This report presents the findings from an Education Review Office (ERO) evaluation of the quality of teaching in kura Māori. The Ministry of Education asked ERO for information about the overall quality of teaching in kura Māori to inform its policy development relating to Māori Medium education.
ERO examined the most recent education review and follow-up review reports on 76 kura Māori, to evaluate the quality of teaching practices, including assessment, curriculum implementation, literacy and numeracy strategies, Māori language proficiency and cultural identity. ERO’s evaluation also included professional support and development for teachers including provisionally registered teachers, governance, performance management systems and professional leadership. This report identifies the areas of strength of kura, and the challenges that some kura experience in delivering good quality education to their students.
For the purpose of this evaluation ERO classified the findings from the review reports in three broad groups: successful kura; a satisfactory group of kura that could improve, remain at the same performance level or deteriorate; and a struggling group where there were ongoing risks to student learning and achievement.
Of the kura that had a regular reporting history, 16 kura (21 percent) demonstrated characteristics that identified them as high performing. These characteristics included: high expectations and a strong commitment to excellence; whānau engagement with the kaupapa; informed and capable governance; effective professional leaders; a learner-centred teaching approach; school-wide embedding of te reo and tikanga; and comprehensive planning based on identified student needs. Students in these kura were proud of and confident in their identity, and they were focused on their learning and on achieving well.
The reporting history of the 54 satisfactory kura (71 percent) often showed movement between regular cycle and supplementary/follow-up ERO reviews, indicating variations in performance over time. Although these kura were deemed satisfactory their ERO reports identified areas where improvement was needed to sustain or develop the quality of teaching and learning. These issues related to governance, leadership, professional development, assessment practices, language proficiency and language pedagogy. The reporting history of some of these kura indicated ongoing difficulties in providing good quality education.
The least effective kura had a history of poor or variable quality of teaching, low levels of student engagement, behaviour and achievement, poor planning and reporting, and a lack of reliable, useful student assessment information. There were six kura (8 percent) in this group. Low levels of performance were usually associated with governance and/or management problems that had in some cases persisted over a period of years. Although all of these struggling kura had had external intervention in the form of a limited statutory manager (LSM) or commissioner, ERO found that interventions sometimes failed to effect the necessary improvements in a reasonable time.