ERO Insights July 2019

Kia ora tātou,

Over the past few months ERO has taken on some big issues. Our evaluation of school bullying, and its accompanying survey of over 11,000 students, provided a snapshot of this issue across the country and the picture is troubling.

High levels of bullying varied little between schools of all shapes and sizes, and while strong implementation of the Ministry of Education’s anti-bullying framework did help, it did not eliminate bullying. ERO still supports the framework – we believe it lays the necessary groundwork for progress but is not sufficient on its own, and schools need to be constantly vigilant about their student’s wellbeing and welfare. 

While national evaluations and research can sometimes shine a light on problems which need a great deal of further work, they can also highlight exciting progress. ERO recently did some research into accelerated Pacific achievement as part of our work to support our new Pacific strategy.  We have identified a range of schools which have massive improvements in their Pacific achievement and we are beginning to identify and understand the strategies which these schools have adopted in achieving such rapid acceleration. Typically, they are actions which can be taken in any school, by any teacher or leader.

ERO is continuing to implement its new Assurance Review approach in centre-based Early Childhood Services. This approach focuses on getting the foundations right in those services that have been recently licenced.

ERO’s findings to date indicate that for a minority of services (around 1 in 5) maintaining basic standards can prove difficult once a centre is up and operating. In a number of cases ERO has identified lapses in health and safety requirements and this is of concern. We suggest that services review their compliance with licensing requirements on an ongoing basis to make sure this doesn’t happen.

As we move into Term 3 we will begin consultation on our evaluation indicators as part of the development of a new quality framework. 

Ngā Ara Whai Hua: Quality Framework for Evaluation and Improvement in Early Childhood Services provides the framework for ERO’s differentiated approach to review and evaluation.  From the beginning of 2020, Ngā Ara Whai Hua will guide how we evaluate and report on quality and performance in early childhood services.

The Tomorrow’s Schools review is considering important change in the education sector, including for ERO.  As this discussion unfolds, ERO will continue its valuable work based on our commitment to equity and excellence and supporting schools in their improvement journey.

Below you will find the full articles on accelerating Pacific achievement and our Bullying Prevention and Response report, as well as a profile of our fantastic principal education evaluator.

Enjoy your holidays.

Ngā mihi,

Nicholas Pole
Chief Review Officer