New and merging schools

Readiness Reviews and New Schools Assurance Reviews are for:

  • new schools
  • merged schools
  • newly state-integrated schools
  • schools changing status
  • partnership schools/kura hourua.

Readiness reviews

ERO completes Readiness Reviews for the Ministry of Education (the Ministry). The findings of the review are reported directly to the Ministry and are not published by ERO.

Review process

The Readiness Review process begins in the year before the school opens. The review usually consists of up to four visits over three terms. The process usually starts in the middle of the year before the school is due to open and ends at a suitable time, often at the end of the first term after the school has started operating.

The Ministry is particularly interested to know if there are likely to be any significant impediments to the timely opening of the school and whether it is ready to operate in a way that is consistent with the vision determined by the establishment board.

As part of the readiness review, ERO works closely with:

  • the establishment board (EBOT)
  • the governance facilitator
  • local Ministry staff
  • national Ministry staff.

ERO holds a series of meetings with the EBOT, school management team, the governance facilitator and school staff to determine the school’s readiness to open.Evidence is gathered to verify that timely and appropriate steps have been taken to prepare the school to operate effectively.

Review teams use existing ERO tools to help schools determine readiness. Readiness is generally determined by whether the school is ready to operate effectively under an elected board.

New School Assurance Reviews

A New School Assurance Review follows on from the completed Readiness Review. It is a review of particular areas of performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference, within the first year of the school’s operation.

Review process

The New School Assurance Review allows ERO to see the school in action and to verify the judgements made during the Readiness Review process.

The purpose of a New School Assurance Review is to provide assurance:

  • the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees
  • to the elected board and community that the school is well placed to provide for students.

Review teams use the Readiness Review report and existing ERO tools to help schools consider how well they are doing. ERO reports on the context of the new school, and evaluates

  • the quality of systems established to monitor and report on how well students are learning
  • how effective the school’s curriculum is likely to be in promoting and supporting student learning
  • how well the school is likely to meet the needs of learners who are at high risk of poor outcomes
  • how well placed the school is to sustain and improve its performance.

During the course of the New School Assurance Review ERO checks the board’s performance in respect of compliance as attested in the Board Assurance Statementbased on the Self Audit Checklists. If the checking process indicates any significant problem ERO may decide to investigate further. In addition, as in every review, ERO will check in depth the provision of a safe physical and emotional environment for students and staff.

The New School Assurance report is a public report. Reports reflect the early stage of school development and ERO’s judgement of factors likely to influence the school’s future performance.

A statement is made at the end of the report about ERO’s Future Action. The school will usually have its first full Education Review about 18 months to two years after opening.

ERO has completed New School Assurance Reports for the schools shown on the top right.

New school review processes for Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua

The new school review process for Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua has been modelled on the process for state and state-integrated schools. The main difference in Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua is the governance model; the contractual terms; conditions and performance expectations; and the flexibility that these schools have in the way they provide education and engage with the community.

Regular ERO reviews of Partnership schools/Kura Hourua

ERO will ask the following questions in its regular reviews of reviews of Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua :

  1. To what extent is this school meeting its contractual requirements?
  2. To what extent does this school have the capability to assess and improve student achievement?

Further information about how ERO reviews Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua

PSKH information for sponsor 

Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist

As part of the review process, the Education Review Office (ERO) asks the school management to complete the Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist (below). This information assists ERO in the scoping and planning of the review:

Partnership Schools Kura Hourua Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists March 2016