Part 5: ERO's education reviews in hospital-based education and care services

The structure for ERO's evaluation 

This section provides a brief description of the elements that make up the review structure. These are:

These are:

  1. ERO's overall evaluation question
  2. Ngā Pou Here - the review framework
  3. Capacity and sustainability
  4. Review focus
  5. National evaluation topics
  6. Compliance

1. ERO’s overall evaluation question

ERO’s review will answer the overall evaluation question:                                                                                

How well placed is this service to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing?

In answering this question, ERO’s structure for reviewing and reporting helps hospital-based services to see what they are doing well, where they need to develop and what they could do next to improve practices.

Diagram 6: Ngā Pou Here - Review Framework

diagram to show what each pou represents in the review process.

2. Ngā Pou Here – the review framework

Ngā Pou Here is ERO’s framework for the evaluation of processes and practices in a hospital- based service. The overall aim of using Ngā Pou Here is for ERO to evaluate the service’s capacity to contribute to children’s learning, promote their wellbeing and to sustain a process of ongoing improvement.

Ngā Pou Here explores four key areas:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing
  • Tikanga Whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning are responsive to diversity, contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Within each Pou ERO considers the extent to which the service is enacting Haere Kōtui (working in partnership) and using Arotake (evaluative approaches). As connecting elements, Haere Kōtui and Arotake are envisaged as weaving through and connecting each Pou.

ERO’s evaluation indicators in PART 6 clarify the basis on which ERO evaluates hospital-based services’ performance within Ngā Pou Here, and provide a tool to assist services with internal evaluation.

Reviewers use Ngā Pou Here to design and undertake the review according to each hospital- based service’s context, while ensuring that the focus remains on the service’s capacity to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing.

3. Capacity and sustainability

The structure of Ngā Pou Here supports ERO to determine the capacity a service has to sustain and continue to improve the quality of provision for all children in the hospital-based setting.

For services that are not performing well, Ngā Pou Here will help review officers to identify and prioritise the key areas for development. For services that demonstrate a high level of performance, the review can focus on the service’s own information about how well it contributes to children’s learning and promotes their wellbeing.

ERO’s review process takes into account each hospital-based service’s context, performance and capacity. The review framework remains sufficiently flexible for review officers to design reviews that are responsive to context.

4. Review focus

During each review ERO will explore how the hospital-based service’s systems, processes and practices respond to diversity and recognise and respond to children’s languages, cultures and identities in partnership with parents and families/whānau.

ERO will review how well the service contributes to children’s learning and promotes their wellbeing in relation to:

  • inclusive practices that enable each child to participate and engage in the programme, and further develop their competence as a learner
  • provision for the learning and wellbeing of infants and toddlers, where applicable.

5. National evaluation topics

The national evaluation topics (NETs) are an important part of ERO’s review process.

Through the NETs, ERO investigates key aspects of early childhood services’ performance in relation to the Government’s education priorities. Topics for investigation change regularly and are decided in consultation with the Minister of Education, the Ministry of Education and other government agencies.

ERO uses a range of ways to gather information for its national reports, depending on the scope and focus of the information needed.

Information from early childhood service reviews is gathered, aggregated and analysed. System-wide evaluation judgements are developed from this analysis and published in education evaluation reports which are on ERO’s website and often printed as booklets.

Hospital-based services will be notified of the current NET before their scheduled ERO review. Information about current NETs is also provided on ERO’s website.

6. Compliance

Hospital-based education and care services operate under a comprehensive set of regulations (reflecting the importance of safety and wellbeing for young children) and there is a public expectation that ERO will continue to check on compliance with these regulations.

ERO supports services’ management of compliance functions and places emphasis on services’ own reporting on compliance. ERO has developed the Guidelines for Hospital-based Education and Care Services Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists so that services can provide assurance that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

During the course of all reviews, ERO checks performance in respect of compliance as attested in the Assurance Statement.

Compliance is not a major focus of reviews unless it appears to ERO that there are significant levels of risk to children’s safety and wellbeing. If the checking process indicates significant problems, ERO will investigate further or make a recommendation to the Ministry of Education to reassess the service’s compliance with licensing requirements.