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Update from the Commissioner - Mike Rondel

05 Jul 2024

[NZSL videos below]

Tēnā koutou katoa, warm greetings to all.

Following up from my communication on 28 May, I wanted to give you an update as we head into the term break.

1. Ministry Review of Intervention/Commissioner

The Ministry of Education (Ministry) have completed their review of the statutory intervention.

What is a ‘review of the statutory intervention’?

This means the Ministry has reviewed the need for the school to have a Commissioner. They have had another look at the situation to see whether the school can return to self-governance and reinstate a Board or remain under a Commissioner.

What does self-governance mean for a school?

It means that the school is ready to have a Board. Currently, we have a Commissioner because the school did not have enough people to form a Board.

Here is a summary of the outcomes from the Ministry review:

  • The Ministry have identified that progress has been made against the original objectives of the intervention.
    • This means the Ministry is satisfied with the Commissioner and the work he is doing for the school at a governance level.
  • The Ministry believes, however, that a number of risks remain and that, at present, the intervention should continue.
    • This means that the school will continue to have a Commissioner for now.
  • The Ministry will continue to work with the Commissioner to develop plans to address the remaining issues and will look at setting a date for the election of a new Board when the Ministry is satisfied that a Commissioner is no longer required.
    • This means there is still work for the Commissioner to do alongside the Ministry.
    • The Ministry will complete another review within the next year to decide if the school still needs a Commissioner.

I hope that this update gives you clarity around the role as a Commissioner and where we currently are as a school.

2. Advisory Group to the Commissioner

The Advisory Group Chair and I have now met with each of the Advisory Group members and have received their individual feedback on how we might improve the consultation process to ensure that there are opportunities for all internal and external stakeholder groups to have their voices heard. A common theme that came through when meeting with the individual members was that a more targeted direct approach to this would be a more effective and efficient way for me as the Commissioner to receive the advice and guidance required at a governance level.

Based on this, we will no longer meet as a full group, but I will approach internal and external stakeholders directly on guidance needed on a specific topic that relates directly to them.

I believe this approach will allow for more genuine consultation to take place.

3. Education Review Office and the new School Improvement Framework (SIF)

I am delighted to share an update on our ongoing partnership with the Education Review Office (ERO) as we engage in the School Improvement Framework (SIF) process. This collaborative journey is all about enhancing our school's effectiveness and nurturing continuous improvement in learner outcomes and wellbeing. We will be focusing on the following.

  • Collaboration: We are wholeheartedly working alongside ERO, sharing our insights and listening to their feedback. This partnership is built on mutual respect and a shared passion for creating the best possible learning environment for our students.
  • Transparency: Keeping you informed and involved is our priority. We promise to communicate openly throughout this process, sharing updates on our progress and any significant developments with our staff, students, parents, and the entire community.
  • Improvement: The principles of the SIF guide us as we implement strategies to boost leadership, develop our curriculum, enhance teaching quality, and foster inclusivity. Our goal is to ensure that every student enjoys equitable access to top-notch education and abundant opportunities for success.

We appreciate the ongoing support and engagement from our school community. With ERO by our side, we are confident that this collaborative effort will lead to meaningful improvements and long-lasting success for our learners.

The school improvement framework can be found here:

4. NZSLPI - NZSL Proficiency assessments

We recently had several of our staff take the NZSL proficiency test externally with very pleasing results. This very clearly highlights the positive impact that increased NZSL lessons for all staff is having. This is an important aspect of our strategic plan and one we have continued to resource as a priority.

The phrase “Lift your hands, do what you can” is a way of encouraging all staff to continue to increase their communication skills

regardless of what area of Ko Taku Reo they work in or their current level of NZSL proficiency.

While we celebrate our successes, I also acknowledge challenges such as recruiting staff who already have NZSL as a pre-existing skill. We do need to look at further ways of attracting excellent classroom teachers who see Deaf education as a career rather than an end of career move. Workforce development and planning is key here as well as a solid induction programme that includes understanding Deaf culture and the importance of direct communication with students, staff and whānau.

I wanted to thank everyone for their hard work and support and encourage you to remain focused on improving the educational outcomes for our Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.

Principal Report

Ngā mihi

Mike Rondel