This independent report was commissioned by the Ministry of Education . It takes the form of a three year evaluation of the Partnership School | Kura Hourua (PSKH) Policy based on the eight schools that opened in 2014 and 2015.
The report assesses these schools against the stated outcomes of the policy, namely flexibility, innovation and student outcomes, noting that achievement data wasn’t reported due ‘to the minimal time the PSKH students at NCEA level have been in PSKH.’
Each of the years reviewed was reviewed against different criteria.
The ‘Year One conclusions ‘featured emerging themes such as: focus on the individual student, strong sponsor vision, building on sponsor capability, opportunities and freedoms (e.g. the funding model), aligning teaching expertise with the school’s mission.
The Year Two evaluation was focused on nine questions that evaluated the ‘broad approaches taken by schools/Kura to meet the needs of priority students’ e.g. Who are priority students and what are their needs, what approaches schools/Kura were taking to meet the needs of priority students, what was the rationale for approaches taken, what outcomes did schools/Kura attribute to the approaches taken, What has enabled or inhibited schools/Kura from taking their desired approaches, …. what was the relationship between assessment practice and student achievement outcomes?
Year Three was focused on ‘Students and whanau experiences’. Based on a survey of students, the report confirms ‘good indications that once joining a PSKH, students and whanau have positive experiences.’ The survey showed that very few are opting out of PSKH and student engagement has significantly improved. Students from the PSKH cohort were stood down less often (and for shorter periods) than they were at other schools.’ Although students from the PSKH cohort were suspended at about the same rates at PSKH and other schools, they were stood down less often and for significantly shorter periods than at other schools’.
The Whanau survey ‘broadly showed that respondents are choosing PSKH to improve the educational outcomes of their children … and are ‘also attracted to PSKH’s wider offering and values, including their cultural values.’ Responding Whanau were ‘satisfied with what PSKH are actually delivering’ and also reported positive outcomes in regard to their own engagement with the PSKH, feeling more engaged in their children’s learning and more confident dealing with the PSKH than with their previous school.’