National evaluations - what's out now and coming soon...

Coming soon...

Evaluation is the engine that drives improvement and innovation. Our Evaluation Services team manages the National Evaluation Topics (NETs), produces the national reports and supports the development of ERO’s review methodologies.

Our evaluations deliver evidence that improves the Government’s knowledge of the effects its interventions have, and their impact in education and across the social sector.

We plan to release another eight national evaluation reports in the next six months or so:

Leading Innovative Learning in New Zealand Schools

Students are growing up in a digital world and they learn and make use of technology in ways most adults cannot keep up with. Young people today are far more connected, and connected more widely, than their parents’ generation was able to be. The world our students enter as they leave school is rapidly changing. The demands of such rapid change and the expansion of knowledge mean that educators must help students develop the attributes to equip them to thrive in such a world.

We visited 12 schools to see how they were addressing the challenges of teaching modern students; how they were preparing them to become confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners. We focus on what is happening for students and in particular, the steps school leaders and teachers took to achieve positive outcomes for students.

Newly Graduated Teachers: Preparation and Confidence to Teach

The focus of this evaluation is on how confident, prepared and supported teachers feel they are to teach children whose underachievement is of concern in schools, or those at risk of poor educational outcomes in early learning services.  This is a timely and relevant evaluation, as there is considerable system-wide interest in the quality of Initial Teacher Education (ITE).  This evaluation is not directly of ITE provision, nevertheless our findings will contribute to discussion about the role of ITE in developing a highly capable and confident teaching workforce.

We met with newly graduated teachers and leaders in early learning services and schools to find out how confident and prepared newly graduated teachers were as a result of their Initial Teacher Education programme.

Responding to Language Diversity in Auckland

In a world of increasing globalisation and migration, societies are becoming ever more diverse. Diversity and differences are the fast defining features of our world. The classroom and school is no exception to this phenomenon. New Zealand [DS2] ranks third among OECD countries for having the highest proportion of overseas born and Auckland city now has one of the highest proportions of immigrants of any city in the OECD. Our changing demographics also mean that in another two decades Auckland is projected to be a lot more diverse with non-European accounting for over half the population. Currently 160 languages are spoken daily in Auckland. The Ngā Reo o Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Languages Strategy developed by COMET Auckland recognises the value of rich language diversity as a taonga. Harnessing the economic and social benefits of language diversity in Auckland will result in improved achievement at school, better career and employment prospects for young people, and greater integration and inclusion of migrants and refugees.

As part of this evaluation we met with Auckland stakeholders and learnt about their perspectives about what was important for early learning services and schools in responding to cultural and language diversity, and perceived challenges. Our evaluation looked at how Auckland services and schools were responding to increasing language diversity in their local context, as well as identifying what effective practice looks like.

We undertook this evaluation in the Auckland region, in three parts. Initially, we met with Auckland stakeholders and learnt their perspectives about what was important for early learning services and schools in responding to cultural and language diversity, perceived challenges, and support or advice given to services, schools, and families of language diverse learners. We then looked into how a selection of these services and schools in Auckland responded to increasing language diversity in their local context. It was through this investigation that we were able to identify a group of early learning services and schools that exemplified aspects of effective practice.

Teen Parent Units

Teenagers who give birth during their school years are less likely than their peers to gain qualifications that give them good employment prospects. Consequently, they are likely to have a low income, an increased dependency on welfare and the risk of subsequent poor outcomes for their children. It is vital, for the future wellbeing of the young parents and their children, and the national economy that they achieve academically, and develop clear pathways to future education, training or employment. The students’ priorities are often complex, requiring support to develop personally and socially as well as academically, and to establish meaningful future pathways. Our evaluation looks at how well TPUs are meeting the individual learning priorities of students, engaging them in education and putting them on the path to success.

Activity Centres

Activity centres are charged with providing a specialised learning programme designed to improve student attendance, engagement and achievement at school, improve social outcomes and achieve successful transitions back to education, further training or employment. Their key purpose is to prepare students to successfully transition back to their enrolling school or move on to further education or employment.  Our national evaluation focuses on how effective Activity Centres are at achieving these positive outcomes for students.

Promoting Wellbeing through Sexuality Education

Sexuality education is an important way of supporting young people’s wellbeing and improving their resilience.  Wellbeing is important for students’ success, for example, a student’s sense of achievement and success is enhanced by a sense of feeling safe and secure at school. Sexuality education covers a wide range of knowledge and skills, including the physical and emotional aspects of relationships and sex, rights and responsibilities in relationships, consent, communication skills and ethics.

This national evaluation investigated how schools support and promote safety and wellbeing for students through effective sexuality education. We also visited a small number of schools to find out about their responses to common challenges in sexuality education and supporting the wellbeing of their sex, gender and sexuality diverse students.

Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour Cluster Governance and Management

This evaluation focuses on the governance and management of RTLB clusters and follows on from an ERO evaluation of the RTLB service in 2009 in which ERO made a number of recommendations. Our main focus for the evaluation is what evidence is there of the impact of the RTLB service on improving learner outcomes? This evaluation is being undertaken at the request of the Ministry of Education.

What is ERO currently evaluating?

We are currently undertaking a series of evaluations focused on the implementation of Te Whāriki (2017).  The first evaluation in the series explore what support leaders and kaiako have accessed; what the perceived barriers or challenges are to implementation; and what further support leaders and kaiako need in order to implement Te Whāriki (2017).

What’s been published this year?

ERO has published seven national evaluation reports so far this year:

Cover of publication, two girls walking along with arms around each other

School trustees booklet: helping you ask the right questions (online only)

Designed for boards of trustees, it is one of many tools available to help trustees. It focuses on student achievement and wellbeing, and the role the board plays in these two areas.

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Extending their language - expanding their world: Children’s oral language (birth-8 years) (online only)

Investigates how effectively young children’s oral language learning and development were supported in their early years of education.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako resources

ERO has released three resources to help support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako with a conceptual framework about what international evidence tells us about effective collaboration in education communities and draws together what ERO knows about Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako so far.

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Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Collaboration to Improve Learner Outcomes (online only)

designed to support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako by bringing together research findings about effective collaboration in education communities.

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Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Working towards collaborative practice (online only)

designed to support CoL | Kāhui Ako as they work towards effective collaborative practice.

cover image of resource Educators having a discussion

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in action (print copies available)

the first of a series of iterative reports which draw together what ERO knows about CoL | Kāhui Ako, as they move from establishment to implementation.

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Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity in NZ Schools and Early Learning Services (online only)

we asked: how well does the service/school promote positive attitudes to physical activity, and food and nutrition to benefit children? as part of Reducing Childhood Obesity.

Resource cover year 9 plus

Year 9 Plus 2016 – the first year (Year 9) (online only)

identifies what has worked well so far in the Year 9 Plus concept trial; considering the processes developed to support these students’ transitions between contributing and secondary school, and their subsequent participation, engagement and progress during the year.

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Teaching Approaches and Strategies that Work (online only)

looks at teaching approaches and strategies used in schools where there has been a significant increase in the number of students at or above National Standards in the upper primary school years (Years 5 to 8).