National Evaluation Programme

Helping to lift system performance

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.

The year

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.

ERO completed the following contracted work

  • Senior Secondary Curriculum for Ministry of Education
  • NCEA observational study for Ministry of Education
  • Pacific Bilingual Units for Ministry of Education
  • A report on Digital Technologies Curriculum Content for the Ministry of Education

A female student wearing eye and ear protection works a machine.

ERO produced 13 national evaluations in 2018/19

They were:

  • What Drives Learning in the Senior Secondary School?
  • Awareness and Confidence to work with Te Whāriki (2017)
  • Building Genuine Learning Partnerships with Parents
  • Promoting Wellbeing Through Sexuality Education
  • Sexuality Education (set of 5 mini publications)
  • Provision for Students in Activity Centres
  • Keeping Children Engaged and Achieving Through Curriculum Inquiries
  • Engaging with Te Whāriki (2017)
  • Collaboration in Practice: insights into implementation
  • Bullying Prevention and Response in New Zealand Schools
  • Bullying Prevention and Response: student voice
  • Keeping Children Engaged and Achieving in Writing
  • Preparedness to Implement Te Whāriki (2017)

Students in gym clothes stand in a circle with their coach on a basketball court