Conductive Education Waikato Unit - 30/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Conductive Education Waikato Unit

How well placed is Conductive Education Waikato Unit 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.


Conductive Education Waikato Unit is located in Hamilton and provides early intervention and education for children from infancy to six years of age who have motor disorders. The centre is governed by the Trust and is affiliated to the New Zealand Foundation for Conductive Education. It is licensed for 24 children, including 12 up to the age of two years. It operates learning sessions in small groups for children with similar physical capabilities. It also provides individualised specialist therapy and support for children. At the time of this review, the roll of 19 included six Māori children and two children from other nationalities.

The centre manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the centre. The staff includes overseas trained conductors, early childhood educators, an early intervention teacher, an occupational therapist, conductive education assistants and an office administrator.

The centre's philosophy focuses on the holistic development of the children to achieve their goals based on parents' aspirations, and in collaboration with whānau and professional partners. The centre believes in providing children with the earliest intervention through conductive education, coaching and therapy for their best possible start.

The Review Findings

The principles and practices of Conductive Education are effectively integrated with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum to promote positive and personalised learning opportunities for Māori and all children. The curriculum is based on the centre’s philosophy that all children can learn.There is a strong focus on developing children’s individual motor and social skills. Innovative practices and therapies support children’s learning and development. The curriculum is responsive and children are grouped appropriately for learning needs. Children benefit from a well-resourced environment and have many opportunities to engage and learn through play, therapy and exploration.

Teachers and conductors know their children well, use a range of assessments to inform detailed individualised planning and are skilled and deliberate in responding to children's individual needs. There are warm, trusting and compassionate relationships between adults and children. Teachers are focused on building children’s understanding through rich oral language and have a holistic approach to children's learning, well-being and care. They work well in partnerships with parents and whānau to support learning at home. The centre provides individualised support for some very young children who usually attend with their parents for shorter sessions. Children participate in quality learning that challenges and extends their physical, emotional and cognitive development.

Leaders have clear guidelines and practices in place to build and sustain successful partnerships for learning and positive outcomes for Māori and all children. The centre manager and leader of learning work collaboratively together to lead the teaching team. Leaders prioritise provision for professional learning to develop teacher confidence, capability and leadership expertise. There is strong liaison with external agencies to support children’s learning needs and therapies. Leaders work in partnership with whānau, schools and support agencies to enable positive transitions. Children access quality learning support based on their individual needs.

Trustees are knowledgeable and committed to upholding the vision, values and philosophy of the centre. There is a mix of experienced and new trustees, who have clear roles and responsibilities. They have high levels of relational trust with the centre manager and are kept well informed of all centre operations through regular reporting. Consultation with parents has enabled the development of a shared vision, mission and philosophy for the centre. There is strong documentation to guide practices, including strategic and annual planning and policy review. Children have equitable opportunities to learn through specialised support and programmes.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for leaders and teachers are to:

  • review centre’s curriculum and documentation to further integrate culturally responsive practices

  • further develop and strengthen the framework for internal evaluation to enhance outcomes for learners and sustainability of practices across the centre

  • continue to develop teachers' knowledge and confidence to implement the revised Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and te reo me ona tikanga in planning and practice.

  • review the current appraisal system so it aligns to the Standards for the Teaching Profession and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for teachers of Māori Learners

  • ensure centre manager has a current performance management agreement and is appraised annually.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Conductive Education Waikato Unit 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 Conductive Education Waikato Unit will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

30 October 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 12 Boys 7

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

August 2017

Date of this report

30 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

November 2010

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.