School parents' survey results mostly positive

Most parents and caregivers of Waitaki Boys' High School pupils are positive about what is happening at the school, a survey shows.

But some have misgivings about behaviour, learning and the way the school treats their children.

Parents and caregivers of 475 pupils were sent a link to an online survey, produced by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

The school received 115 responses.

The survey was aimed to help the school identify how parents and caregivers felt about a wide range of issues, from learning and behaviour to school fees.

The issues could then be considered as part of intervention put in place by the Ministry of Education last year, when the governance of board of trustees was replaced by commissioner Nicola Hornsey.

Issues which got a clear tick included pupils learning to value people different from them; encouragement to take part in activities; inclusion in school events; staff treating pupils and family with respect; parents or caregivers receiving a clear idea about their child's progress; children being accepted for who they were; and individual children's learning being at the right level.

Other questions with less decisive replies included whether pupils were learning to respect different viewpoints and ways of doing things; whether pupils treated others with respect; whether staff were up to date with new ideas on how to support a child's learning; whether there was support for pupils to make friends; whether changes were made to suit a child rather than making them fit in; whether barriers to learning were removed; the degree of specialist support pupils received to ensure classrooms were caring and respectful; and whether a feeling of belonging in class was being engendered.

Ms Hornsey, who replaced the school's board of trustees last year, said the survey had provided a mandate from the parent community to support the current approach.

''The school community - students, parents and staff - and the Ministry of Education have been informed ... and have been given a clear message about what the school's responses to unacceptable behaviour will be.''

The work of staff towards reinforcing pupils' positive behaviour was gaining traction, she said.

It would continue along with setting clear boundaries of acceptable behaviour.

The vast majority of pupils managed themselves creditably.

Only a small number ''required guidance'' on appropriate behaviour.

''But the clear message being given is that inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated and that students and their parents can expect action to be taken where this occurs,'' Ms Hornsey said.



The online survey

• Notice sent to parents and caregivers of 475 pupils

• Only one survey could be filled out for each pupil

• 115 replies received.

• Rankings: agree strongly; agree moderately; agree a bit; and disagree.


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