Future Education Provision in the Hawera and wider South Taranaki Area

The Ministry of Education is currently working on plans for future schooling in Hawera and the wider South Taranaki area. This involves investing money in property at Hawera Intermediate and Hawera High School. Previous consultation has been carried out on this, and now the Ministry is keen to renew discussions about how to achieve the best outcomes for students.

Six potential options for future schooling in the area are included in a survey, which can be accessed
here.

The survey will close Sunday 21 June 2020. 

Face-to-face public workshops held in Term 1 discussed these options. This survey has been designed to follow these workshops and gain information which can be used for future decisions. This is an exciting opportunity for the community to give feedback and shape the future of education in the area.

Some of the options may be familiar to you, and others may be new to you. Before completing the survey, please read the information below about the options being considered in this community engagement process. Each option comes with various advantages and disadvantages which will be more or less important to different people.

This information may help you answer questions in the survey regarding the options. If it helps, you may directly quote this information in the survey. If you wish to print this information so that you can refer to it in hard copy as you complete the survey, you can download it as a PDF.

Option 1: Year 1-8 Primary schools, Year 9 - 13 Secondary school

This option means that most or all of the primary schools would be extended from Years 1 – 6 to Years 1 – 8, and that there would no longer be an intermediate school. If rolls at a school grow, the Ministry of Education provides additional property so in this option primary schools would receive additional teaching spaces if this was required.

While this change would be carefully managed, this would have implications for students, parents, Board of Trustees members, and staff. This change would occur over two or more years to ensure that current Year 7 students would not go back to a primary school for Year 8.

Things to consider: 

  • Fewer transitions for students (transition between schools are a time when students are at risk of disengaging)

  • Older students (Years 7 – 8) may be mentors to younger students

  • Closure of Hawera Intermediate School

  • Changes to the size and structure of primary schools

  • New resources and facilities at primary schools to accommodate larger number of students

  • This would have little disruption to current Year 7 – 8 students

Option 2: Year 7 – 8 Intermediate School and Year 9 – 13 Secondary school on separate sites

This option maintains the status quo with Hawera Intermediate School and Hawera High School remaining separate with their current Year 7 – 8 and Year 9 – 13 structures. This would mean that money would be dedicated to improving the property and facilities at the two schools.

Things to consider: 

  • Same number of transitions as currently (Primary, Intermediate, and Secondary)

  • Potential for new or improved facilities at the two schools

  • No changes to the schooling network

  • The Intermediate school roll has potential to limit flexibility in staffing and programmes

  • Younger students (Year 7 – 8) have less access to older role models (Year 9 – 13)

Option 3: Year 7 – 13 Secondary school

This option means merging Hawera Intermediate and Hawera High School, changing the year levels at one school or the other, or creating an entirely new school which combines the two schools. This school could be located on one of the existing sites (either the intermediate or high school site) or a different site.

Year 7 – 13 secondary schools tend to be internally operated as smaller groupings of year groups. For example, a junior and senior grouping of students. These different groupings may have their own deans, their own physical learning spaces, or social spaces etc., but are part of a single larger school. In the survey you will be asked to indicate what approach to grouping students you prefer.

Things to consider: 

  • Fewer transitions for students

  • Older students may be mentors to younger students at secondary school level

  • Families with multiple children of different ages may have fewer drop offs and pick ups

  • Possibility for new purpose-built facilities

  • Larger roll allows the board to have more flexibility with staffing and programmes, including more specialist staffing

  • Requires changes to the schooling network

Option 4: Year 7 – 8 Intermediate School and Year 9 – 13 Secondary school on single site

This option would keep Hawera Intermediate and Hawera High School as two separate schools, however they would share a site. Where schools choose to co-locate on a single site, they often do this so they can share some large or specialist facilities. This allows them to get larger or more specialised spaces than either school would get individually.

Co-located schools often share staff, or students from one school can attend classes at the other school where relevant.

Things to consider: 

  • Older students may be mentors to younger students

  • Families with multiple children of different ages may have fewer drop offs and pick ups

  • No geographic transition for students from Year 8 to Year 9

  • Potential for shared facilities, staffing and specialist equipment

  • No changes to the schooling network (change of location, but no change to number and type of schools)

A middle school (or junior college) is for Year 7 – 10 students, and senior students (Years 11 – 13, or the ‘NCEA years’) attend a senior school/college. Being separate schools, the Middle and Senior school would have their own unique characters. There would be the same number of transitions as there are currently, however students would have 4 years of Middle school compared to 2 years of Intermediate.

While this is not yet a common model, there are several middle and senior schools in New Zealand.

For example:

  • Ormiston Junior College and Ormiston Senior College (Auckland)

  • Rototuna Junior High School and Rototuna Senior High School (Hamilton)

  • Albany Junior High School and Albany Senior High School (Auckland)

Things to consider: 

  • Same number of transitions as currently (Primary, Middle, and Senior)

  • Teaching and learning may be more targeted to particular age groups

  • Younger students have less access to older role models at the schools in Hawera

  • Specialist teachers from the Year 11-13 school could offer specialist classes to the Year 7-10 students

  • Year 7 – 8 may have access to school with more flexibility with staffing and programmes in a Middle school compared to an Intermediate school

Option 5: Year 7 – 10 Middle school and            Year 11 – 13 Senior school on separate sites

Option 6: Year 7 – 10 Middle school and        Year 11 – 13 Senior school on a single site

This option is similar to Options 4 and 5, however it would be a Middle school (Year 7 – 10) rather than an Intermediate school (Year 7 – 8) sharing a site with a Senior school (Year 11 – 13) rather than a High school. As for Option 4, co-located schools can share some large or specialist facilities, and may share some staff.

Things to consider: 

  • Same number of transitions (Primary, Middle, and Senior)

  • Teaching and learning may be more targeted to particular age groups

  • Older students may be mentors to younger students on the same site

  • Families with multiple children of different ages may have fewer drop offs and pick ups

  • No geographic transition for students from Year 10 to Year 11

  • Potential for shared facilities, staffing and specialist equipment

Below are common topics that were raised in the face-to-face meetings, and the following explanation may help provide additional background knowledge.

Firstly, there were a number of questions regarding different types of schooling structures (Year 1 – 8 Primary schools, Intermediates, Year 7 – 13 Secondary schools etc), and what type is ‘best’ for teaching and learning. The evidence shows that high quality teaching and learning can happen at any type of school, and there is no type of school that is consistently better for student engagement and achievement.

Transitions: 

The literature tells us that transition between schools is a time when students are at risk of disengaging from education. Just because this is a risk doesn’t mean this has to happen! Transitions may come with social, emotional, and physiological changes that can negatively impact learning as well as provide significant challenges for students and families. Students need to adjust to new teachers and peers, new ways of learning, new rules and routines, as well as a new physical environment. Some may prefer a schooling network with fewer transition points for this reason.

Co-location of schools (Options 4 and 6) can mean less impact from transition because there is greater familiarity with the physical spaces and people present.

Often, decisions regarding a Year 1 – 8 Primary school or a Year 7 – 13 Secondary school become clear when people think the transition should occur. A Year 1 – 8 Primary might be preferable for those who like their current primary school or feel like their child is not ready to go through such a transition. Others might prefer a Year 7 – 13 Secondary school because they feel their child will be ready for exposure to more specialised teaching and is ready to move on from primary school.

Bullying: 

The public meetings showed that many people are concerned with the potential for younger (Year 7 & 8) students to be bullied by more senior (Years 11-13) students in  Options 3 and 4. Other examples of Year 1 – 13 or Year 7 – 13 schools have shown that this is not generally an issue, and that bullying more commonly occurs between similar-aged peers. On the contrary, many younger students find older students such as Year 13s to be mentors and leadership role models. Option 3 would likely be configured with some internal separation between age groups so younger students would have some of their own learning and social spaces.

Physical facilities: 

Questions were often raised regarding how facilities would be designed and what relationship they could have to quality education and quality teaching. Evidence supports spaces being designed to be flexible, and able to be used and configured in a range of different ways to support different types of teaching and learning. Physical spaces in any of these options could be designed with community input to best reflect the learning and developmental needs of students as well as foster positive relationships with families and the wider community. Where there are aspirations for a specialised curriculum, greater cultural presence and/or stronger community connections, facilities may be specifically designed to facilitate this. The survey asks what types of facilities are most important to you.

Staffing:

Changes to a schooling network (the number or type of school) will usually result in changes to staffing, and this may influence some people’s preferences on the options outlined in the survey. If an option that results in a change to the schooling network is preferred, there is a requirement for further formal consultation with the Boards of schools which may be affected, and then a requirement for consultation with staff who may be affected.

Single Site Governance:

 

Some people were unsure of how the governance would operate on a shared (or co-located) site. Typically, where schools are co-located, they maintain their own unique identities and governance structures. This means that there are two principals, two Boards of Trustees, and separate staff for each school etc. However, if co-location (Options 4 and 6) were a preferred option, there could be consideration about a shared Board of Trustees across both schools.

Common Considerations

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