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Supporting rangatahi with common sense solutions

This case study is one in a series published in Ngā Haeata Mātauranga: The Annual Report on Māori Education 2007/08. 

In this case study, Newlands College deputy principal John Murdoch reflects on his school’s experience in setting up a whānau advisory group. The group began in response to data showing the college’s year 9 Māori students were struggling.

In 2006, following the establishment of the advisory group, the Education Review Office (ERO) noted its potential to help lift the achievement of Māori learners. ERO also commended the school overall for improving its use and analysis of student achievement data, particularly for Māori in years 9 and 10.

Professional school leadership, effective teaching, and whānau engagement all have the potential to positively influence Māori learners’ achievement. Research finds that sustained parental involvement (focused on learning activities) can improve young people’s levels of achievement.

Effective whānau and education partnerships value the expertise of each party and involve partners working together to achieve shared goals.

In 2007, ERO evaluated engagement with parents, whānau, and communities at 233 schools. Parents and whānau noted that their involvement with school decreased as their children moved from primary to intermediate and on to secondary.

Where partnerships between families and schools worked well, the benefits for learners included:

  • having their parents, whānau, and communities notice and celebrate their successes and achievements
  • feeling more motivated and engaged at school
  • talking about their schoolwork at home
  • feeling more confident about their schoolwork
  • finding transitions between schools easier
  • wanting to stay longer at school.

 Questions/Things to think about

  1. How does your school give parents a meaningful voice?
  2. How does your school engage with whānau in ways that support the engagement and achievement of young Māori learners? What relationships could help you achieve this goal, and why?

Supporting Rangatahi (120 KB)

Filed under: productive partnerships | research & evaluation | effective leaders

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