[Sitting date: 03 May 2012. Volume:679;Page:1943. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]
TE URUROA FLAVELL (Māori Party—Waiariki) to the
Minister of Education: What support did her Ministry offer to Moerewa School before the decision was made to close the satellite senior class and send in a Commissioner, Mike Eru, and what is the purpose of his appointment?
Hon HEKIA PARATA (Minister of Education)
: Because of the complexity of this situation, this answer might be just slightly longer for the detail. In 2008 Moerewa School applied for, and was granted, a change of class to become a year 1 to year 10 school. It has had the same support from the Ministry of Education as any other school with this range of classes. Since 2010 Moerewa School, without Ministry of Education approval, has decided to retain the year 11 to year 13 students. It formally applied to retain these students in September 2011 and was declined, and was instructed to end its informal arrangement with Kia Aroha College. It continued to receive the same support from the Ministry of Education as any other year 1 to year 10 school, including offers of professional learning and development, and student achievement function support. As part of normal New Zealand Qualifications Authority processes, the authority visited Kia Aroha College, where serious concerns about the quality assurance practices were raised, especially for the school’s informal satellite class in Moerewa. This led to a full audit, which highlighted very serious deficiencies. When the very poor results for these senior students were reported by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and with the board’s explicit refusal to cease the informal arrangement and transition these students, I lost confidence in the board. When Moerewa School reopened at the beginning of term 2 with senior students still illegally enrolled, a commissioner was appointed to undertake governance roles.
Te Ururoa Flavell: Have New Zealand Qualifications Authority audits of any other schools reviewed a sample as big as 85 percent of student results, as was done at Moerewa; if so, what were the results?
Hon HEKIA PARATA: The process followed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority in relation to Kia Aroha College’s unsanctioned satellite class at Moerewa is a response to a unique situation. The satellite class at Moerewa has been acting illegally, and the results that it claimed it was achieving were dramatically different on the evidence of the audit. When normal processes identify specific concerns, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority formulates a response that best fits the circumstances, whether it be for a school, a particular department, or a year group. On occasions there has been intensive sampling of results of a class or a department within a school when there have been serious concerns. Fortunately, this is rather rare.
Te Ururoa Flavell: Will the Minister take the same action against every other school where Māori children are underachieving; if not, why not?
Hon HEKIA PARATA: Our Government is focused on raising achievement for all students, and I want to work with every school where there is underachievement.