Recent ERO National Evaluation Reports and Publications for Schools

ERO researches and produces a range of national evaluation reports and publications each year for teachers, parents, schools, and early learning services. To help you find the most relevant information, ERO’s Evaluation and Policy team prepared two tables – one for schools and one for early learning services – that give a brief description and link to our most recent publications. We’ll update these tables regularly to keep you up-to-date on our work.

A PDF is available here: Recent ERO National Evaluation Reports and Publications for Schools

Te Tāmata Huaroa

Te Tāmata Huaroa
This report captures a snapshot of te reo Māori education in English medium schools and aims in part to reflect the role education has to play in the Government’s Maihi Karauna strategy for language revitalisation. The report found there is widespread enthusiasm to improve the provision of te reo Māori teaching in English medium schools, driven by positive feelings towards the language and a strong sense of moral duty to its revitalisation, but the ability to do so is limited in many schools.

June 2020

COVID-19: Learning in Lockdown

COVID-19 Learning in Lockdown
ERO is undertaking a programme of work to learn the lessons from the COVID-19 lockdown and to support the education system, schools and early childhood centres to respond to the disruption. As a first stage of this work, ERO surveyed a sample of students and teachers in primary and secondary schools. This report sets out what we found about their wellbeing and experiences of learning and teaching during the lockdown.

June 2020
Overseas Trained Teachers

Overseas Trained Teachers
This report serves to shine some light on the experiences of teachers who have come from overseas to teach in New Zealand. It is based on data collected from a voluntary survey of teachers and principals of the school where they are employed.

June 2020
Social Workers in Schools

Social Workers in Schools
This qualitative case study report was undertaken on behalf of Oranga Tamariki. It captures the voices of children and their whanau who were recipients of the Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) service. ERO found children who were involved with a social worker in their school overwhelmingly benefited from the extra support. When social workers used a holistic approach, involving the child’s whānau and friends, as well as teachers and other school staff, the service was effective for all involved.

April 2020
On Your Marks, Get Set, Go! A Tale of Six Schools and the Digital Technologies C

On Your Marks...Get Set...Go! A Tale of Six Schools and the Digital Technologies Curriculum Content
ERO conducted case studies of six schools’ implementation of the digital technologies curriculum content in Term 1, 2019. Schools that had successfully integrated the curriculum had leaders who promoted a growth mindset for teachers and looked to integrate digital technologies into the existing curriculum.

January 2020
Professional Learning and Development in SchoolsProfessional Learning and Development in Schools

ERO spoke with school leaders responsible for planning Professional Learning and Development (PLD) and looked at a variety of documents in 242 state or state-integrated schools (excluding kura) reviewed in Terms 3 and 4, 2018. ERO made an overall judgment about how well school leaders were determining PLD priorities and evaluating the impact of PLD. Leaders in nearly half of the schools determined PLD priorities well and considered the impact for teachers. Rural schools were less likely to be doing well.

December 2019
Developing Key Competencies in Students Years 1-8

Developing Key Competencies in Students Years 1-8
This report describes what a sample of New Zealand schools with Years 1 to 8 students were doing to integrate and support the development of key competencies in their students. The report also explored how they were promoting the understanding of key competencies among parents, whānau and trustees. ERO found all schools in the sample had not yet fully implemented the key competencies as outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum and the teaching of key competencies was not evident in more than a quarter of the schools.

November 2019
Current Provision of Pacific Bilingual Education

Current Provision of Pacific Bilingual Education
Based on surveys and interviews of 25 schools, this report describes the current state of Pacific bilingual units in New Zealand: their philosophy, curriculum, teaching, assessment and transition practices, tracking of learners’ pathways and outcomes, and the support they receive. ERO found that Pacific bilingual education programmes were somewhat idiosyncratic, tended to be developed locally and were resourced out of schools’ baseline funding.

August 2019
It's Early Days for the New Digital Technologies Curriculum Content

It's Early Days for the New Digital Technologies Curriculum Content
ERO examined the barriers and enablers that have influenced schools’ preparation for implementation of the new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Maihiko curriculum. Progress was slower than expected and ERO felt it likely that, on the current trajectory, many schools would not be meeting their obligations to implement the curriculum content as required. The report alerts school leaders to the need to engage with the curriculum content with the urgency required to meet the deadline for implementation.

July 2019
NCEA Observational Studies

NCEA Observational Studies
The Ministry of Education partnered with ERO to carry out research on the use of NCEA as an assessment and qualification tool and how its use impacted on five particular aspects: curriculum design, pedagogy, assessment strategies, resourcing and student wellbeing. ERO noted that no one of the five aspects plays a more important part than any other and that courageous leadership makes a difference. The research highlighted innovative practices and challenges as they relate to secondary schools and tertiary education organisations.

July 2019
Keeping children engaged and achieving in writing

Keeping children engaged and achieving in writing
This report shares some of the strategies and approaches used by schools who had focused on improving achievement in writing. ERO found that in schools where most children were progressing well, teachers were clear about the purpose of writing. They understood all the different writing demands of the curriculum the child would encounter and were deliberate in their approach to supporting the children to meet those demands.

June 2019
Bullying prevention and responseBullying Prevention and Response in New Zealand Schools

In this evaluation, ERO looked at the extent to which schools were effectively working towards an environment in which students feel safe and free from bullying. ERO gathered data from 136 primary and secondary schools as part of their regular ERO review in Terms 1 and 2, 2018. Most schools were working towards a bullying free environment and most students had learned some bullying prevention and response strategies. However, analysis of student responses indicate that bullying remains a problem in New Zealand schools. Student responses were explored in further detail in ERO’s companion report: Bullying Prevention and Response: Student Voice May 2019.

May 2019
Bullying prevention and response_Student VoiceBullying Prevention and Response: Student Voice

This is a companion report to Bullying Prevention and Response in New Zealand Schools May 2019. It focuses on Years 4 to 13 students’ experience of bullying prevention and response in schools. The information was collected via 11,085 student responses to a voluntary online survey in 136 New Zealand schools during Terms 1 and 2, 2018. ERO concluded that bullying is part of life for too many students. Findings showed that while a large proportion have the knowledge they need, fewer have the confidence to act, fewer still take action, and not everything was effective in stopping bullying.

May 2019
Collaboration in Practice - Insights into ImplementationCollaboration in practice: insights into implementation

This case study report features experiences of three Kāhui Ako and includes the strategies and approaches used to create, build, and strengthen collaboration between schools and early learning services to improve outcomes for learners. ERO found that: each of the three Kāhui Ako maintained a central focus on improving outcomes for learners; leaders took different approaches to establishing models of practice. They were responsive to the community context and looked for relevant and appropriate ways to establish outcomes, collaboration, and inclusive structures and practices.

April 2019
Keeping children engaged and achieving through rick curriculum inquiries

Keeping children engaged and achieving through rich curriculum inquiries
This report is one of a series of reports on teaching strategies that work. It features strategies and approaches ERO observed in 40 primary schools selected from across New Zealand. It shares some strategies and approaches that had focused on improving achievement through rich curriculum inquiries. Some inquiries had positively contributed to raising achievement in literacy and/or mathematics.

November 2018
Provision for students in activity centresProvision for students in activity centres 

ERO reviewed all 14 New Zealand activity centres to determine how effective they were in promoting positive outcomes for their students, deemed to be at risk of not achieving educational success. This report summarises the national picture, highlights effective practice and provides some recommendations for improvement. ERO found the majority of activity centres were promoting positive outcomes for their students. The best models had strong links between the managing school, their centre, and support networks in the community. An area for development was to improve their evaluation of overall effectiveness, especially in evaluating long-term outcomes for students.

September 2018
Promoting wellbeing through sexuality educationPromoting wellbeing through sexuality education

This report provides findings from ERO's evaluation of how well schools were promoting and supporting student wellbeing through sexuality education. ERO found that, overall, curriculum coverage remains inconsistent and many schools have significant gaps. While biological aspects of sexuality and puberty were well covered, more in-depth coverage is needed for aspects like consent, digital technologies and relationships. The report includes examples of good practice and recommendations for schools and policy audiences. It is accompanied by a series of short publications for whānau, students, and trustees.

September 2018
Building genuine learning partnerships with parentsBuilding genuine learning partnerships with parents 

This report shares strategies and approaches from schools that had contributed to improving achievement by developing genuine learning partnerships with parents. ERO found that most schools had built good relationships with parents but had not fully developed genuine learning partnerships. All schools reported to parents and had interviews or three-way conferences and other communication with parents. However, not all had fully given prominence to the culturally responsive concepts of manaakitanga, whänaungatanga and mahi tahi. The report includes some simple strategies a few of the schools used to involve parents more in supporting the things children were learning at school.

July 2018
Teen parent unitsTeen Parent Units

In 2017 ERO investigated the quality of education provided by Teen Parent Units (TPUs) and the extent to which they supported positive outcomes for students and their children. ERO found a number of challenges across the 24 TPUs that require a system level response. Strong leadership was key to the overall effectiveness of the highly or mostly effective TPUs.

July 2018
What drives learning in the senior secondary schoolWhat drives learning in the senior secondary school?

This evaluation studies effective practice in schools’ senior curriculum. It contributes to the review being undertaken by the Ministry of Education of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). It focuses on the implementation of NCEA as the national assessment system for the senior years of secondary schooling. ERO found that while the schools were working towards a clear vision for a coherent senior curriculum, only a minority achieved it. These few schools showed it was possible to plan and implement senior learning pathways based on the principles, vision, values and competencies outlined in the NZC.

May 2018
Case Studies - Aotea College - Improving Māori student wellbeing and achievementCase Studies - Aotea College: Improving Māori student wellbeing and achievement

Improvement in Action brings to life ERO’s School Evaluation Indicators and illustrates what works to achieve successful outcomes for all children and young people in the education system. This school’s journey illustrates the weaving together of evaluation processes and thinking over time as they developed a culturally responsive, learner-centred curriculum that provides opportunity to learn for every student. Student outcomes improved significantly.

May 2018
Teaching strategies that work - reading

Teaching strategies that work – Reading

This report is one of a series on teaching strategies that work. It describes strategies used by primary schools which significantly improved their students’ achievement in reading. Schools with considerable improvements in reading achievement in Years 5 and 6: undertook carefully considered whole-school or whole-syndicate review and development; completed assessments that identified challenges for children and teachers; and accessed professional learning and development (PLD) that focused specifically on the teaching that needed to improve. 

May 2018
Responding to Language Diversity in Auckland

Responding to Language Diversity in Auckland

This evaluation focused on culturally and linguistically diverse learners who speak one or more languages other than English, and are learning the English language. ERO found that there is an overall need for early learning services and schools to improve their response to these learners, and to support their acquisition of the English language. Key features of responsiveness were identified. 

April 2018
Evaluation at a glance: A decade of assessment in New Zealand Primary SchoolsEvaluation at a glance: A decade of assessment in New Zealand Primary Schools - Practice and trends

This report is a synthesis of findings about assessment from ERO’s evaluations of primary schools carried out over the past decade. ERO identified patterns and recurring themes in assessment practices. It provides a basis for discussions among primary school trustees, principals, assessment leaders and teachers about the effectiveness and utility of their own assessment practices. 

April 2018
Resource Teachers: Learning and behaviour governing and managing RTLB clustersResource Teachers: Learning and behaviour governing and managing RTLB clusters

This evaluation was undertaken following a substantive transformation of the Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) service, to evaluate the impact of these changes. It included all 40 RTLB clusters. The evaluation highlights improvements to the quality and consistency of the RTLB service, especially in overall governance and management.

April 2018

Leading innovative learning in New Zealand schoolsLeading Innovative Learning in New Zealand Schools

ERO visited 12 schools to see how they were preparing their students as 21st century learners. Leaders were innovative, rethinking and transforming teaching and learning to equip students with the knowledge, skills and qualifications required for their future. ERO found there were many different approaches to successfully implementing change and that school leaders were the key to successful innovation in teaching and learning. The evaluation identified common elements and challenges faced by these schools and includes advice from school leaders for other schools. 

April 2018

Teaching strategies that work - mathematicsTeaching strategies that work – Mathematics

This report is one of a series on teaching strategies that work. It describes strategies used by primary schools which significantly improved their students’ achievement in mathematics. It features strategies and approaches that were observed in 40 primary schools selected from across New Zealand. Schools that successfully accelerated achievement employed two complementary approaches: initial short-term interventions, focused on identified children, and longer-term PLD. When introducing new strategies teachers worked closely, or communicated regularly, with parents and whānau.

February 2018

Newly graduated teachers - Preparation and confidence to teachNewly Graduated Teachers: Preparation and Confidence to Teach

In this evaluation, ERO met with newly graduated teachers and leaders in early learning services and schools to find out how confident and prepared they were as a result of their Initial Teacher Education programme. ERO’s findings point to a need for better integration of theory and practice both pre-service and for beginning teachers.

December 2017
Teaching approaches and strategies that workTeaching approaches and strategies that work

This report is one of a series on teaching strategies that work. This evaluation looks at teaching approaches and strategies used in schools where there was a significant increase in the number of students at or above National Standards in the upper primary school years (Years 5 to 8). We looked at any short-term interventions or long-term strategies that may have been influential in bringing about these positive achievement trajectories. 

November 2017
Year 9 Plus 2016 - the first yearYear 9 Plus 2016 – the first year (Year 9)

This report, completed at the end of students’ first year at secondary school, identifies what worked well for one cohort of participating students in the trial of the Year 9 Plus educational concept, developed by the Ministry of Education to improve students’ chances of educational success. It considered the processes developed to support these students’ transitions between contributing and secondary school, and their subsequent participation, engagement and progress during the year. The key aspect working well was the strong support many students received from their champions and their school. The champions found the nature of some aspects of their work unrelenting. Issues of attendance and behaviour still prevail for some students.

July 2017
Food, nutrition and physical activity in NZ schools and early learning servicesFood, Nutrition and Physical Activity in NZ Schools and Early Learning Services

ERO visited 46 primary schools, 29 secondary schools and 202 early learning services to evaluate how well positive attitudes to physical activity, food and nutrition were being promoted. ERO found that most schools and services were doing a good job of equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make healthy choices around food, nutrition and physical activity.

April 2017
School Trustees booklet: Helping you ask the right questionsSchool trustees booklet: helping you ask the right questions

ERO has written this booklet for boards of trustees. It focuses on student achievement and wellbeing, and the role the board plays in these two areas. The booklet includes questions and information to guide trustees’ discussions with school leaders.

February 2017
Extending their language - expanding their worldExtending their language - expanding their world: Children’s oral language (birth-8 years)

This evaluation investigated how effectively young children’s oral language learning and development were supported in their early years of education. Findings are based on data gathered from 167 early learning services and 104 schools. In both settings, improvements were needed to support oral learning and development. Professional and pedagogical leadership was critical in building the capability and capacity of teachers to promote and support children’s oral language learning and development. 

February 2017
Communities of Learning - Kāhui Ako in actionCommunities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in action
An additional resource to Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Collaboration to Improve Learner Outcomes. This resource is designed to support CoL | Kāhui Ako as they work towards effective collaborative practice. It is framed around key questions in each of the seven effective practice areas and can be used both as evidence-based progressions and as a useful internal evaluation tool.
January 2017
Communities of Learning - Kāhui Ako - Collaboration to Improve Learner OutcomesCommunities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Collaboration to Improve Learner Outcomes

This publication is designed to support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako by bringing together research findings about effective collaboration in education communities. It is supported by the publication Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: working towards collaborative practice.

January 2017
Communities of Learning - Kāhui Ako - Working towards collaborative practiceCommunities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Working towards collaborative practice

This is the first of a series of iterative reports which draw together what ERO knows about CoL | Kāhui Ako, as they move from establishment to implementation. This report is based on information collected from schools in CoL | Kāhui Ako during their regular ERO evaluations; information gained from workshops with CoL | Kāhui Ako and from in-depth work ERO undertook alongside one CoL | Kāhui Ako. 

January 2017