Appendix 2: Methodology evaluative framework and investigate questions

Evaluation questions

ERO investigated how well schools were setting targets for achievement and implementing actions that make the expected difference for learners, particularly for those learners at risk of underachieving. The study focused on how well school plans for improvement in achievement linked to actions that made a difference for targeted learners. The three evaluation questions were:

To what extent did the school meet the selected 2014 achievement target?How well were the planned 2014 actions implemented and monitored?How well was the 2015 target set?


All schools 1 reviewed in Terms 1 and 2, 2015 were involved in the national evaluation. The evaluation included 41 secondary schools and 296 primary schools.

In each school ERO investigated the impact of one 2014 board achievement target that focused on those students at risk of poor educational outcomes. ERO also investigated the quality of the 2015 achievement target.

Investigative themes

ERO evaluated the resulting shifts in achievement for students in the target group and the factors involved. ERO reviewers explored whether:

  • schools knew why targeting particular students was important
  • schools were targeting students most at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • teachers and leaders knew the needs, strengths and interests of the students who most needed help to make the biggest shifts
  • schools had planned actions for accelerating progress for targeted students that made a significant difference
  • teachers, the target students and their parents were all committed to the selected achievement focus
  • teachers, the target students and their parents knew what they needed to do to make the agreed improvement
  • planned actions from targets led to more effective teaching
  • the actions schools implemented led to more students experiencing success.


Key domains from ERO’s 2015 School Evaluation Indicators 2 were used as follows in the final stage of the synthesis to:

  • identify overall patterns in key findings
  • frame conclusions in this report.

The key domains from ERO’s 2015 School Evaluation Indicators referred to in figures in this report are:

  • Stewardship
  • Leadership
  • Responsive curriculum,
  • Effective teaching and opportunity to learn
  • Professional capability and capacity building