Accelerating student achievement - Māori

Accelerating student achievement - a resource for schools

ERO External Evaluation Report 


Achieving equity and excellence of education outcomes for all New Zealand’s children and young people is the major challenge for our education system. 

In order to contribute to achieving equity and excellence, ERO reviews focus on Māori student achievement. The main evaluative question is: How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

We will talk with you about the learning and achievement of specific children in need. To answer the question, we look at the full range of organisational conditions that contribute to, or inhibit, student achievement. 

Our reports will also focus on how effectively schools are working towards and/or achieving equity and excellence for all children.

Why Māori student achievement?

The Government’s Māori education strategy, Ka Hikitia, is a call to action for all parts of the education system. ERO’s school reviews, national evaluations and the research that underpins the School Evaluation Indicators show that schools that accelerate student achievement for Māori, accelerate student achievement for all.

What do we mean by acceleration?

Achievement is accelerated when a child makes more than one year’s progress over a year, on a trajectory to achieve at, or above the National Standard by the end of year 8, or an appropriate qualification at secondary school level. 

Who we are working with in this way?

In 2016, we began with primary schools (full primary and contributing). From February 2017, we have extended our work into area, intermediate and middle schools. Secondary schools and early learning services will follow.

Part of a wide range of initiatives

ERO has published the School Evaluation Indicators, an internal evaluation resource and an effective practice report about internal evaluation. Together, these resources support schools to improve their practices to achieve equity and excellence. ERO’s focus is part of a wider set of actions and tools from across the system to achieve the outcomes intended in Ka Hikitia. These include the Māori Achievement Collaborations, the New Zealand School Trustees Association’s self-review tool, Hautu, and Ministry initiatives.

The review process

We evaluate how effectively schools are responding to Māori and other children, whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated. We provide you with the opportunity to talk about what you are doing for Māori children who are below national standards in mathematics, reading or writing for their year level. We also evaluate how you respond to other children whose learning needs acceleration.  

Your school's national standards data is the starting point. We look at all the data and information you have about progress across the curriculum, and all of the dimensions of effective practice that contribute to children and young people achieving the outcomes expressed in The New Zealand Curriculum.

Here’s an example of how we view your previous three years’ data:









At or Above


At or Above


At or Above




































We are interested in what’s working and what you have tried, and we are keen to capture stories of success to share with others.

ERO reviewers will talk with you about how your school identifies and responds to Māori children and others that need to accelerate their progress. We want to understand how your planning, implementation and internal evaluation help you improve teaching practice to accelerate students' progress.

We are particularly interested in discussing how you:

  • know the needs, strengths and interests of every Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration
  • respond to those needs through improving teaching and support
  • know the impact of the actions you have in place, and
  • have learnt from what has been tried before so others can be successful.

If you have no Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration we will start by asking about any children in your school whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Getting the most out of external evaluation

In thinking about and preparing for your ERO external evaluation the questions below provide a useful framework for developing an account of your school's development since the last evaluation, where that development is currently at, and areas for future focus.

Outcomes for learners

What are the outcomes that are valued for all learners in this school community, as learners in Aotearoa New Zealand, and as global citizens?

How well are all our learners achieving in relation to those outcomes?

To what extent is every student in our school a successful “confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learner”?

How well are we identifying and accelerating the achievement of those learners at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes?

How do we know? What sources of evidence tell us about our performance and effectiveness?

School conditions

Since our last ERO evaluation:
What areas of development have we focused on to improve learner outcomes?

How have we enabled the school community to participate in/contribute to the development focus?

What actions have we taken? How effective have those actions been in promoting the improvements needed?

What have been the successes and challenges? Which domains of school activity have been most significant in supporting our improvement journey (stewardship; leadership; responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn; educationally powerful connections and relationships; professional capability; evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building for improvement)

What has been the impact?


This will provide an overview of your internal evaluation findings to present to ERO. ERO uses your school’s learner outcome information and internal evaluation account to work with you to design the external evaluation for your school context.

During the evaluation process the ERO team will discuss the emerging evaluation findings with you and involve you in the interpretation of the evidence gathered to develop a shared understanding of the quality and effectiveness of education provision in your school and next steps.

The evaluation insights provided by ERO as an outcome of the external evaluation process should support every child to succeed as a lifelong learner.

Important reading

School evaluation indicators: effective practice for improvement and learner success

Effective school evaluation: how to do and use internal evaluation for improvement

Raising student achievement through targeted actions

Accelerating the progress of priority learners in primary schools

Raising achievement in primary schools

Internal evaluation: good practice

Educationally powerful connections for parents and whānau

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Next steps

If your school is scheduled for review this year, we will be in contact soon. You'll find links to the pre-external evaluation questionnaire and frequently asked questions at the top right of this page. Future updates will also be published online.

Need more information? Contact