Coatesville Learning Centre - 10/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Coatesville Learning Centre

How well placed is Coatesville Learning Centre 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.


Coatesville Learning Centre is a purpose-built, spacious service in a semi-rural setting north of Auckland. It is owned by the Evolve Education Group and is licensed for 50 children, including up to 20 under two years old.

The Evolve organisation provides a policy and management framework and a range of support systems, dependent on the needs of each service. Occasional cluster meetings with other Evolve centres provide a support network for centre leaders.

Daily centre operations are delegated to the centre manager. Two head teachers take overall responsibility for planning and leading programmes in the Kiwi room for children up to three years of age and in the Pukeko room for older children. Six staff members are registered teachers. Most staff, including the centre manager, are newly appointed.

ERO's 2013 review identified good management systems and professional teaching practices. Children were well engaged in the learning programme and staff were supported to implement the centre's philosophy. The centre was well placed to make ongoing improvements.

This review was part of a cluster of four early childhood reviews in the Evolve Education Group.

The Review Findings

Positive relationships between staff and children continue to be a strong feature of the centre. Children's learning progress is enhanced by appropriate routines and the centre's attractive natural environment. A new centre philosophy was developed in 2015. The new centre leaders are working collaboratively with staff to implement and evaluate the learning programme in relation to this philosophy.

Children engage confidently with each other and with teachers, sharing their interests and ideas. They play enthusiastically and have access a good variety of resources to support their learning. Independent learning opportunities are embedded in the programme.

Children are capable learners and communicators. They can play for extended periods without adult intervention. Children are most engaged where teachers have set up provocative and challenging activities and equipment. These learning prompts extend children's problem-solving and inquiry skills. Centre leaders and teachers are reviewing the programme to ensure that all areas of play enable children to gain a sense of purpose and achievement.

Communication with parents and the community also continue to be a strength. Parents are very welcome in the centre and are encouraged to share their aspirations and knowledge of their children with staff. A recent focus on primary caregiving for infants is providing a greater sense of security and belonging for the very youngest of learners. Transition to school has also been a special focus for staff and parents with the useful involvement of local primary school teachers.

Teachers observe and respond to children individually. They collate information about each child's participation in learning activities in personalised online portfolios. Centre leaders agree that teachers could do more to recognise children's learning dispositions through their documented learning stories, and use these records to make learning progress more visible in portfolios and in ongoing programme planning.

The Evolve Education Group is in a phase of growth and development. A newly appointed Chief Operations Officer is leading the management team to develop a strategic vision and rebrand groups of centres while maintaining the autonomy of each service. The organisation has a strong commitment to consulting the community of each service, to the professional development of staff and to implementing meaningful bicultural practices.

Evolve leaders recognise that they now need to establish clear expectations for the quality of practices and documentation in relation to staff performance and outcomes for children. They intend to provide individual mentoring for centre leaders and implement quality control processes to improve the transparency of each centre's performance.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that next key steps for teacher development could include:

  • identifying children's individual strengths and dispositions, to plan more deliberate responses to support their learning

  • continuing to evaluate how effectively the learning environment and resources support the enactment of the centre's philosophy

  • continuing to build the confidence of staff to use te reo and tikanga Māori through their planning and in daily interactions with children. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Coatesville Learning Centre 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.

In order to improve practice, centre leaders should review procedures for documenting the analysis and management of risks, including ratios and people responsible, prior to approving excursions outside the centre.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Coatesville Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 March 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 


Coatesville, Auckland

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 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 34 Girls 33

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

January 2017

Date of this report

10 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

August 2013

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.