Aiga Salevalasi Charitable Trust - 31/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Aiga Salevalasi Charitable Trust

How well placed is Aiga Salevalasi Charitable Trust to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Aiga Salevalasi has made some progress with support from external advisers. Ongoing assistance is essential to sustain and build on recent useful developments in the centre and to ensure that positive outcomes for children are promoted consistently.

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

Background

Aiga Salevalasi is a Samoan language based centre located next to Glen Eden Primary School. The philosophy of the Aiga Salevalasi Charitable Trust Preschool promotes the Samoan language, culture and identity which is embedded in a Christian ethos and belief in God. It is licensed to provide full day care and education for 35 children including up to 10 under two years old. The centre caters mostly for Samoan families with small numbers of other Pacific groups, Māori and Pākehā on the roll.

In 2015 ERO identified concerns relating to the quality of programme management and implementation. Management and self-review processes needed improvement and some health and safety matters had to be addressed. The centre leaders have worked to address identified issues but acknowledge ongoing improvement is necessary in some areas. They have satisfactorily addressed most of the health and safety matters.

Since 2015 there have been several staff changes. Although the centre now has fewer adults, five of the nine staff are registered teachers. They have been involved in a number of professional development opportunities. Staff are still developing their knowledge about effective strategies for teaching and learning in early childhood.

The centre is governed by an Advisory Council, an Executive Board and a Management Group. The centre is awaiting funding to implement plans for an extensive renovation and upgrade to the premises. 

The Review Findings

The centre provides an inclusive environment for children. Children are friendly and happily settled in the centre. They show a sense of belonging and share positive relationships with each other and with teachers. Children benefit from teachers' ongoing use of gagana Samoa, and opportunities to learn some te reo Māori through mat time activities. While children are able to make choices about their play, the activities and resources are not always being set up and presented in ways that are sufficiently challenging to extend their imagination, curiosity or problem-solving skills.

New furniture and resources, and some changes to the environment have improved experiences for children under two. Teachers interact warmly with infants. Planned renovations should further improve the babies' environment and learning opportunities.

Teachers play with children consistently, care for them well, ask questions and talk about their shared play. They plan programmes for children as three groups (infants, toddlers and young children). The centre manager should review the extent to which a term approach to topic planning is responsive to children's individual interests and extends their learning effectively. While teachers evaluate programmes each month, they have yet to critically reflect on the quality of their teaching practices and resulting learning outcomes for children.

Leaders have developed many strategies to communicate with parents and families. After consultation, they have continued with digital options for families to know about children's learning, and maintained portfolio records. Teachers now need to ensure that portfolios are about recording and assessing children's learning, rather than documenting programme activities.

Currently the centre has a three-tiered management structure. This has been implemented over the past twelve months. ERO recommends that centre managers review this structure over the next two years to ensure that it is an efficient and effective structure for the centre.

Leaders and staff have reviewed a number of practices, documents and systems. They now need to become more evaluative in their review processes to reflect on the effectiveness of their decisions and the impact they have on outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

In order to be better placed to provide positive outcomes for children, the practices, systems and documentation that centre leaders should improve include the following.

Curriculum:

  • Focusing programmes on children's individual strengths and interests and enhancing the range of resources that will challenge children and extend their thinking

  • Improving teachers' use of strategies to engage children in conversations

  • Planning deliberately for literacy and numeracy experiences in the context of play

  • Improving assessment narratives and rationalising the number of photos in portfolios. 

Personnel:

  • Continuing to build teachers' capability and programme leadership responsibilities

  • Strengthening internal evaluation with more succinct documentation and a focus on effectiveness and outcomes for children

Governance and other matters:

  • Continuing to consider and review the efficacy of the three-tiered governance/management structure

  • Establishing an effective policy review cycle to update and rationalise policies

  • Considering the potential privacy implications of the centre's Facebook page

  • Becoming familiar with and implementing changes related to new health and safety requirements.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that owners, managers and staff continue to work with external professional development providers to:

  • develop and implement an action plan to address the next steps identified in this report and guide ongoing improvements, and evaluate the outcomes.

  • sustain and build on recent developments.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Aiga Salevalasi Charitable Trust 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. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Aiga Salevalasi Charitable Trust will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

31 August 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 

Location

Glen Eden, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20268

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

36

Gender composition

Boys 22 Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Tongan
other

2
5
23
3
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

31 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Supplementary Review

February 2012

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.