Annette Joyce - Part 1
Rotorua Girls' High School Principal, Annette Joyce, provides insights into how data, and its analysis and interpretation, has driven the implementation of Te Kotahitanga.
Annette Joyce: “Kia ora to whānau and greetings from Rotorua and Te Arawa, to Tainui country. It is really, really lovely to be here this morning. Um, I am the principal at Rotorua Girls’ High School and as a school earlier that year we had done the first step of unpicking our data. Unpicking our data for the start of NCEA and also for University Entrance and, ah, for sixth Form Certificate and it didn’t look good when we unpicked it. As Elizabeth said, looks great for everybody, as soon as you separate it out and you look at what your Māori data says, it can be very, very disturbing. And I had shown it to my staff at the beginning of that year and we had talked about all the things we thought we were doing for Māori achievement in the school and we had this huge underbelly, there was no other way to describe it. Our Māori data showed that one in three Māori girls came into our school and walked out with absolutely nothing.
“NFQ it’s called, No Formal Qualifications, if you look on your leaver data and I absolutely advocate that every school looks at their leaver data and doesn't stop looking at it. That is the data that gives you a great picture of your school for a year at a time. When you look at your NCEA level 1, 2 and 3 results you find that you miss students. Where are the students who get level 2 when they’re in Year 12, we have lots of them. Where are the students who get level 1 in Year 12 or level 2 in Year 13? It’s really important to find a set of data that you can compare accurately from year to year. The leaver data allows you to do that. Every student who leaves your school every year, if they’re going to another educational institute obviously they’re exempt from that, but if they are leaving education at the point where they leave your school, they are counted and that’s what you look at. Because that identifies all the students that just vanish, the invisible ones, the, the long term absentees and then they just vanish, and we try not to worry too much about them or we used to. But now we realize that every one student, every one student that comes into our school, we have an absolute and a moral responsibility for. We are there to educate them, to give them a chance to make their lives better and if we don’t look at every one of our students we’re missing out on the fullness that there is in education.
“So that was our starting point, one in three, I stood outside the school on the day that school started in 2003 and I looked at our Māori girls coming in the gate and I counted them, ‘One, two, you’re not going to get anything, one, two, you’re not going to get anything.’ And I stood there for ages and that was where my resolve was really formed. I didn’t want to be part of a school like that. And yet I was extremely proud of the school I’ve been principal of for five and a half years at that stage. I thought it was really good, the girls told me it was really good. But there was this whole group of girls who never got a thing from our school. We have no girls in the NFQ column anymore, for the last three years I think we’ve had a total of two, one year that we were very upset about, who were girls who came in and then left from our school and we have to count them because they ended up nowhere else. And they’d only been in our school, you know, a few weeks, but we work right from Year 9 and from when we enroll new students into the school to make sure that certain things happen for them. To make sure that along with Te Kotahitanga that we look at their numeracy and literacy levels, we make sure that they are going to get qualifications and that we’re going to get them on the right pathway for that, as soon as they come into the school. Many of your schools I’m sure will be the same as ours. We have a huge number of students who come in during the year. We’ve actually got a whole enrolment programme and an enrolment centre so that we don’t just drop those students into classes where they become behavior management problems and absent long term absentees. So that’s one of the things that, that we have done.”