2018 was a year of preparation for change, in many respects, in the New Zealand education sector. Change offers exciting opportunities for innovation and improvement, yet it was satisfying to be able to state in our 2017/18 annual report that 96% of learners are in schools which ERO has found to be sound.
Nearly a quarter of these schools were found to be ‘strong’, covering 35% of all learners.
For schools with persistent difficulties, last year ERO and the Ministry of Education piloted a School Turnaround project which provides intensive wraparound assistance in curriculum design, instructional capability, leadership and management. We are beginning to see a significant improvement in management practices in these schools.
In the early learning sector, 87% of services were found to be well placed or very well placed, and 84% of services that required further development in their previous review are now well placed.
This is a solid foundation for continuing implementation of the new Te Whāriki (2017) early childhood national curriculum. An early implementation review last year revealed growing confidence in working with Te Whāriki among leaders and kaiako.