Agape Aoga Amata - Papatoetoe - 14/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Agape Aoga Amata - Papatoetoe

How well placed is Agape Aoga Amata - Papatoetoe to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The service needs support to develop governance systems, management practices, the quality of the programme and consistency in teaching.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Agape Aoga Amata - Papatoetoe is a Samoan language service founded on the principles and values of the Independent Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The centre is licensed for 30 children including 8 up to two years of age.

The centre was purchased in 2015 when it was on a provisional licence. A full licence was granted at the end of 2015. Agape Aoga Amata operates in the grounds of the Samoan Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church (SISDAC) in Mangere and Papatoetoe. It is managed by the Alofa O Le Atua Trust. The management structure includes a general manager, the centre manager, the qualified supervisor, treasurer and a community/parent representative. The centre employs four teachers, three of whom are fully qualified.

There have been significant barriers to the centre becoming established and making progress. The management committee the Trust and teachers have focused on equipping an empty centre and establishing policy and management processes.

Good progress has been made. However, further improvement is needed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

Centre managers have worked hard to upgrade the centre to meet Ministry of Education expectations and to provide well for their community. Many systems and procedures have been developed. Managers have a clear expectation that teachers will continue to develop their practice. New systems to review and monitor programmes and procedures should include regular evaluation of the effectiveness of these policies and practices.

Teachers use gagana Samoa in their interactions with children. These discussions are understood by children. Teachers could have stronger expectations that children will respond in Samoan.

A clear vision statement and philosophy have been developed. A further step should be for the teachers to decide on a teaching and learning philosophy that reflects the community's and their own beliefs and knowledge about how they should support children's learning. Part of this development should be further establishing teachers' expectations about children's behaviour and social competence.

Teachers are beginning to develop a cohesive team and consolidate ways of working together. Assessment and new planning systems are established. Improving the quality of assessment records is an area for teachers to address.

The programme for the children up to two years of age is not operating well. The new environment for them is highly appropriate, accessible for children and well resourced. However, teachers reported that the roster limits continuity of care and education.

The centre environment clearly demonstrates the value and respect that the centre staff place on children's Pacific heritage and language. A new range of resources and furniture have been purchased. Teachers have focused on supporting literacy, mathematics and science in displays and posters. Increasing the focus on child led programmes would improve the programme.

A new staff appraisal process that includes the Practising Teacher Criteria, is about to be implemented. This should allow teachers to make judgements about their own practice, to set goals and to identify professional development needs.

Managers should now consider ways to build capability throughout the centre. Revisiting job descriptions with staff to explain lines of responsibilities within roles, could help to establish a learning culture in the centre. There could be more transparency by managers and the Trust about the future of the centre.

Key Next Steps

Next steps for the service include:

  • strengthening the teaching programme through shared observations and regular planning with a focus on child initiated play, children's interests and opportunities for creativity and child-led exploration

  • implementing the newly developed appraisal system that includes goal-setting and linked professional development

  • supporting staff professional practice through individual and group professional development

  • providing support for teachers to establish effective positive guidance strategies

  • improving health and safety procedures and practices

  • strengthening improvement focused internal evaluation processes and strategic planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Agape Aoga Amata - Papatoetoe completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to: 

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration. 

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance. To meet agreed accountabilities the service provider must ensure that:

  • the service is effectively governed and managed in collaboration with parents and families and the adults providing education and care

  • plan, implement and evaluate a curriculum that is designed to enhance children's learning and development, and that responds to the learning interests, strengths and capabilities of children

  • provide a curriculum that supports children's developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour.

Managers must also ensure that health and safety requirements are met with regard to systems, procedures, and environment including:

  • more rigour in the sleep monitoring system

  • more precise information in the nappy change procedure

  • the review of accident and medication records and teachers' understanding about their importance

  • permission slips for excursions showing the ratio of adults to children, comprehensive risk assessment and management and provision for children remaining in the centre

  • securing all heavy furniture

  • improved drainage in the outdoor area.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, 43 (1) (a) (i) (iii), 45 PF13, 46 HS1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 17, 18, 27, 28, 47(1) (a) (b)(ii), (c) (i), C2,10; GMA5,6,7.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Agape Aoga Amata - Papatoetoe will be within two years.

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 June 2017 

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning. 

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service 


Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17 Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

14 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

February 2008

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.