In its education reviews of schools with Pacific students, ERO evaluates how well these students are achieving and what the schools are doing to improve education outcomes for them. By asking what and how well schools are doing, ERO highlights the need for them to develop effective strategies for improving their education of Pacific students.

Critical to success for all students is their presence at school, their engagement and participation in learning, and their success in achieving good educational outcomes. Being at school, and participating in learning that is both tailored and relevant, are precursors for students’ achievement and success, whether they are at primary or secondary school.

In 2009, ERO evaluated the progress in Pacific student achievement. In this pilot study in 32 Auckland schools ERO focused on initiatives these schools had undertaken to improve Pacific students’ achievement, engagement and presence, and the effect of these since their previous ERO review. ERO found that:

  • Pacific students’ school attendance was generally not an issue;
  • in approximately three quarters of the schools, Pacific student engagement had remained high or had improved since the previous review;
  • Pacific students were over-represented in stand-down, suspension and exclusion statistics;
  • almost two thirds of schools were successfully engaging Pacific parents and communities as partners in students’ learning;
  • in half of the schools, Pacific student achievement in literacy and numeracy had improved;
  • most schools collected good quality achievement information for Pacific students; and
  • over a third of schools were not using achievement information effectively.

ERO made recommendations related to data analysis and use, community partnership, reporting to parents, and teacher professional learning and development.

In this 2010 study, ERO extended the scope of the evaluation and focused on students’ presence, achievement and engagement in schools throughout New Zealand. ERO also investigated the initiatives that schools had put in place in the last three years to improve Pacific students’ outcomes.

A total of 243 schools were included in this evaluation: 70 secondary and composite schools, and 173 primary schools.