Accelerating student achievement - Māori

Accelerating student achievement - a resource for schools

Questionnaire for full primary and contributing 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, ERO reviews in primary schools start with a focus on Māori student achievement. The main evaluative question is: How effectively does this school respond to Māori students whose learning and achievement needs 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. Once we have answered the main question, we will ask about other learners who need acceleration.

Our reports will also focus on how effectively schools are accelerating learning and achievement where that is needed. 

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. That’s why we start with a question about Māori student achievement.

What do we mean by acceleration?

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

Why only primary schools?

We started (Term 1, 2016) with primary schools – full primary and contributing schools - because these early learning years are important foundations for future learning. We will work with you to refine the approach and we will extend it to other parts of the system.

Part of a wide range of initiatives

ERO’s new evaluative question 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. In addition, 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.

The review process

In the first instance we evaluate how effectively schools are responding to Māori students whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated. In doing so, we talk about what you are doing for those Māori students who are below national standards in mathematics, reading or writing for their year level. We also evaluate how well the needs of other children whose learning needs acceleration are being met. 

While 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 schools have tried, and we are very keen to capture stories of success to share with other schools.

ERO reviewers will talk with you about how your school identifies and responds to Māori students that need to accelerate their progress. We want to understand how your planning, implementation and review process 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 student whose learning and achievement needs acceleration
  • respond to those needs through improving teaching and support for those students
  • know the impact of the actions you have in place for those students, and
  • have learnt from what has been tried before so more students can be successful in the future.

Once we have answered the main question, we will then ask about other learners.

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

Our pre-external evaluation questionnaire (below) includes more detail about the type of questions we will ask. Where you don’t have a plan in place to accelerate progress or the plans have not been successful, we will work with you to build internal evaluation capability so that you have the tools to accelerate all students learning where needed.

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