ERO External Evaluation (November 2019)

Carmel College, Milford, Auckland

The purpose of ERO’s external evaluations is to give parents, whānau and the wider school community assurance about the quality of education children and young people receive. ERO reports on the equity and excellence of learning outcomes for all students and for specific groups including Māori students, Pacific students and students with additional learning needs. This includes a focus on accelerating learning for students. ERO also reports on the quality and effectiveness of the school’s processes and practices for continuing and sustaining improvement. The report gives evaluation findings that answer four key questions about the school’s performance.

School Context

Carmel College is a Catholic girls’ school that caters for young women in Years 7 to 13. Of the 969 students currently enrolled at the school, four percent are Māori and six percent have Pacific heritage. The roll also includes groups of students from a variety of other ethnicities.

The school gathers its inspiration from the Mercy charism. Core Mercy values of ‘awhinatanga – service, tika – justice, aroha – compassion, te tapu o te tangata – respect, and aroha ki te rawa kore – care’ are taught, lived and authentically woven throughout all school systems and practices. These values are underpinned by the school vision to ‘empower young women through a Catholic education in the Mercy tradition to pursue personal excellence and to be prepared to challenge and shape the future’.

The board’s strategic goals focus on:

  • embedding the Catholic and Mercy values across all systems and practices of the school
  • engaging all learners in quality learning and teaching programmes
  • building and enhancing effective relationships and partnerships within and across the college community
  • providing high quality stewardship/kaitiakitanga.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Authority framework
  • progress and achievement of students at risk of not achieving
  • student engagement and wellbeing for success

In June 2018, the Ministry of Education (MoE) appointed a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) to support the governance of the school. The LSM has positively contributed to rebuilding the stewardship of Carmel College. In November 2019, the MoE officially revoked the LSM.

Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa The Child – the Heart of the Matter

The school is a member of the North Shore Catholic Schools Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1. Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Students achieve excellent educational outcomes.

The school’s achievement information shows consistently high levels of academic achievement in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) for all groups of students, including Māori and Pacific learners. Almost all students gain NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 in literacy and numeracy.

School data show high achievement in University Entrance has been sustained, and the number of excellent and merit endorsements have increased steadily over time.

Progress and achievement for Years 7 to 10 students is closely tracked and monitored. Most students in Years 7 and 8 achieve at or above the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels. Longitudinal data indicate students sustain high levels of achievement.

Students achieve very well in relation to the school’s other valued outcomes through leadership opportunities that permeate across all year levels and are evident through the Core Mercy values. Students:

  • provide service in an environment of welcome, hospitality and community provision
  • promote social justice by demonstrating respect, inclusion and fairness in decision-making
  • show compassion by working cooperatively with others and acting with understanding and sensitivity
  • demonstrate respect in action for self, relationships, learning and the environment
  • express care for others in practical ways to those in

How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is very effective in responding to those students who need to make accelerated progress in their learning. Individual case studies and specific examples show sufficient rates of acceleration and success for these learners.

Student achievement data is individually tracked and monitored by leaders and teachers to support progress and achievement. Over time, Māori student data show parity of achievement and Pacific student data show increasing parity.

2. School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leadership in the school collaboratively develops and enacts the school’s vision, values and priorities for equity and excellence. School leaders actively reinforce school values to promote positive relationships and an orderly environment for learning. They ensure teaching programmes are structured so that all students have sufficient opportunities to learn and achieve. A strategic approach by leaders to develop the capacity of middle school leadership is further strengthening conditions for equity and excellence.

Leaders and teachers promote a culture of learning. Students experience a rich and broad curriculum that enables them to excel academically and develop the Core Mercy values as lifelong contributors to society. The wellbeing of students and staff is embedded into the school culture. Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative and inclusive learning communities. Leaders and teachers make curriculum decisions based on students’ interests, talents and needs. They promote very good opportunities for students to experience meaningful learning that link to their preferred vocational pathways.

The school’s ethos of learning and supportive pastoral care systems enable students to participate and learn in extensive and holistic education and experiences. There is effective liaison between deans, teachers and specialist agencies. The learning support programme is well coordinated.

Students are involved in programmes that are personalised to their strengths, interests and needs. They are supported to access individualised learning pathways.

Internal evaluation procedures are used very well to support ongoing improved outcomes for students. These processes are systematic and coherent at every level of the school. Opportunities for professional learning, mentoring and coaching promote knowledge and skills required for evaluation and inquiry. Internal evaluation practices across the school include student and teacher voice, carefully selected internal and external expertise to build teacher capacity, and effective communication that helps share and disseminate new knowledge.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The newly elected board is currently in a learning phase. Trustees continue to build sustainable governance practices focused on maintaining and enhancing the college’s legacy and ensuring continuous improvement and success.

Senior leaders, teachers and whānau Māori continue to explore ways to embed the Māori strategic plan and to further develop bicultural capabilities within the school. This initiative could help to develop and strengthen Māori language, culture and identity across school systems and practices.

Senior leaders are developing a schoolwide understanding of learning progressions and a shared language of learning aligned to coherent learning pathways. This will support Years 7 to 10 learning programmes to scaffold understandings about the skills, knowledge and dispositions of successful learners.

Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were 51 international students attending the school.

Carmel College has good systems to provide education and pastoral care for international students. Course selections are personalised, and progress and achievement are closely monitored. Students have many opportunities to participate in school activities and take leadership roles, and they integrate well into the school community. The school has very effective systems in place to monitor compliance with the Code.

3. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

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

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act

4. ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Carmel College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is:

Well placed

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5. Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that promotes equity and excellence for all
  • an enacted curriculum that centres on the college vision, special character and shared values
  • a culture of learning that supports students in their individual learning pathways
  • leaders and teachers that work collaboratively to continually build a school culture of ongoing

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • the board continuing to build sustainable governance practices
  • trustees and school leaders strengthening and embedding bicultural capabilities
  • leaders and teachers consolidating Years 7 to 10 assessment systems and

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern Northern Region

25 November 2019

About the school 

Location Milford, Auckland
Ministry of Education profile number 35
School type Secondary (Years 7 to 13)
School roll 969
Gender composition Girls    100%
Ethnic composition Māori                             4%

NZ European/Pākehā     57%

Filipino                           9%

Pacific groups                  6% other ethnic groups      24%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS) Yes
Provision of Māori medium education No
Review team on site September 2019
Date of this report 25 November 2019
Most recent ERO report(s) Education Review          June 2015 Education Review          April 2011 Education Review          December 2007