ACG Strathallan Preschool Centre - 16/06/2016

1 Evaluation of ACG Strathallan Preschool Centre

How well placed is ACG Strathallan Preschool Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


ACG Strathallan Preschool provides full day education and care for children from infancy to school age in three separate age-related groups. The centre is part of the ACG Strathallan School Campus in semi-rural Karaka. The service is licensed for 115 children. There has recently been a significant increase in demand for enrolments and the centre now has a substantial waiting list.

The centre manager reports to the school principal about the management of the centre. Management roles are distributed to teachers on a rotational basis. Teachers also share responsibility for the programme in their respective areas. Most staff are registered teachers and they regularly participate in relevant professional learning. The service caters for a predominantly Pākehā community. A Mandarin speaking teacher supports Chinese children and their families.

The 2012 ERO report commended the attractive, well-resourced environment, positive learning experiences for children and effective partnerships with parents. These features continue to be evident. The2012 ERO report recommended that teachers extend children's individual interests, strengthen self review and increase bicultural practices. These areas continue to be development priorities.

The Review Findings

Children generally settle well in all areas of the centre. They enjoy positive relationships with teachers and interact positively with their friends. Children are confident communicators who engage readily with adults and learn to independently resolve minor conflicts with peers. They develop self-help skills and participate in small group work. Older children engage in projects that encourage their problem solving and thinking skills. Children benefit from meaningful learning experiences in mathematics and science. Teachers could now review literacy programmes to ensure these match children's development levels.

Infants and toddlers are content in an environment that supports their developing independence. Size appropriate tables and chairs and easy access to outdoor play encourages a sense of competence in these small children. Teachers respond calmly to children's needs and engage them in friendly and inclusive ways. Toddlers are keen to practise their language and mobility skills. They benefit when teachers model language well for them and respect them as competent language learners.

Teachers support children to engage with resources, activities and project work. They each have a focus group of children who they know well and plan to foster their interests. Teachers ask questions that prompt children to explore options, encourage them to work cooperatively and value their imaginative play. Teachers lead more structured activities with older children as part of their preparation for school. It would be worthwhile for teachers to consider how they could incorporate this learning in play contexts that hold more meaning for children.

Teachers continue to review and develop their programme planning. They regularly share information about their focus children and encourage contributions from parents and children. Teachers record children's involvement in the programme through learning stories and they evaluate the impact of their programmes. External agencies guide teachers to support children with special needs.

Teachers could now reflect on the extent to which programmes align with the centre’s philosophy, the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and their own beliefs about best early childhood practices.

The centre manager has responsibility for the centre’s operation and oversight of all three areas. She maintains positive relationships with families and consults them on relevant matters. The manager provides teachers with professional learning opportunities, resources and generous non-contact time. Together they are developing self-review processes and an understanding of teaching inquiry. The manager is aware that appraisal processes do not currently meet Education Council requirements.

Management systems, including strategic and annual planning should be more clearly aligned to promote further positive learning outcomes for children. The manager and teachers could use their self-review processes to develop a clear pathway to help them achieve the centre’s strategic vision.

Key Next Steps

The centre manager agrees that next steps include:

  • further developing teachers’ shared understanding of effective teaching approaches
  • using more robust systems for quality assurance to monitor the effectiveness of programmes, practices and documentation
  • increasing bicultural practices, including integrating more te reo and tikanga Māori into the environment
  • ensuring self review is focused on improvement and positive outcomes for children
  • documenting the process for the advice and guidance of provisionally registered teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of ACG Strathallan Preschool Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum

  • premises and facilities

  • health and safety practices

  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Actions for compliance

ERO found an area of non-compliance in the service related to the regular appraisal of the centre manager.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA 7.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of ACG Strathallan Preschool Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 June 2016

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Karaka, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

115 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition








Cook Island Māori











Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

16 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2012

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.