Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata - 04/11/2016

1 Evaluation of Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata

How well placed is Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata 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.


Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata previously known as King's Fanau A'oga Amata provides a Samoan/English bilingual early childhood learning service. Christian values underpin the service's philosophy and teaching approaches.

The service provider is the Napier and Hastings Samoan Assembly of God Early Childhood Incorporated. The a'oga operates from King's House Church also known as King's Harvest Centre. The a'oga has previously operated as King's Upu Amata Early Childhood Centre, King's Upu Amata Early Childhood Centre Incorporated and Upu Amata Early Childhood Service. Since 2010 the a'oga has been closed, re-opening in 2013 as Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata.

Governance and management has been the responsibility of the trust board that is elected from church and community members of the Napier Samoan Assembly of God. Several trustees have served on the boards of both a'oga.

The trust board employs a centre manager, a head teacher and supervisor. Seven staff are registered teachers and are supported by additional staff. Transport is provided to help children attend the a'oga.

The last ERO review of this a'oga was a supplementary review in 2010. The positive practices that were acknowledged at that time have not been sustained.

In 2010 ERO also identified a significant number of areas for improvement. These included assessment, programme planning and evaluation, support for children's learning, strategic and annual planning, and self review. Several matters needed to be addressed to meet legal requirements and remain areas of concern.

During 2014 the a'oga was placed on a provisional licence by the Ministry of Education (MOE). Since that time the a'oga has received external support to help address concerns identified by the MOE in relation to governance and management. Ongoing support is essential.

The Review Findings

The a'oga was established in response to families' aspirations, to provide a gagana Samoa context for children's care and education. Teachers are also conscious of the place of Māori as tangata whenua, and the need to support the cultural identity of tamariki Māori.

Teachers have recently made some improvements in noticing children's interests and in programme planning. Some teachers model good practice in their interactions with children. However, the programme for children does not yet reflect the expectations of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

External professional advice has not resulted in sustainable improvements to support consistently positive outcomes for children. Effective systems and a professional work environment that could help teachers to implement good quality practices have not yet been established. Collaborative partnerships between the trustees, manager, teachers and families are not yet apparent.

Next steps to support improved teaching and learning include:

  • reviewing the a'oga philosophy to more clearly include a focus on high quality teaching practices and learning outcomes for children

  • ensuring the learning environments are well resourced

  • professional support and appraisal for all staff that results in improved practice and shared understandings about high quality early childhood care and education

  • professional support for the manager in his leadership role to support collaborative relationships, reflective professional practice and curriculum development.

Centre managers have identified significant areas of non-compliance with legal requirements and a 2016 Ministry of Education audit found that financial management and reporting were inadequate. Some progress has been made in strengthening financial management systems. Improvements that are needed in the a'oga include the development of:

  • robust systems for monitoring procedures for children's health and safety

  • policies and procedures to reflect legal requirements, particularly in relation to employment practices and the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • financial planning and management, including sharing annual audit reports with the public

strategic planning, and self-review systems that guide ongoing improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata 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

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to:

  • up-to-date policies, procedures and provision for health and safety

  • governance and management, including financial management, and personnel and employment practices

  • curriculum planning and implementation

  • self review.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C1-9, PF4, HS31, GMA6,7

Education (ECS) Regulations 2008, 43(1a), 46(1a,2), 47(1).

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassesses the licence of Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

4 November 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

48 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 20

Ethnic composition




Cook Island Māori







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

September 2016

Date of this report

4 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Previous reviews as:King's Upu Amata Early Childhood Centre

Supplementary Review

August 2010

Supplementary Review

May 2009

Education Review

May 2008

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.