ERO’s national evaluation programme is intended to promote debate and influence improvement in the education system. This work is designed to provide topical, timely, and practical recommendations for policy makers, education agencies, education providers and practitioners.
Our national evaluation studies identify the key features of high performing institutions, and what is required in a high performing education system. They also identify what works for schools and early learning services and showcase effective practice in teaching and learning.
Over recent years, ERO has developed a critical role in the generation and dissemination of knowledge about best practice and what works to improve education outcomes for learners. Through our national reporting, ERO is providing an evidence base for discussion and iterative change.
Many of our national evaluations this year have identified the importance of the wider social and health sectors working together for positive outcomes for all our learners, but particularly for our most vulnerable children and young people. They also highlight the importance of targeted professional learning, both internal and external to the service or school, to develop teacher capability to implement an authentic and meaningful curriculum focused on learning and wellbeing.
ERO produced two particularly significant national evaluations, on sexuality education, and bullying prevention and response, which generated strong public interest. In sexuality education, the education system is struggling to keep up with rapid societal change. For bullying, schools are taking the lead, but it is clear that the whole community context is relevant and should be engaged holistically to address our comparatively high rates of bullying. Both reports highlight the importance of wellbeing for children and young people’s sense of belonging at school and in their community.
We monitored the implementation of Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum, with two evaluations at the beginning and middle of the financial year. We continued our popular Teaching Strategies that Work series with three reports on lifting achievement in the upper primary through: successful strategies to lift achievement in writing, developing rich curriculum enquiry, and strong parent partnerships. We conducted a national evaluation of activity centres, which cater for secondary school students (Years 9-13) who are at risk of disengaging from mainstream schooling and at risk of low educational, social and vocational outcomes. ERO also published an evaluation of Teen Parent Units (TPUs) which investigated the quality of education provided by TPUs and the extent to which they supported positive outcomes for TPU students and their children.