Join ERO's Leadership Partners programme

We invite expressions of interest from senior school leaders who wish to be part of our pilot Leadership Partners programme. The programme will provide successful school leaders with the opportunity to work alongside review teams as partners in ERO’s external school evaluation process. The programme will enable you to develop your skills and understanding of evaluation for improvement, and provide the opportunity to learn from others when reflecting on your own school’s improvement journey. As such, it is a unique professional development experience that will also enhance ERO’s work in the sector.

As part of a small pilot group of senior leaders selected to work with us, you will be provided with professional learning and development in ERO’s methodologies and procedures prior to joining ERO school review teams for a minimum of two weeks per term during 2020. Induction will involve up to a week in late January 2020, and we are seeking senior leaders who can offer three weeks during Term 1 for training and orientation and two weeks each subsequent term. 

If you are interested in becoming a Leadership Partner, please email Shelley Booysen, ERO’s Manager Sector Initiatives. Please provide information outlining why you are interested in the programme and about the current and previous roles, strengths and experience that would enable you to add value to ERO’s work.

Expressions of interest close at 4pm, Monday 11 November.

Information for Programme Applicants

What is the level of time commitment I need to make to the programme?

We will choose a small, pilot group of senior leaders who are able to commit to a week of induction in late January 2020 and then two weeks evaluating with review teams each term.

What criteria are being used to choose the Leadership Partners?

To maintain trust and credibility in the programme, the criteria below will be used to help support the selection process. These criteria are not exclusive and will be used on a case-by-case basis. The programme will provide a professional learning opportunity for those senior leaders wanting to learn more about evaluation for improvement.

  • Leadership Partners will be experienced principals or senior leaders. It is recommended that Leadership Partners have at least five years in a principal/senior leadership role.
  • Previous ERO reports for the schools that Leadership Partners are drawn from will have indicated well placed or strong.
  • Leadership Partners will have a willingness to commit to a minimum of two weeks a term to the programme.

Can I choose the weeks I want to review?

Yes, we will ask you in advance for a list of possible weeks that you are available for review. These will be confirmed during the term preceding the review.

What is involved in the support and induction programme?

The National Induction programme will involve three days in our National Office during the January school holidays. The content of the programme will cover:

  • ERO as an organisation and our role and mandate in the Education Act
  • Treaty of Waitangi commitment and a culturally and contextually responsive approach
  • Evaluation in the NZ education context
  • The roles and responsibilities of a public servant
  • ERO’s Code of Conduct
  • Review Methodology
  • Review Capabilities and Principles of Practice
  • Reporting
  • Review and file management and our quality assurance process
  • Roles and responsibilities of the team
  • Skills and strengths you bring to ERO and the contribution you see yourself making
  • Establishing protocols for how Leadership Partners take their learning back to their communities.

The National Induction programme is followed by a Regional Induction. The Regional Induction will involve the Leadership Partner initially shadowing their Evaluation Partner, through to fully participating as a review team member over the course of the year. Opportunities for reflection and ongoing development of evaluation practice will be a planned part of your programme of induction and support.

What does it mean to be designated as a Review Officer?

Leadership Partners will be designated Review Officers for the period of time that they are involved in the programme.

Review Officers are statutory officers designated under Part 28 of the Education Act 1989, and exercise powers of entry, investigation and reporting through the various sections of that Part of the Act. To be designated and to exercise those powers, the Chief Review Officer must be satisfied that Leadership Partners are both suitably qualified and fit to carry out the work required of a Review Officer and to exercise those powers. This includes understanding that each Leadership Partner must abide by ERO’s Code of Conduct and expectations for professional integrity, fairness and confidentiality. Discussion about how Leadership Partners apply the Code of Conduct will form part of the induction programme.

Partners will be initially designated for the year of the pilot programme, 2020. Re-designation will be possible after this time with agreement from ERO and the Leadership Partner.

Who pays for this professional development opportunity?

While undertaking this professional learning opportunity, Leadership Partners will work with ERO based on a written agreement with their employer, the school’s governing board of trustees.

Leadership Partners remain in the employment of their school board while on review with an ERO team, and as such, their salary continues to be paid by their employer.

ERO will cover costs associated with attending the National Induction programme and travel, accommodation, and actual and reasonable costs incurred during the weeks you review with ERO.

What are the practical arrangements for me while on review?

Practical travel and accommodation arrangements will be made for you by the team coordinator and ERO support staff.

While on review, Leadership Partners will meet with and travel with the review team to the school (where practical). If staying away overnight, accommodation will be organised by ERO at a motel/hotel on ERO’s approved list. Where applicable, Partners will use their own car to travel to the nearest office, airport, or school and be reimbursed accordingly.

You will be expected to work alongside ERO for the full review week. There may be opportunities to return to your school and/or work remotely when the onsite phase is over, depending on review timing, school location and evaluation tasks. Your Evaluation Partner will meet with you after the onsite phase to share note-taking and analysis, reflect on the evaluation process, discuss any goals you wish to set, and offer support you may need for subsequent reviews.

What happens if I need to leave during a review because I am urgently needed back at my school?

Should an emergency arise, please notify the Manager Review and Improvement Services responsible for the evaluation. ERO acknowledges your primary responsibility is to your employing school.

What resources are provided by ERO?

You will have access to ERO resources necessary to support your Partner role – hard copy resources and stationery will be supplied during induction. Leadership Partners are not ERO employees and will not be eligible for ERO credit cards, computers, phones or email addresses while working alongside review teams. Communication will be through secure personal email addresses. This may be a school email address, but one that can only be opened by the Partner.

Will I be working out of my region or away from my home?

Reviewers often work away from home and sometimes outside their region. Please let the Manager Sector Initiatives know if this will be a problem for you.

Do I get a choice of where I review and what I do on review?

Leadership Partners will work within a team and alongside an Evaluation Partner. They will generally review within the sector that they are most familiar with. They will be included in reviews where they initially accompany their ERO Evaluation Partner.

During selection and induction, Partners will be asked about their particular strengths, interests and expertise they could contribute to ERO’s evaluations. Placement with Evaluation Partners and on reviews will take this into consideration.

Partners will not be expected to coordinate reviews during the programme, but there will be opportunities to participate in all aspects of the review process as a full team member, gradually, over time.

The Leadership Partners programme may be a first step for leaders who wish to work for ERO on a longer term or more regular basis. If a Partner does decide to continue working with ERO, working relationships will be in accordance with secondment arrangements, and may involve secondees coordinating reviews.

How does ERO manage any conflicts of interest I might have?

In joining ERO, and thereby becoming a public servant, Review Officers undertake to abide by ERO’s Code of Conduct and the State Services Commission’s Standards of Integrity and Conduct. Both these codes discuss integrity and avoidance of conflicts of interest: the guidance paper that accompanies the standards code, Understanding the Code of Conduct – Guidance for State Servants, states that:

“We must avoid circumstances where our personal interests or relationships conflict with interests of our organisation. We must also avoid situations where there could be an appearance of conflict. Our actions need to be fair and unbiased and should always be able to bear close public scrutiny.”

The ERO Code of Conduct states that Review Officers:

“…have a duty to apply objective consideration and judgement to their work at all times. They will remain free of any conflicting interest or improper influence and should avoid any situation which may be construed as constituting a conflict of interest or which may impair objectivity. They must be impartial when undertaking reviews and will interpret and present evidence fairly. They will resist any pressures that would influence their impartiality.”

Real or perceived conflicts of interest do arise. During the induction process and prior to your placement on any reviews, there will be opportunities to discuss how to recognise and avoid a conflict of interest and how Review Officers deal with a range of situations. ERO will avoid placing you in situations where there is a real or perceived conflict of interest.

Who do I liaise with if I have questions or concerns before, during or after a review?

Your point of contact in ERO is Shelley Booysen, Manager Sector Initiatives.