Akoteu Matavai Sila'i (Matavai Silai Pre School) - 18/04/2019

1 Evaluation of Akoteu Matavai Sila'i (Matavai Silai Pre School)

How well placed is Akoteu Matavai Sila'i (Matavai Silai Pre School) to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Akoteu Matavai Sila'i (Matavai Silai Pre School) is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Akoteu Matavai Sila'i (Matavai Silai Pre School) is a full immersion Tongan centre operating under the umbrella of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga. The centre was established in 2009 in the grounds of the church complex.

This infant and toddler centre is licensed for 15 children. It operates alongside the Akoteu Matavai Silai centre for older children. Children of Tongan heritage make up the majority of the roll. The remainder are either Māori or from other Pacific groups.

The centre's philosophy promotes Tongan language and culture, and Christian values. Children's learning programmes are based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The unique place of tangata whenua is evident in practice.

Akoteu Matavai Sila'i is governed by a management committee of church members and staff, as well as parent representatives. A centre manager, with the support of an office administrator, is responsible for daily operations. This akoteu employs two qualified teachers, including a head teacher to oversee daily teaching operations. All teachers are fluent in Tongan and English and are long-serving members of staff.

The 2015 ERO review was under the centre's former name, Akoteu Tuingapapai O Uesile (Fanau Valevale).

The Review Findings

Children’s sense of wellbeing and belonging is affirmed in a learning environment where the Tongan language, culture and identity are valued and promoted. Children's social and emotional development is nurtured through positive, respectful relationships, and strong connections with teachers and their peers.

Infants and toddlers benefit from nurturing and individualised care. They are respected and encouraged to develop independence. Care moments are warm and unhurried. Infants and toddlers are supported to develop social and emotional competence through tuakana/teina relationships. Children experience a well-resourced learning environment that supports their learning.

Teachers plan programmes based on Te Whāriki that respond to children’s interests. Children benefit from excursions and aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme. Teachers could consider better ways to promote literacy and mathematics as part of children's play.

Teachers work collaboratively. They know children and fanau well. Trusting and respectful relationships encourage families to participate in the programme and support children to have a strong sense of belonging. Well-presented portfolios capture children's individual and group learning experiences.

Centre governance and leadership is supportive of fanau. Tongan values guide the centre's strategic direction. The management committee, leaders and teachers share a strong commitment to the centre's philosophy. Leaders promote working relationships based on trust, respect, and collaboration. Staff have opportunities for professional growth through well targeted external professional development.

The management committee has prioritised the sustainability of the centre so that it will continue to grow. The committee appreciates the active role of the church to support children and fanau. There is a sound policy framework for centre management. Establishing effective processes for internal evaluation and teacher appraisal would help to guide centre development and improve learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • referencing Te Whāriki, the centre values, and Tongan language and culture in the philosophy to reflect current practice

  • continuing professional development that focuses on developing children's learning dispositions, particularly through discovery and creativity

  • developing long-term and annual plans that are evaluated to monitor progress over time

  • implementing a teachers' appraisal process aligned to the Teaching Council requirements

  • improving internal evaluation processes by including indicators of good practice to help teachers measure quality.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Akoteu Matavai Sila'i (Matavai Silai Pre School) 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.

To improve management practices, teachers should rationalise policies and clearly distinguish between policy and procedure.

ERO identified two areas of non-compliance. To address these, managers must ensure that:

  • staff selection and appointment procedures are consistent with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, and a system of regular appraisal is implemented
  • all children’s workers who have access to children are safety checked every three years in accordance with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008 GMA7.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

18 April 2019

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


Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

15 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 8 Boys 5

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

18 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2015

Education Review

November 2011

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.