ERO found that strong relationships and a sense of stewardship were the cornerstones of the improvements made by the leaders. Leaders understood their responsibility for managing the resources allocated for the children’s education. They knew that they had to be accountable and were courageous in talking about these improvements with children’s parents and families, the local Pacific community, and relevant government agencies. They also knew that they could not do it alone and used external advisers to support them to implement the strategies/actions and to evaluate the impact.
Leaders wanted to ensure that core Pacific knowledge, values and beliefs were passed on to future Pacific generations through established processes and institutions such as churches. They emphasised the importance of collaborative cultures where teachers were valued and supported, high-quality practices were maintained, decisions were shared, and relationships with Pacific elders and social institutions were nurtured. For these leaders, it was a reaffirmation of the importance of being strongly rooted in their cultures, and maintaining strong relationships with families and social institutions like churches that supported high levels of wellbeing.