Tena koutou te whanau o te Kura a rohe o Whaingaroa,

Fourteen months ago the current members of the RAS Board of Trustees put themselves forward to be the elected representatives that would take on the stewardship role of the RAS for the next three years. Since taking on the responsibilities involved, the Board members have invested in workshops and professional development to align themselves with current educational expectations and compliance that was needed. The focus for the Board had needed to shift from an operational focus such as finance, personnel and property, to the priority areas articulated by the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) and a more strategic focus on educational outcomes. Consequently the board has been required to not only maintain an overview of the operational areas, but to develop a deeper understanding of the school processes that contribute to outcomes of equity and excellence, that are to a large degree, but not only, expressed in student achievement data. These systems and processes are guided by policy and supported by our charter, an over-arching document that is reviewed annually, and sets our priority targets, broader aims, goals and plans, and our vision and mission statements around Poutama, Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Kaitiakitanga.

In May this year, not quite a year into the current Board’s tenure, ERO came on site and delivered a welcome external review of the current school landscape. The review has provided us with an honest evaluative insight and indicators as to the performance of leadership, curriculum, governance, compliance, student achievement, student wellbeing and educationally powerful relationships. There were some areas that were acknowledged strengths, but there were significant ‘work-ons’ identified and actions required. Some of the ‘work-ons’/actions were being worked on before the time of the review, and are continuing. In particular a review of all the schools policies and procedures with additional new policies to meet new health and safety regulations, and the adoption of the New Zealand Trustee Associations policy framework. Following the development of a deeper understanding of the need for student achievement evidence, and more frequent reporting, the Board has led leadership to deliver and unpack student achievement progress data, the relationship to priority students, Maori succeeding as Maori, accelerated learning, curriculum delivery and cross school teaching processes.

The Board has actively encouraged the school’s pathway and leadership’s focus on positive learning behaviours and restorative practices across the school community, at the same time acknowledging the gaps that are needed to be addressed.

Prior to ERO’s visit the board had clearly identified the need to implement the procedure for completing the Principal’s appraisal and performance agreement which we were working on and are close to completing. Leadership is also professionally developing a better understanding of the current education council teacher appraisal criteria and how it is presented.

Apart from these actions the board is mindful of the future aspirations of the community with the school’s children and young adults at the centre of our consideration and is committed to further developments:

  • Building our capacity and capability to communicate more effectively to the school community and the wider community;
  • Continue to support and acknowledge the professional development and passion of our teaching team;
  • Continue to tautoko our commitment to te reo me te tikanga Maori in English and Maori medium;
  • Progressing our geographical community of learning (Kahui Ako) and opportunities outside of the COL model.

As Board members and parents we want our students to be at the centre of all our decisions and actions and ask you for your patience as we work forward through this process.

Nga mihi nui

Mel Brydon (Chairperson for Board of Trustees).