Tall Poppies Education Ltd - 20/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Tall Poppies Education Ltd

How well placed is Tall Poppies Education Ltd 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.


Tall Poppies Education Ltd is a small home-based service that provides education and care for children up to six years of age, at Clarks Beach and Laingholm. Children enrolled in this network are mostly Pākehā with two children who have Māori heritage.

Tall Poppies is a privately owned network. The service provider is responsible for the overall governance of the service. She is also the coordinator and supports two qualified teachers in their homes. Teachers each provide education and care for up to four children at any one time.

The service’s philosophy promotes a child-centred education model that could help young children grow and develop to their full potential. It also emphasises that children will be supported to learn through play in a safe and homely environment. Teachers are encouraged to participate in professional learning and development.

This is the first ERO review of Tall Poppies Education Ltd which was established in June 2013. The service closed for a short period during 2014.

The Review Findings

Children are encouraged to be curious, and to make choices and discoveries as they play. They are able to make connections with the wider world and interact positively with familiar adults. Their emotional wellbeing and sense of belonging are well supported through nurturing individualised care from teachers.

The service's curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers provide a range of relevant and accessible learning experiences based on children's interests in homes, including group excursions in the community and some playgroup sessions. Environments are resourced in appropriate ways. Outings and community experiences that enable children to help others are valued and prioritised.

Teachers are highly committed to regularly documenting children's learning. Assessment documents show they have a very good understanding of individual children’s interests, strengths and preferences. Online internet tools provide opportunities for parents to respond immediately to what teachers share about children's learning.

Learning records show that through everyday activities children are very well supported to develop early literacy, mathematics and science knowledge. They enjoy creative and manipulative materials as they build relationships with others and participate in physical activity and musical experiences. Te reo Māori is evident in learning records.

The coordinator makes regular home visits to the children and teachers in the network. She supports teachers in responsive ways, and provides helpful guidance and useful feedback to develop teaching practice. The coordinator and teachers communicate well with families. They are responsive to parents' wishes for their children’s learning and wellbeing.

Information that parents provided for ERO shows they are very satisfied with the service. They value teachers' individualised approach to supporting their children's learning and wellbeing. Parents appreciate the variety of activities provided in homes and feel well informed. They commented on the friendly, caring relationships they have with the owner/coordinator and teachers.

A new appraisal system for teachers is about to be implemented. The coordinator agrees this process could be developed further to ensure teachers set measurable goals and regularly evaluate their own progress. Using the Ministry of Education resources, such as Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, could strengthen bicultural practices. The coordinator is yet to be appraised.

The coordinator's collaborative leadership style enables teachers to engage in regular discussions about internal evaluation and priorities for the service. A clearly documented three yearly schedule for review is closely followed. The service has useful processes in place to support internal evaluation. Developing a long-term plan with specific goals could support strategic and regular internal evaluation.

The owner/coordinator's management records show a high level of leadership and professional practice. Well developed policies and procedures guide operational requirements. Appropriate systems are in place to regularly monitor health and safety requirements in homes.

Key Next Steps

The owner/coordinator agrees that next steps for the service include:

  • developing a strategic plan to reflect current priorities, set long-term direction and make provision for the regular evaluation of these goals to inform ongoing improvement
  • strengthening the bicultural curriculum for all children and providing opportunities for Māori learners to enjoy educational success as Māori
  • improving planning, evaluation and assessment records that show how children’s interests are extended and become more complex over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tall Poppies Education Ltd completed an ERO Home-based Education andCare 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.

In order to improve practice the coordinator and teachers should improve how they document the assessment and management of risk for excursions.

ERO identified one area of non-compliance to be addressed. The service provider must ensure that a there is a system of regular appraisal for herself as the coordinator and for teachers Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008, GMA6.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Tall Poppies Education Ltd will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 January 2017

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 Home-based Education and Care Service


Huapai, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Boys 4 Girls 4

Ethnic composition





Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

20 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


No previous ERO reports


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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.