Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale - 10/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale

Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale How well placed isto 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.

Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale requires support to improve management systems and processes, self review, leadership, and the centre’s curriculum.

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


Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre is a community based, Samoan language early childhood centre offering care and education for children from birth to five years of age. It is licensed for 50 children, including up to 12 children under two years old.

The purpose built centre is located on the Pacific Islands Church grounds near the Avondale township. The Aoga has separate spaces for children under and over two years of age. Children and staff at the Aoga are predominantly Samoan.

The Aoga is governed by the Aoga Amata Pacific Islands Church Avondale Trust board which provides governance and strategic direction. Since ERO’s 2012 review, a legal matter relating to the church has affected Aoga leadership and management, and has hindered progress towards the achievement of its strategic goals.

ERO’s 2012 report noted children’s strong sense of belonging to the Aoga and the respectful and calm interactions between teachers and children. The report also identified several areas for development and improvement relating to the centre’s programme and management practices. While some improvements have been achieved, overall progress has been minimal. Self-review processes have not been documented. ERO and the manager agree that whole centre professional development is needed urgently to address concerns identified in this report and to help teachers to improve educational outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

Strengths of the Aoga include:

  • warm relationships and affirming teacher interactions with children
  • a strong philosophy that promotes Samoan language, culture and identity, and Christian principles
  • positive relationships between teachers and parents, and teachers’ responsiveness to parents’ cultural beliefs and aspirations
  • the use of an inclusive appraisal process that provides useful feedback to teachers, helping them to reflect more critically on their practice against the criteria for registered teachers.

Key Next Steps

The manager and trust board take responsibility for ensuring Aoga directions and operations support the vision and purpose of the Aoga. They recognise the need for improved management of administrative tasks and are planning to employ a suitably skilled person to improve administration functions.

The Trust Board also recognises that it must act with urgency to:

  • improve professional practice and all other aspects of centre operations, especially those related to bringing about positive outcomes for children
  • develop and implement an annual plan that clearly outlines actions to be taken for achieving the goals of the strategic plan
  • develop a systematic plan to ensure that policies are reviewed regularly
  • develop and implement a robust self-review process that clearly identifies and documents areas of good performance and areas where further improvement is needed
  • account for and report to staff and the community about the use of all Aoga funds.

In order to improve management practices, the manager and supervisor must ensure that:

  • children’s care and education are the key focus of the Aoga
  • learning from teacher professional development is used to best effect to bring about sustained improvement in teaching practices and in the programme provided for children
  • ensure that teacher professional development is informed by areas of need identified in teachers’ performance appraisals.

The centre’s management team should also ensure that teachers work together to:

  • evaluate the impact of curriculum planning decisions on children’s learning
  • develop teaching strategies that encourage children to explore, ask their own questions, and lead their own learning
  • further develop an environment that supports and fosters learning through children’s interests and ideas.

The board, manager and supervisor should establish robust systems and processes to review and improve all areas of centre operations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Select the assurance statement based on the regulations the service is licensed under

  • 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to the education wellbeing of children. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance by having:

  • a documented, ongoing self review process to help the service maintain and improve the quality of all aspects of education and care, including provisions for children’s health and safety
  • a curriculum that is informed by assessment, planning and evaluation, both documented and undocumented, and a demonstrated understanding of children’s learning, their interests, whānau and life contexts
  • an annual plan to guide the service’s operation
  • effective human resource management practices, including those for inducting new staff and for managing the police vetting of untrained staff
  • written records of fire and earthquake drills.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008,

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 Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale will be within two years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 June 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26

Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Samoan 45

Tongan 1

Percentage of qualified teachers

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


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

10 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 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.