that teachers care about their learning. The quality of teaching and learning interactions are noted as being “positive and respectful”. The appraisal says a number of changes made to the curriculum at Years 7-10 level are designed to increase learning opportunities and foster improved NCEA results, especially in literacy and numeracy.
The School’s leadership has also been recognised for strengthening pastoral support for students and developing “effective, inclusive and culturally responsive practices”. As a result, many positive shifts have been observed including improved student attendance and positive improvements in student behaviour.
Professional collaboration and stakeholder participation have also been strengthened within and beyond the school, including relationships with whānau and Manawhenua. The report also highlighted the use of good quality classroom resources to promote learning and engagement.
As part of its audit, the Education Review Office checked the school’s processes around the emotional and physical safety of students and processes for staff appointment, student stand-downs, suspensions and expulsions. It also received assurance from the Board of Trustees that they had “taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations” regarding personnel management, financial and asset management and curriculum development.
Westland High School principal Iain Murray says, “We are pleased that this independent review of our school has identified the many positive developments in student outcomes and school culture since 2017. However, we are not resting on our laurels. We have more plans in place to continue building the capability of our young people and staff. Maximising student achievement and learning outcomes continue to be our priority.”
These positive changes have been achieved in only two short years since the 2017 ERO report raised concerns about the school. This latest report is an unconfirmed draft; the finalised version is expected to be received within a fortnight.
Another sign of the school’s bright future is the huge increase in the school roll. 76 enrolments have already been confirmed for 2020; in contrast to 56 from the previous year. As a result, the school will need to employ more teachers. Senior leadership staff note that among the new enrolments are students who were previously enrolled out of District and whose parents have decided to return their learning to Westland.