The Education Review Office (ERO) is an independent government department that reviews the performance of New Zealand’s schools and early childhood services, and reports publicly on what it finds.

The whakataukī of ERO demonstrates the importance we place on the educational achievement of our children and young people:

Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa The Child – the Heart of the Matter

In our daily work we have the privilege of going into early childhood services and schools, giving us a current picture of what is happening throughout the country. We collate and analyse this information so that it can be used to benefit the education sector and, therefore, the children in our education system. ERO’s reports contribute sound information for work undertaken to support the Government’s policies.

Increasingly, New Zealand students are participating in education programmes delivered in a wider range of settings than the traditional classroom. In this evaluation ERO looked at 14 Activity Centres providing schooling for secondary students. Our findings showed a wide variation in effectiveness. Areas needing attention included governance and management responsibilities, self review, the quality of education programmes, and transition processes for students moving to and from the Activity Centre. This report includes recommendations which, while they apply particularly to Activity Centres in this report, also have implications for other programmes delivered beyond the school gate.

Successful delivery in education relies on many people and organisations across the community working together for the benefit of children and young people. We trust the information in ERO’s evaluations will help them in their work.

Diana Anderson

Acting Chief Review Officer

Education Review Office

June 2013