Akoteu Toonga Fungani - 29/05/2015

1 Evaluation of Akoteu Toonga Fungani

How well placed is Akoteu Toonga Fungani to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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


Akoteu Toonga Fungani is a Tongan language immersion service in Glen Innes, Auckland. It is licensed to provide education and care for 30 children, including up to five children aged less than two years of age. Most of the children attending have Tongan heritage.

A separate indoor play space is provided for younger children to spend some of their day. They mix well with the older children at other times, supported by their teachers and older children.

The centre operates as a charitable trust under the Taka He Monu Methodist Church, which has strong connections with the local Tongan community. A board of trustees includes representatives from the church, parents, and staff. The number of qualified, registered teachers on the staff team has doubled since the last review.

The 2012 ERO report recommended that managers and teachers improve:

  • partnerships with families
  • resources to provide greater challenge for children
  • policies, procedures and systems
  • teacher appraisals and access to professional development
  • self review and strategic planning.

Centre leaders have responded positively to these recommendations.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy and programme values Tongan language and culture. Children are provided with opportunities to be immersed in their own culture and to develop an appreciation and understanding other cultures. They confidently communicate in more than one language. Teachers are competent speakers of the Tongan language and include English, te reo Māori and the Samoan language in the programme.

Children are secure and settled. They are confident and know centre routines well. Supportive, positive interactions among children and with teachers have fostered a strong sense of well-being and belonging. Infants and toddlers mix well with other children and are well supported to become more independent.

The centre programme is responsive to the interests of the children. Learning stories clearly show children’s dispositions and what they are learning. Children participate well at group times. Parents are supportive of, and involved in, the programme.

Music is a strong focus. Drums are popular with the children, inspiring song and movement. Background music contributes to the atmosphere in the centre and links well to Tongan culture.

Teachers have implemented an effective transition to school programme that focuses on developing literacy through oracy. They could now consider how they might provide more physical challenges for older children in the outdoor environment. More opportunities for children to share their creative thinking and learning would also help extend children’s language development.

A staff appraisal system has been implemented and now needs to be improved to meet Teachers’ Council requirements. There are good support systems in place for provisionally registered teachers and professional learning. The involvement of one teacher in post graduate leadership studies should support the sustainability of the centre.

The manager and head teacher have worked with the board to develop a policy framework, strategic plan and personnel management systems. Self-review processes could be strengthened through the use of indicators of quality practice. Better links between staff appraisal, self review and strategic planning would improve cohesion across centre operations.

Key Next Steps

ERO recommends that centre leaders:

  • continue to strengthen the processes of teacher appraisal, strategic planning and self review
  • provide more resources to offer physical challenges for older children in the outdoor environment
  • promote more opportunities for children to share their creative thinking and learning to develop more complex language skills.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Akoteu Toonga Fungani 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 current practices, the service should:

  • appoint and provide appropriate training for a privacy officer
  • develop policies and procedures to ensure information about children and their privacy is protected.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Akoteu Toonga Fungani will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 May 2015

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


Glen Innes, 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 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17

Girls 13

Ethnic composition





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 2015

Date of this report

29 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012


Education Review

February 2009


Supplementary Review

March 2007

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.