Conductive Education Wellington - 07/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Conductive Education Wellington

How well placed is Conductive Education Wellington 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.

Background

Conductive Education Wellington is a special education service licensed for up to 12 children including up to four under two. The centre is situated in the grounds of Naenae Primary School. It is governed by the Conductive Education Wellington Trust, which is associated with the New Zealand Foundation for Conductive Education.

The roll has grown to capacity since the 2013 ERO review. Since that time building extensions, enhanced access to digital technology and a sensory garden have improved services and opportunities for children to learn, and extended spaces for visiting parents.

The centre vision is to teach children with motor disorders a way of living that provides them with skills to get the most out of life. The previous report identified a need for staff to further develop assessment, evaluative self review, planning and appraisal processes. While progress has been made, aspects of these areas require further development or refinement.

Professional leadership is provided by the conductor who is supported by a qualified early childhood teacher and specialist assistants. The centre staff work closely with several agencies and organisations to support the delivery of its programmes.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO. It continues to work in close partnership with parents and whānau to provide good quality education and care for children.

The Review Findings

Conductive Education Wellington is well placed to sustain ongoing improvement and promote positive outcomes for all children. It has responded well to the previous ERO review and strengthened some processes to benefit children.

Children learn in a positive affirming atmosphere. Teachers, teacher aides and conductors interact with children respectfully and provide a caring and supportive environment appropriate to children with diverse needs, dispositions and abilities.

A holistic approach to learning for each child combines the conductive education methods with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The programmes are focused on children developing their physical and cognitive skills and abilities through a wide range of opportunities and planned experiences.

Teachers develop programmes that are responsive to the abilities, needs and aspirations of each child. The conductive programmes provide challenge and are planned in consultation with parents and staff, who meet to discuss individual children’s progress and needs.

Individual conductive education plans (CEPs) record needs, interests, goals and strategies and are reviewed twice a year. A focus on promoting perseverance, independence, success and a strong sense of belonging is evident. Staff regularly reflect on the programmes.

Teaching and learning deliberately integrates additional learning experiences to extend children’s development and potential. Learners enjoy the specialist music lessons, art exploration, sensory and tactile spaces and equipment. Community-based excursions for swimming and riding and planned trips to cultural centres and animal parks, extend children’s learning and promote their wellbeing.

Learning stories vary in depth and quality. They celebrate children’s achievements and growing confidence through challenge and extension of their learning. A new assessment approach is being developed to record what learning is happening and next steps. The lead teacher is developing group and individual learning plans to strengthen links with assessment.

Teachers should continue to develop their understanding and use of assessment and planning by using an approach that incorporates Te Whāriki principles and goals and conductive education plans.

Māori and Pacific cultures are embraced and celebrated. This is done through planned programmes, excursions, festivals and provision for inclusion of the child’s culture and parents’ aspirations. Children under two are well catered for with appropriate programmes and teaching developed for their specific interests, needs and abilities.

Parents and whānau have well developed learner-centred partnerships with centre staff. Parent feedback to ERO and the centre reflects high levels of satisfaction with the care, learning connections and relationships between families and the centre.

Well-planned and considered transition programmes help develop children’s confidence and wellbeing as they move into and out of the centre. A special programme supports transition for children moving into mainstream education.

Self-review practices have improved through the use of professional learning and development (PLD) and structured processes to enhance the quality of teaching and outcomes for children. A recent review of communications including input from parents and whānau, has improved the quality and responsiveness of processes in this area to benefit children. All staff should continue to develop a shared understanding of evidence-based internal evaluation.

Significant and planned initiatives, including study and PLD, promote leadership and increased alignment of conductive programmes with the wider education expectations of the centre. An external mentor programme is being developed to support the lead teacher in her curriculum leadership role.

Teachers are supported to improve their learning and develop their professional capability through study and PLD. Some aspects of the staff appraisal processes such as goal setting have developed since the previous ERO review.

A more robust appraisal cycle and framework needs to be implemented for all teachers and assistants. This should include performance goals related to centre priorities for children, the use of practising teacher criteria, observations and follow-up discussions during the year, and evaluative feedback at the end of the year.

The trust has formalised a strategic vision defining strategies and conditions for achieving expected outcomes and results for children, their carers, parents and whānau. Trustees receive an annual report on activities and operations. Trustees and leaders should regularly review and evaluate how well the centre programmes and practices meet the desired outcomes and results outlined in its strategic plan.

Some centre policies are not regularly reviewed or current so they provide an up-to-date framework for decisions and procedures. ERO affirms trustee’s plans to develop a more robust and consistent policy framework and review process.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and trustees acknowledge that continued development of processes and practices is required, including:

  • assessment of learning to inform planning
  • strengthened appraisal procedures
  • evaluative self review
  • a coherent policy framework with a systematic review process
  • annual planning with more explicit links between expected centre results, and the annual goals of leaders, teachers and teacher aides.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

7 March 2016

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

Location

Naenae, Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

55360

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

12 children, including up to 4 aged under 2

Service roll

13

Gender composition

Boys 7, Girls 6

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Other ethnic groups

3

5

3

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

7 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

 

Education Review

March 2010

 

Education Review

September 2006

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.