ERO reviews school hostels to evaluate if students accommodated in the hostel are living in a safe emotional and physical environment that supports learning.
Hostel reviews are undertaken as part of ERO reviews of applicable schools. Where students enrolled in a school are living in a hostel the school board of trustees or school governors have a responsibility for providing a safe emotional and physical environment for these students.
Sections 470 to 473 of the Education and Training Act 2020 set out the provisions concerning the review of hostels by ERO.
The Education (Hostels) Regulations 2005 make it mandatory for school hostels to be licensed by the Ministry of Education (the Hostel Licensing Authority) and comply with the minimum standards specified in the Regulations.
As part of an Education Review ERO will evaluate and report on the extent to which the hostel provides students with a safe emotional and physical environment that supports their learning. ERO may seek evidence for this in the usual way through discussions, reading documentation and observation. Hostel reviews include an assessment of the extent to which the hostel regulations are being met.
To do this ERO provides the hostel owner with ERO’s Hostel Assurance Statement (this can be downloaded below). ERO expects the hostel owner and the hostel manager to use this document and the attached self-audit checklists to attest that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet the requirements of the hostel regulations.
ERO uses the self-audit checklists, completed by the school board or governors, as a basis for scoping the hostel review and follows up those responses that have been recorded as “no” or “unsure.”
ERO includes the report on the hostel review in your school Education Review report under the heading: Provision for students in the school hostel.