Conductive Education Wellington - 18/01/2019

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 12 children including four children up to two years.

Situated on the grounds of Naenae Primary School, an open plan learning environment with specialist areas, caters for group and individual activities. Longstanding volunteer trustees provide governance.

The centre philosophy emphasises supporting children with motor disorders to reach their full potential. The application of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, together with the Conductive Education's philosophy, provides a focus on children's holistic care and education. Respectful relationships between whānau and staff continue to encourage positive outcomes for learners.

The centre has experienced some change to staff since the March 2016 ERO report. In addition, staff roles and responsibilities have been reviewed. This has resulted in the appointment of a centre manager and lead teacher of curriculum in 2017. A long serving conductor leads and implements the Conductive philosophy.

The previous ERO report identified a number of areas for ongoing development. These included assessment for learning, appraisal, self review and annual planning. Progress in these areas has not been sufficient and these remain a priority for improvement.

The Review Findings

Children participate and learn in a rich and responsive curriculum that extends their learning and development. Through well considered local excursions children experience the therapeutic benefits of aquatic activities, contact with animals and community interactions.

Staff know children well. They are welcoming and inclusive of the greater community that supports the development of each child. Individualised activities, both sensory and hands on promote children’s physical and cognitive development. Respectful and highly valued interactions between staff and children are sensitive to each child's changing needs and preferences.

Careful coordination of agencies ensures children and their families are well supported. Children and their whānau experience well-considered transitions into, within and beyond the centre. This fosters children's sense of belonging and security. The role of the conductor is integral to this process. Strong advocacy promotes positive outcomes for children and their whānau. This includes accessing specialised equipment for children to engage in their environment and creating tools that help children to attain levels of independence.

Learning-focused interactions support planning that aligns to whānau aspirations. Parents are encouraged and respected for the contribution they make to the learning within the centre and at home. Close and regular communication occurs and progress is celebrated as part of daily interactions.

Infants and toddlers experience attentive care. One-to-one interactions carefully consider children’s temperament and interests. Teachers are affirming and positive within a calm and unhurried learning environment. Interactive routines encourage learning. Literacy and numeracy are promoted through music and rhyme.

Portfolios show teachers noticing and recognising children's learning and progress. Teachers use Te Whāriki to design the learning programme for children, with an emphasis on belonging | mana whenua, to deepen their connections to the Conductive Education Wellington whānau. A strengths-based approach guides practice. Co-constructed goals feature as part of the Conductive Education Plan (CEP) and form the basis for the child's care, learning and development. ERO and leaders agree that a key next step is to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation practices. This should include whānau feedback about their child's interests and learning goals aligned to Te Whāriki. Clearly identifying the teaching strategies planned, should better support the extension of children's learning.

Kaupapa Māori and reo are evident in the learning environment. This includes manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and aroha being enacted. Leaders, staff and volunteers should continue to develop their shared understanding of Māori concepts. In addition, using the strengths within the centre's Māori community should extend their response to language, culture and identity.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. They regularly reflect on aspects of their practice to guide improvement. ERO and leaders agree that a key next step is to develop their understanding and use of internal evaluation to better know the impact of practice on outcomes for children and inform resourcing decisions.

An appraisal process has been implemented and aligns with the centre's philosophy. Further development is required to clearly align teacher appraisal with Teaching Council requirements. This should contribute positively to the centre’s strategic priorities to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

The board and leaders are improvement focused and continue to work on clarifying roles and responsibilities. Board members are highly supportive of the service. Leaders and teachers have a strong commitment to teaching and learning that contributes to positive outcomes for all children. The strategic plan provides some direction for the centre and action plans articulate the work ahead. Further consideration should be given to developing goals that are clear, specific and measurable. This should include how to more effectively support the new leader to continue to build an increased understanding of operational requirements for this service that promote sustainability and improvement.

A key next step is to continue to strengthen the annual plan of work. Timeframes, clarity of roles with resourcing that aligns to priority actions are required to guide practice at all levels. This should support clear direction of expectations each year that support the strategic goals and enable leaders and trustees to more clearly measure impact of resources, teaching and learning programmes.

Key Next Steps

Priority areas to strengthen include:

  • assessment for learning

  • internal evaluation

  • appraisal

  • annual planning.

Trustees should also ensure the centre manager is supported to build leadership capability and further develop robust systems and processes for sustainability.

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.

To improve practice the service provider should:

  • ensure that the Police vetting status of all staff is monitored and actioned as required in the Education Act 1989
  • undertake a systematic cycle of policy review which reflects current best practice.

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.

Alan Wynyard Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

18 January 2019

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

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

15

Gender composition

Male 9, Female 6

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

7
4
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

18 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

March 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.