ERO Report

ERO, the Education Review Office, reviews the performance of every school from time to time. The resulting report, called an Education Review Report, is a public document and is often used as a yardstick for a school's recent performance.


Here is a summary of the latest ERO Report on Sockburn School:


Sockburn School - 02/12/2015

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Sockburn School is a welcoming and inclusive learning environment. The board, senior leaders and teachers have a strong focus on building positive relationships across all levels of the school and in the community. The school’s steady involvement in a local network of schools and early childhood centres is supporting the successful transition of students into the school and beyond.

The school has a culturally diverse student population. The roll continues to grow as a significant number of English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students enrol. A number of staff changes have occurred since the 2012 ERO review. Leadership has remained the same.

The use of digital technology in the school has increased.

The Ministry of Education has notified the board that the school will relocate to a new site in the Wigram area. This is planned to occur in 2018. The challenge for the board and senior leaders is to maintain a focus on what is happening for students and to plan for the smooth transition to the new site.

Senior leaders and teachers have addressed some of the recommendations from the 2012 ERO report. These include: the further development and implementation of the curriculum in class programmes, consultation with Māori whānau and an increased focus on aspects of Māori culture across the curriculum. The areas that have not been met remain as recommendations in this report.


2. Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school is in the early stages of understanding and using a new data management system to record and analyse student achievement data. This is limiting the quality and regularity of reporting student progress and achievement to the board.

Student achievement is lower than nationally expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. The school has identified that the high number of students enrolling during the school year with low levels of English is having a negative effect on the data. It has yet to determine how to show the difference in achievement if these numbers were not included in the overall school data.

Senior leaders are taking shared responsibility for making collaborative and deliberate decisions about the best ways to meet the needs of students. This includes:

  • focused professional development for moderation in relation to judgements about National Standards
  • making the system more responsive to meet the diverse range of needs of students, in particular the needs of ESOL students.

Teachers make very good use of student achievement information at class and syndicate levels to:

  • recognise individual students' and group strengths and capabilities
  • identify students requiring additional support with their learning
  • monitor and show students' progress
  • effectively focus their teaching approaches and planning
  • prepare useful and informative reports about students' progress and achievement to parents.


Areas for review and development

Senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, the next steps for improvement include:

  • reporting more regularly to the board about progress of school targets
  • showing the impact of transient students and learning support programmes on the data
  • supporting and contributing to curriculum review
  • making targets more specific and challenging.


3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The curriculum has a strong focus on school values and building a sense of place and belonging for students and their families.

Senior leaders and teachers ensure the school’s curriculum:

  • gives appropriate emphasis to literacy and mathematics
  • provides for a broad scope in curriculum experiences
  • is well balanced and gives students opportunities to discover new learning
  • offers sufficient time and opportunities for students to learn.

Senior leaders and teachers ensure students wellbeing needs are effectively supported so that they are better placed to learn and experience success.

They have begun exploring more collaborative practices in teaching and learning. This has resulted in:

  • increased discussions between teachers that focus on improving teaching practice
  • growing use of teachers' skills and expertise in the curriculum.

The curriculum has been adapted to:

  • meet the diverse needs and experiences of students
  • engage students more in their learning
  • encourage more student choice in what and how they learn
  • strengthen the focus on students becoming more self managing and independent learners
  • increasingly involving students in setting purposeful learning goals and monitoring their own progress.


Area for review and development

Senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, the next steps to improve outcomes for students are to:

  • implement a process and guidelines for formally evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum
  • strengthening teachers' review of their practices.


How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school has good systems in place to promote educational success for Māori students.

Teachers are confidently including and using te reo and tikanga Māori in daily programmes and in curriculum planning. Māori students have opportunities to celebrate and write about their culture and their identity. The kapa haka group adds an extra dimension to affirming their place in the school.

Maintaining consistent practice at all levels of the school will help the school to better support Māori achievement, as Māori. This includes:

  • reporting Māori student achievement at class, syndicate and board level
  • reviewing progress being made
  • identifying what is having the most positive impact on raising achievement.

Consultation with the whānau occurred in 2013, however, this needs to occur annually to assure the school that whānau aspirations are current.


How effectively does the school promote educational success for Pacific, as Pacific?

The school is actively promoting educational success for Pacific students, as Pacific.

Teachers implement some effective culturally responsive practices at class level including good support for Pacific students who have English as a second oral language. They provide opportunities for Pacific children to see aspects of their culture represented in learning topics.

Teachers have participated in some professional learning and development to help them understand more about Pacific perspectives. They are part of a cluster group of schools initiative that focuses on Pacific student success.

The next step is for the board to become more familiar with their role and responsibility through school planning to ensure these students experience ongoing success.


4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The board members have a range of skills and expertise. They are developing a good understanding of their stewardship role. Trustees seek information and ask useful questions to guide board decision making, target funding for student learning and school development.

The board is strongly aware of its health and safety responsibilities and have robust discussions to ensure this occurs.

Senior leaders have established distributed and shared leadership practices with teachers. This provides consistency of practice, a strong direction and shared vision for the school. They are making good use of external expertise to provide professional support for improving teaching practice.


Areas for review and development

The board and senior leaders agree the next steps to improve practice at all levels of the organisation and effectively support student learning, progress and achievement are:

  • develop a policy and framework for evaluation at all levels of the school
  • strengthen strategic planning
  • ensure there are strategic goals and planning for Māori and Pacific students.


Provision for international students

The school attests that it is compliant with the code and ERO agrees. There were no International students enrolled at the time of this review.


Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Recommendations to other agencies

The School Trustees Association provides professional support and guidance to the board, principal and staff about the use of evaluation (self review) to make continuous improvement and lift student progress and achievement.

The Ministry of Education build and maintain an ongoing working relationship with the Board of Trustees in relation to the relocation to a new site in 2018.



Sockburn School is a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.

There is a strong focus on school values, and building a sense of place and belonging for students and their families.

The board and staff ensure students' wellbeing needs are effectively supported so that they are better placed to learn and experience success.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

2 December 2015


About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 94; Boys 86

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 41%

Māori 23%

Cook Island 1%

Samoan 1%

Other Pacific 7%

Asian 21%

Review team on site


Date of this report

2 December 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2012

Education Review July 2008

Education Review May 2005