Strategic Intentions 2016-2020

Foreword From the Minister of Education

We can be proud of our education system. The best in our education system rank among the top performers in the world. Most young New Zealanders are getting what they need and are doing well. But 'most' is not enough. We need an education system that helps all New Zealanders reach their potential.

We have set ambitious Better Public Services targets and are making great progress with children starting earlier in education, staying longer, and leaving better qualified. Gains have been made by trying new ways to foster participation and achievement.

We want that to continue but we also want to do even better. We want to ensure that all our children and young people can be educationally successful, and confident participants in the modern global economy.

Our education system must deliver high-quality teaching, leadership and learning that develops the resourcefulness, skills, and capability for the future.

The Education Review Office uses its expertise to make observations and judgements to influence the way leaders and teachers operate in the interests of the kids in front of them. ERO shines a light on what works really well and what needs improvement.

I expect ERO to be an agent of change - to use its expertise to improve performance at a system and individual level. Through evaluative questioning, ERO has the potential to enable leaders and teachers to make changes that will make a difference to those previously disadvantaged by our education system, as well as to lift achievement for the rest of our students.

Hon Hekia Parata

Minister of Education

September 2016

Statements of Responsibility

Chief Executive's statement

In signing this document, I acknowledge that I am responsible for the information on strategies for the Education Review Office. This information has been prepared in accordance with section 38 and section 40 of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Iona Holsted

Chief Executive

Minister's statement

I am satisfied that the information on strategies provided by the Education Review Office is consistent with the policies and performance expectations of the Government.

Hon Hekia Parata

Minister of Education

Chief Review Officer's Overview

Our evaluation insights are a catalyst for change so that every child achieves success as a lifelong learner.

All children are entitled to succeed in education and New Zealand's wider social and economic conditions depend on it.

It is ERO's job to ask evaluative questions that get leaders and teachers thinking about their practice and making changes that result in better outcomes for all children.

This plan sets out how we will strengthen our impact through three interrelated strategies:

  • achieving equity and excellence
  • generating improvement and innovation, and
  • enhancing our capability and capacity.

These intentions are mutually reinforcing and will keep us focused on supporting and enabling change through our evaluation processes and insights. Across all three strategies are our commitments to:

  • a coherent and seamless education pathway from 0 to 18 years
  • the drive to give parents, families and whānau greater voice in the education of their children, and
  • capturing student voice.

We will continue to work collaboratively with others in the system to achieve equity and excellence in education. We know that the biggest challenge facing the New Zealand education system is disparity of outcomes, especially for Māori and Pacific children.

Along with our evaluation indicators and internal evaluation resources, ERO is responding to this challenge by changing its approach to reviews. The overall evaluative question will place the emphasis on the need to accelerate learning in order to achieve equity and excellence. We have already implemented this approach in contributing and full primary schools and we will gradually extend it to other parts of the system over the next two years.

Over the next four years, we will add to our already highly skilled workforce and implement a professional practice programme that focuses on building evaluative expertise. We will also commit to growing high quality leadership across ERO to support ongoing capability building and to help position ERO as thought leaders in evaluation, both nationally and internationally.

Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa
The child - the heart of the matter

Iona Holsted

Chief Review Officer

Introduction to the Education Review Office

Nature and scope of ERO's operations

The Education Review Office (ERO) is a government department established in October 1989 under the State Sector Act 1988. The Chief Executive of ERO is the Chief Review Officer.

Under Part 28 of the Education Act 1989, ERO is required to review the performance of pre-tertiary education providers in relation to the education services they provide. Review Officers are statutory officers designated under the Act. They exercise powers of entry, investigation and reporting.

At the system level, ERO carries out evaluations of education sector performance and policy implementation, and reports to the Minister about practice in the pre-tertiary sector.

In summary ERO's core activity includes:

  • National Evaluations - on system-level issues including sector performance, policy implementation and pre-tertiary education practice
  • Education Evaluations - scheduled external evaluation reviews carried out in schools and early childhood services to complement and strengthen their own internal evaluation processes
  • Special Reviews - carried out where a matter needs to be reviewed and reported outside regular reviews
  • New School Assurance Reviews - carried out to provide assurance to new school boards and their communities that the school has undertaken suitable administration processes and curriculum preparation
  • Private School Reviews - carried out under section 35I and Part 28 of the Education Act 1989.
  • Partnership School Reviews - readiness reviews and subsequent assurance reviews under individual partnership school agreements
  • Homeschooling Reviews - reviews of programmes for students exempt from enrolment at a registered school, undertaken in the context of section 21 and Part 28 of the Education Act 1989 and usually at the request of the Ministry of Education
  • Teacher Practising Certificates Audit - From 1 July 2015, ERO has been contracted by the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (the Education Council) to undertake an audit of appraisals for the endorsement of teacher practising certificates.
  • Communities of Learning (CoL) Reports - as part of the Education Ministry's Investing in Educational Success Initiative. These include tailored reports for each community, bespoke reports for schools receiving the Principal Recruitment Allowance, and national reports on trends and issues.

Over the next four years ERO's core activity will evolve to include Evaluations for Communities of Learning.

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ERO's role in the education system

ERO is New Zealand's external education evaluation agency. Its evaluations are integrated with and strengthen the internal evaluation activities of schools, early learning services and Communities of Learning. At a system level, ERO undertakes national evaluations of education sector performance and policy.

ERO works alongside the Ministry of Education, and other agencies represented on the Education System Stewardship Forum (ESSF), to achieve equitable levels of participation, engagement and achievement. There is a collective determination that the system should deliver equity and excellence - improving outcomes for all learners. We know that to achieve increased levels of social, cultural and economic wellbeing across the country the education system needs to be relevant and reach all children and young people.

ERO is developing the resources and capability to ensure that its extensive knowledge and expertise has an increasingly positive impact, particularly on the quality of early learning services, schools and Communities of Learning to raise achievement for all.

The Government's Better Public Services targets for the education sector focus on participation and student achievement. They are to:

  • increase participation in early childhood education to 98 percent by 2016
  • increase the proportion of 18-year-olds with NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification to 85 percent by 2017
  • increase the proportion of 25 to 34-year-olds with advanced trade qualifications, diplomas and degrees (Level 4 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework) to 55 percent by 2017.

ERO contributes to these priorities through its influence on how schools and early childhood services perform. ERO identifies what works, establishes indicators for success, and uses its evidence to influence change in individual parts of the system, as well as the system as a whole. ERO will continue to use the wealth of knowledge about what works for children and young people (0-18 years) to influence the direction and decisions within the system. We continue to model and drive greater collaboration and raise the aspirations of children, parents and whānau. Features of the current evaluation approach include:

  • a specific focus on the outcomes for students not well served by the system
  • an integrated approach to external evaluation and internal evaluation
  • a participatory/collaborative approach to the evaluation process
  • a context specific approach to evaluation design, the gathering, analysis and synthesis of data and the communication of findings
  • an emphasis on evaluation as a learning process, building knowledge at local, community and system level.

ERO's evaluations inform parents and families about the quality of educational provision in their communities. ERO's engagement with stewards, leaders and teachers is a vital aspect of our work. To some extent ERO might be seen as the “grit in the oyster" generating some discomfort that leads to change. We know that sustainable positive change requires stewards, leaders and teachers to own the issues. Through our evaluations, ERO strives to generate the conditions that enable ownership and improvement.

ERO's future effectiveness will be determined by its ability to work within and across the system as an effective catalyst for change.

Education System Stewardship

The Education System Stewardship Forum sets system level targets, agrees system priorities and monitors emerging system issues and risks. It owns the Education System Stewardship Development Programme and ensures co-ordinated cross-agency reporting to Ministers on system performance.

Along with our partner agencies in the education sector, ERO has an important role in helping to build a more competitive and productive economy. Our evaluation work makes an important contribution to the Government's priorities, to the delivery of Better Public Services and to the social and cultural wellbeing of New Zealanders.

ERO's four year plan is aligned with the “Education System Stewardship Development Programme". We will work collaboratively and efficiently to ensure every child and student achieves educational success.

Following a shared vision and planning process between seven education agencies and the State Services Commission, we have committed to jointly addressing the key areas where we see the most need for, and the most potential impact of, a collaborative approach.

Only by working together more effectively will we help drive acceleration in student achievement and system performance. As stewards, the agencies involved each play a crucial role in shaping, supporting and enabling the system to accelerate learner achievement. Working together we can help students, parents and whānau, employers, professionals and government get the most from the huge commitment in time, energy and resources they make in the system.

Our four priorities for joint action for the next couple of years are:

  1. Māori and Pacific learning and success
  2. Powering up learners, parents, communities and employers to influence the quality and relevance of teaching and learning and lift achievement
  3. Quality teaching, leadership and assessment (a workforce and curriculum fit for purpose in an international and digital era)
  4. Information management and technology.

Our initial priorities for joint action are to power up parents and communities and provide the evidence, data and knowledge to allow these groups to make the best possible decisions in support of achievement. We have also agreed to develop a more joined-up approach to planning and measuring the performance of the education system and the respective roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the agencies to deliver our outcomes.

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ERO's Strategy

ERO's purpose and whakataukī

 Our whakataukī

Our Strategies

ERO has identified three strategies. These are consistent with the Education System Stewardship Forum Development Programme and reflect what we know is needed to improve education system performance.

Over the next four years our strategies will keep our people focused on the needs of New Zealand's learners, and the important roles played by their parents, whānau and communities.

The strategies are built around the Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success (effective practice indicators). Each of the Intentions is supported by goals.

Achieving equity and excellence

Goal 1: Focus on accelerating student achievement in evaluations

Goal 2: Evolve our evaluation methodologies, approaches and programme

Generating improvement and innovation

Goal 3: Support collaborative effort across the system

Goal 4: Embed the evaluation indicators

Goal 5: Build internal evaluation practice across the system

Enhancing our capability and capacity

Goal 6: Implement our professional practice strategy

Goal 7: Apply our Operating Model Principles to all our programmes of work

Goal 8: Develop our corporate capability and supporting infrastructure

learner at the centre

ERO's strategies recognise the central role of the evaluation indicators in supporting our work. The evaluation indicators framework provide the basis for thinking about effectiveness and improvement of outcomes for all learners.

The principles that have guided the design of the evaluation indicators are that they:

  • focus on the valued outcomes for diverse (all) students articulated in New Zealand curriculum documents
  • concern what matters most in education provision that promotes equity and excellence
  • are underpinned by a research based theory of improvement
  • reflect the interconnectedness of the organisational conditions required to promote and sustain continuous improvement and innovation
  • signal a shift to an evaluation orientation that uses deep professional expertise and engagement
  • are observable or measurable
  • require rich data from a range of sources for effective decision making, and
  • reflect the influence that effective collaboration has on achieving equity and excellence

Achieving Equity and Excellence (Goals 1-2)

ERO's first strategy is achieving equity and excellence in education outcomes. This is the major challenge for our education system, which continues to be characterised by increasing diversity of student needs and persistent disparities in achievement.

Although a greater proportion of our young people achieve at the highest levels, the system serves some learners, in particular Māori and Pacific children, less well. A growing evidence base highlights collaboration focused on the improvement of teaching and learning as one of the highest yielding strategies to boost student, school and system performance.

Successful systems recognise that working together on shared challenges that have been identified using evidence as a catalyst is a powerful way of improving practice.

Networks and Communities of Learning provide important opportunities to share and build knowledge and expertise and stimulate improvement and innovation, particularly in challenging circumstances.

High quality teaching and leadership are key influences to achieve equity and excellence for our learners, therefore our work focuses on these. We are committed to providing evidence and informed judgments to help schools, kura, early learning services and Kōhanga reo reduce the achievement disparities within and across our education system and achieve equity and excellence. By 2020 we will have contributed to:

  • a measurable improvement in learner achievement by implementing more targeted and bespoke evaluation approaches to meet the needs of learners 0-18 years
  • advances in our early learning and compulsory schooling system where improved learner outcomes result from improved internal evaluation use of data, and assessment for learning
  • a system-wide focus on collaboration and collective decision-making to further improve learner outcomes, and
  • reduced in-school variations and disparity in learning outcomes to achieve equity and excellence.

Goal 1. Focus on accelerating student achievement in evaluations

The Māori education strategy, Ka Hikitia, is a call to action for people working in the education system to do more to support Māori students to enjoy and achieve education success. ERO's specific responsibility is to know how education providers are ensuring all learners have the opportunity to realise their potential and to ask evaluative questions that motivate improved performance.

ERO's evaluations and the research that underpins the evaluation indicators show that schools that accelerate student achievement for Māori learners, accelerate student achievement for all. That's why we start our evaluations with a question about accelerating achievement for Māori students.

In the past we asked how a school's curriculum promotes student learning, engagement, progress and achievement in general. We also asked how learners at risk of not achieving were doing but we did not look closely enough at how early learning services and schools were focusing on a specific child's progress and learning. Our evaluations weren't asking clearly enough about children whose learning needed to be accelerated.

We now start our reviews in primary schools with a focus on student achievement. The main evaluative question is “How effectively does this school respond to Māori students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration?" Once we have answered this question, we then ask about other learners whose learning needs to be accelerated and then report on the overall conditions that lend to quality learning outcomes for all children.

We have initially focused on full primary and contributing schools because good progress here is very important for learning in future years. We want to focus our approach on one part of the system first, and learn through the process.

Over the next four years we will:

  • continue to evaluate and evolve our approach to accelerating student achievement in primary schools and extend our approach to intermediate and area schools (2016/17)
  • begin implementing our approach to accelerating student achievement in secondary schools and early learning services (2017/18)
  • review the impact of the accelerating student achievement programme approach through the various stages of implementation (2018/19)
  • ensure that our accelerating student achievement: approach and external evaluations increasingly reinforce the importance of collaboration, student voice and whānau empowerment (2016/20)

Goal 2. Evolve our evaluation methodologies, approaches and programme

ERO will further develop its national evaluation programme over the next four years to spotlight those areas of curriculum, pedagogy and school improvement that are most likely to achieve equity and excellence. We will continue to work with other education agencies to align our national evaluation programme with system priorities.

Through our national evaluations we will develop insights and deliver evidence that will improve government's knowledge of its interventions and their impact in education.

In particular, we will evaluate the Investing in Educational Success initiative and over time build a body of evidence about how Communities of Learning and other aspects of this policy impact on school leadership, teaching and learning and, most importantly, student achievement.

Other evaluations will include data literacy and assessment capability within the sector, the nature of disparity (variation of results) within schools and effective practices to overcome this disparity. We will identify effective interventions that turn around long term poor performance and share learning about how these can be applied/adapted across the system. We will also look at identifying opportunities to develop more effective pathways for students through the system.

ERO will publish, online, exemplars of effective practice so that parents and whānau will be better informed and empowered to drive demand for improvement and innovation. The published exemplars will support accelerated student achievement, promote effective teaching practice and focus on educationally powerful relationships.

We will also consider the use of parent and student surveys as an element of the evaluation of early learning services, schools and communities of learning.

Over the next four years we will undertake evaluations and publish case studies to:

  • improve the accessibility of our findings and share with parents and whānau examples of effective practice to accelerate student learning (2016/17)
  • enable parents to identify what they need to become more active partners in their children's learning (2016/17)
  • inform the profession about the support needed by beginning teachers to ensure their data literacy and readiness to accelerate student achievement (2016/17)
  • assess the progress to maturity of Communities of Learning and other aspects of the Investing in Educational Success policies' impact on school leadership, teaching and student achievement (2016/18)
  • shed light on in-school variations and disparity in learner achievement (2016/18)
  • continue to focus on how Māori and English medium schools and early learning services promote success for those at risk of under achievement (2016/20)
  • better understand the impact of various interventions in improving performance and learning outcomes (2016/20)
  • support the realisation of all our goals by 2020.

Generating improvement and innovation (Goals 3-5)

ERO will provide education professionals, communities, parents and whānau with more accessible information so that they can all make a strong contribution to high quality education and learner outcomes.

Our work will support leaders, teachers and trustees to continuously evaluate the impact of what they do on learner outcomes. Schools, kura, early learning services and Kōhanga reo need strong leadership, evaluation expertise and processes that support purposeful data gathering, collaborative 

inquiry and decision making.

We know that leaders and teachers in highly effective learning institutions and communities work together to monitor and evaluate the impact of improvement strategies. Through our work we want to encourage more widespread and effective use of a range of achievement data to inform deliberate teaching strategies.

Over the next four years we aim to grow our reputation as thought leaders in evaluation. This will enable us to share and use our evaluative knowledge beyond the education system.

By 2020 we will generate:

  • very useful information about the contribution Communities of Learning are making to enhance pathways and achievement for all learners
  • more widespread effective teaching practice to raise educational achievement for learners 0-18 years
  • more alignment across the system by embedding evaluation indicators for early learning services and schools that inform initial teacher education and professional standards
  • greater capability and capacity in internal evaluation practice across the system
  • higher expectations from parents and whānau for their children's education by giving students and parents greater voice in the evaluation process and what they expect on behalf of their children.

Goal 3. Support collaborative effort across the system

ERO will continue to play a role in supporting Communities of Learning and will develop evaluative approaches that support CoLs to accelerate achievement, enhance learning pathways and better manage transitions. We will encourage parent and student voice in facilitating the growth of CoLs and encourage early learning services' participation. We will continue to provide evaluative information to support schools eligible for the Principal Recruitment Allowance.

Over the next four years we will:

  • publish effective practice case studies to reveal the contribution of enhanced learner pathways to improved outcomes (2016/17)
  • share stories about effective collaboration in Communities of Learning (2016/17)
  • continue to support developing Communities of Learning with workshops to identify and agree achievement challenges (2016/19)
  • develop, trial and model effective practice indicators to assist Communities of Learning to develop evaluation capability and capacity (2017/18)
  • develop and trial a methodology to evaluate Communities of Learning (2017/18).

Goal 4. Embed the evaluation indicators

The final evaluation indicators for schools were released in July 2016. They support evaluative processes and decision-making about the quality and effectiveness of education provision. They are evidence-based and describe what is important to achieve equity and excellence.

We will review the early learning service indicators using a similar approach to that taken with the school indicators. Our approach will ensure a seamless and coherent set of evaluation indicators that work across the system. We will advocate for these indicators to be reflected in the professional standards for teachers and the provision of initial teacher education.

We will develop resources to assist schools, kura, early learning services and Kōhanga reo to explore opportunities for innovation and delivery of a curriculum that enables our children to realise their full potential with the skills they need for study, work and lifelong learning.

Over the next four years we will:

  • revise and embed a comprehensive set of evaluation indicators for 0-18 years (2016/18)
  • develop digital and online resources that illustrate aspects of the indicators and effective pedagogical practice (2016/18)
  • position the indicators so as to influence the work of other agencies (2016/18)
  • continue to develop effective teaching and learning practice resources, responding to feedback and including links and visual evidence to make the resources more interactive and accessible to parents (2016/17)
  • develop Māori medium versions of key resources (2016/17)
  • revise our approach to Māori medium education in mainstream settings (2016/18)
  • produce effective teaching and learning practice publications; written for both English and Māori medium (2017/18)
  • develop a framework to evaluate the impact of the effective practice indicators on outcomes for learners 0-18 years (2018/19).

Goal 5. Build internal evaluation practice across the system

In November 2015, ERO and the Ministry of Education released a trial internal evaluation resource for schools. The resource was finalised in June 2016 and was designed to enable schools to understand how they can improve their teaching practice and make the most of internal evaluation.

ERO will develop additional resources to deepen the understanding of internal evaluation within the system. By embedding effective internal evaluation practice across the system we will influence the development of teaching practice and curriculum design for improved learner outcomes. Over the next four years we will:

  • develop resources that enable early learning services to undertake effective internal evaluation (2016/17)
  • evolve the internal evaluation guidance to reflect the increasing importance of Communities of Learning (2017/18)

Enhancing our capability and capacity (Goals 6-8)

By developing ERO's capability and capacity in evaluation and inquiry we will deliver on our purpose, achieve equity and excellence and generate improvement and innovation across the system.

Quality evaluation is ERO's lifeblood. We are developing a profession of highly skilled evaluators, fully equipped for the challenges of the role in the 21st Century. This means our review officers will have with the right mix of knowledge and skills, work in a highly supportive environment and have access to modern tools and resources.

Over the next four years we will enhance our professional practice so that our face-to-face engagement with leaders, managers, teachers and trustees is of a consistently high professional standard.

By 2020 we will have enhanced:

  • our capability and capacity in evaluation and inquiry, to the extent that we will be seen as a source of evaluation advice beyond the education system
  • our professional practice, so that through our interactions we help to build sector capability for internal evaluation and accelerate student learning
  • our organisational skills, knowledge and resources so that both our evaluative and corporate work is of a consistently high professional standard
  • our digital literacy and our capacity to operate in a digitised environment.

Goal 6. Implement our professional practice strategy

We will roll out our professional practice model and professional development programme to build adaptive evaluation practice so that our interactions help build sector capability for internal evaluation.

ERO's Professional Practice Strategy 2016-2018 is designed to reframe professional expectations and provide the infrastructure through which ERO evaluators can develop the knowledge and expertise required to be highly effective and adaptive.

During 2016/17 we will:

  • clearly articulate capabilities for high quality education evaluation in New Zealand
  • further develop professional pathways including access to post graduate qualifications in evaluation
  • provide opportunities for evaluators to engage in professional inquiry and research with the aim of building knowledge about effective evaluation practice
  • trial a post-graduate evaluation qualification.

In 2017/18 we will:

  • provide further professional leadership development that promotes individual and collective learning with ERO and ensures that our evaluators have access to high quality capability building expertise
  • continue engagement with the national and international evaluation community to share evaluation frameworks and approaches.
  • develop complementary regional and national induction programmes
  • review the effectiveness of the post graduate qualification.

Goal 7. Apply our operating model principles to our programmes of work

In 2015/16, ERO agreed a set of operating model design principles. To support the integration

of these design principles into the suite of projects currently under way, ERO has established a

Programme Co-ordination Office to monitor the progress of the projects and to ensure that the

design principles are met as the project progresses. The design principles are:

  • Leadership of ERO - We all lead by example
  • Process, design and impact - Our work is transparent, well understood and has a clearly intended impact
  • Communication - We communicate for impact
  • People and culture - Our people are our reputation
  • Data, information and knowledge management - We work in a digitised environment.

Over the next four years we will:

  • develop the Programme Co-ordination role to strengthen management of our programmes and projects (2016/17)
  • deliver on the operating model principles for data, information and design, in part by leveraging off the opportunities available to us through the Education Digital Strategy to develop our evaluative methodologies and frameworks (2017/19)
  • develop an information management strategy (2016/17) to enable the design of evaluation processes that can be readily digitised (2017/18)
  • update our Code of Conduct and related policies to ensure clarity, fairness and transparency (2016/17)
  • Continue to evolve our performance measurement framework and ensure alignment with system developments through the Education System Stewardship Work Programme (2016/18).

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Goal 8. Develop our corporate capability and supporting infrastructure

We will continue to develop our corporate capability and infrastructure to support our core business. As a relatively small government department we will be looking to leverage off the assets of other education agencies where this makes sense.

We will ensure appropriate recruitment, professional development, talent management and succession planning. As a member of the Social and Justice Sector Career Board and the Education System Career Board, ERO has a number of future leaders undertaking assessments to enhance their development. We will continue to support this undertaking and look for exchange opportunities among the education sector agencies to further develop leaders for the future. In so doing ERO will align to the Leadership Success Profile recently released through the State Service Commission.

Over the next four years we will:

  • complete a review and redevelopment of ERO's approach to induction at national and regional levels (2016/17)
  • ensure increasing levels of digital / IT capability in our workforce (ongoing)
  • develop the processes to shift the mix of our workforce (2016/17)
  • begin to change ERO's workforce mix by secondment from other agencies and education providers across the system (2017/18)
  • continue to develop our risk, assurance, security and privacy processes in line with government expectations (2016/20).

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Summary of appropriations

The table below summarises ERO's appropriations for output expenses and capital expenditure for 2015/16 (budget and forecast) and 2016/17. ERO is a small department (with a baseline of under $30 million) which works to influence other parts of the education system in the pursuit of improved learning outcomes. It prioritises its work based on where it will achieve the best result for children and students within its allocated funding.





Vote Education Review Office Appropriations





Evaluations of Early Childhood Education Services




ERO's independent evaluations are intended to achieve improvements in teaching and learning practices by assisting early childhood services to improve their capacity in internal evaluation, governance and leadership




Evaluations of Schools and other education service providers




ERO's independent evaluations are intended to achieve improvements in teaching and learning practices by assisting schools and other education service providers to improve their capacity in internal evaluation, governance and leadership




Accountability Reviews (M26)




Quality of education reports and services




ERO's system-wide evaluations are intended to achieve improvements in learner outcomes by influencing and informing on the development and implementation of education policy and practices




Education Review Office - Capital expenditure




This appropriation is intended to achieve the renewal and replacement of ERO's assets that supports the delivery of its services.




Total annual and permanent appropriations


In addition to Crown revenue, ERO receives payment for third party contract-based services and generates a small amount of revenue from rent recoveries. The level of revenue for contractual services is expected to be $1.6m in 2015/16 and $0.6m in 2016/17. The four-year forward baseline forecast remains at about $29m per year until 2019/20.

ERO will engage with the Treasury to transfer its annual output expense appropriation Quality of Education Reports and Services into the multi-category output class Accountability Reviews from 2017/18 onwards. This will simplify ERO's appropriation structure to just one appropriation and reflects the reality that much of our system-wide evaluations rely on information gathered during evaluations of individual schools and ECEs (i.e. outputs from the multi-category output class Accountability Reviews).

How ERO monitors its performance

System-wide evaluations (Quality of education reports and services)





Education Review Office Performance Measures Quality of Education Reports and Services





System-wide evaluations and related services


Up to 20


Number of education evaluations

Up to 20



Education evaluations are consistent with approved plans and procedures


New measure

New measure

Key audiences report that ERO's evaluations are informative and useful for identifying or planning improvements within the system or its component parts




Level of public satisfaction with ERO's Services (Kiwis Count)


Evaluations of education service providers

To assess the quality of its school and early childhood service reviews ERO will continue to use a moderation panel. The panel looks at a representative sample of reviews each year and looks at the levels of compliance against internal standard procedures, and the timeliness and consistency of ERO's reporting. This exercise also informs ongoing improvement in our processes.

To assess effectiveness, ERO will continue to undertake surveys to determine the extent to which schools and early childhood services have used external and internal evaluation processes to make improvements.

ERO also uses the Kiwis Count survey to assess the level of public awareness of, and satisfaction with, ERO's work (national evaluations and institution reviews). The survey is carried out by the State Services Commission.

Over the next four years we will see further adjustments in the number and nature of evaluations undertaken annually as we develop our approach to supporting Communities of Learning.

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2015/16 Budget



Education Review Office Performance Measures Accountability Reviews

Budget Standard



Evaluations of education service providers






Total number of evaluations of education service providers (includes evaluations of Early Childhood Education Services, Schools and other providers)






Percentage of education service providers that indicate ERO's evaluations are making a contribution to their decisions about how to improve learner outcomes




Level of public satisfaction with ERO's Services (Kiwis Count)




Early Childhood Education Services




Number of early childhood education services evaluations




ERO uses a moderation panel to assess levels of compliance with approved standard procedures for a sample of early childhood education service evaluations


80%, 90% and 98% respectively

85%, 96% and 100% respectively

Percentages of draft (near final) findings sent to early childhood education services for confirmation of accuracy and comment will meet target for reporting to the Minister within 20, 25 and 35 working days of the end of the last week on site

80%, 90% and 98% respectively





Percentage of early childhood service providers that indicate that ERO's evaluations are making a contribution to their decisions about how to improve learner outcomes





Percentage of early childhood services evaluated previously within the 2 year review cycle moving to the 3 year review cycle




Schools and other education service providers




Number of state schools education reviews


Up to 35


Number of homeschooling education reviews

Up to 35

Up to 25


Number of private school education reviews

Up to 25



ERO uses a moderation panel to assess levels of compliance with approved standard procedures for a sample of education review reports of schools and other education service providers


80%, 90% and 98% respectively

75%, 88% and 96% respectively

Percentages of draft (near final) findings sent to schools and other education service providers for confirmation of accuracy and comment will meet target for reporting to the Minister within 20, 25 and 35 working days of the end of the last week on site

80%, 90% and 98% respectively





Percentage of schools that indicate ERO's evaluations are making a contribution to their decisions about how to improve learner outcomes




Percentage of schools evaluated previously on the 1-2 year review cycle moving to the 3 year review cycle




Percentage of schools evaluated previously on the 3 year review cycle moving to the 4-5 year review cycle


Up to 100


Number of Communities of Learning reports

Up to 100



Communities of Learning reports are consistent with approved presentational standards and agreed terms of reference


Other matters

Risk management

ERO has been evolving its approach to risk management during 2015/16. Strategic risks are under

constant review with quarterly reporting as required to the Executive Leadership Team.

Many of ERO's operational risks are, to some extent, managed through participation in all-of- government initiatives. For example:

  • decisions about property are subject to consultation with the Government Property Group
  • purchases and procurement are subject to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) rules
  • information management security systems must be compliant with Protective Security Requirements and Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) guidance
  • the Government Chief Privacy Officer (GCPO) requires assurance of privacy management.

To ensure its legal compliance processes are efficient ERO uses ComplyWith - a software package that is commonly used across government for the purposes of surveying/informing staff.

People management (talent management at tier 2 and 3) is led by the State Services Commission (SSC) through the Justice and Social Sector Career Board, of which the Chief Executive is a member.

We are in discussion with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to share the services of its assurance manager to assist with our Privacy Capability Assessment for the GCIO.

Equal employment opportunities

In line with the New Zealand Public Service Equal Employment Opportunities Policy, ERO strives to:

  • treat people fairly and with respect, ensuring equality of access to opportunities (equality)
  • understand, appreciate and realise the benefits of individual differences (diversity).

ERO remains committed to integrating equality and diversity into all aspects of its business and has reflected this in its ongoing work plans.

The Te Uepu hui (for staff of Māori descent) and Moana Pasefika forum (for staff of Pacific descent) are examples of ERO's commitment to equal employment opportunities.

Relationship with the Public Service Association

ERO and the PSA continue to meet regularly at national and local levels as part of the Working Relationship Agreement. Both parties find these meetings useful.

various activities of kids - using lathe and gardening