Ketesemane A'oga Amata E.F.K.S Inc. - 20/09/2017

1 Evaluation of Ketesemane A'oga Amata E.F.K.S Inc.

How well placed is Ketesemane A'oga Amata E.F.K.S Inc. 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.


Ketesemane A'oga Amata E.F.K.S Inc. is a bilingual Samoan centre operated by Ekalesia Fa'apotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa (EFKS) Ketesemane Church in Porirua. The a'oga provides for up to 30 children, including five under two years of age in two age-related rooms. It currently has a roll of 17 children. The centre’s philosophy is aligned with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and promotes Christian and fa'a Samoa values.

The a'oga employs the licensee as an administrator and five qualified teachers, including a supervisor, to oversee daily programmes. The management committee that governs the service is comprised of church members, including staff and a parent representative.

The 2012 ERO report identified safety concerns and recommended more challenge in the programme and developing governance, management and financial practices as areas for improvement. There has been no progress in these areas.

In February 2016 the a'oga regained a full license after an extended period on a provisional license whilst receiving Ministry of Education (MoE) support.

An executive management committee, consisting of the chairman, secretary and a parent representative, has sought external advice in response to serious management issues including conflicts of interest. These matters need to be urgently addressed.

The Review Findings

Children experience a basic programme in an environment that is limited in terms of suitable physical space, areas of play and learning resources. The programme is teacher led, with few opportunities for children to develop their thinking, creativity and expression.

Teachers model Samoan language and culture, and include aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme. Teachers' relationships with parents and whānau are reciprocal and respectful, supporting children to have a sense of belonging.

Teachers are building their knowledge about supporting children's learning. However, their professional learning has had little positive impact on the programme. Teachers are learning to document what they notice about individual children's development and to plan a responsive programme.

Teachers should now ensure that programmes are more stimulating and developmentally appropriate. They should promote literacy, mathematics and science as part of children's play. A wider variety of good quality learning resources is needed to challenge and extend children’s learning.

The learning environment poses numerous health and safety risks to children and adults. Playground safety concerns identified in 2012 have not been adequately addressed. The upper outdoor area is not well maintained, so is rarely used. This further confines children's access to outdoor play opportunities. The management committee should prioritise property maintenance and update equipment and resources.

The management committee is not governing or managing the a'oga effectively. The executive committee has identified significant governance and management issues that threaten viability. Sound financial management is required to reduce a large debt and to improve sustainability.

The centre's policy framework needs reviewing and rationalising to ensure current legal requirements are met, particularly in relation to the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Leaders and teachers should review the philosophy in consultation with parents to identify the key areas they wish to promote. The a'oga has a draft strategic plan that could be made more responsive and meaningful and progress towards key goals should be regularly evaluated. External support is urgently required to enable the executive committee to implement changes with a capable management committee who can fulfil their roles and responsibilities.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the executive committee and supervisor identified the following priorities for improvement. Teachers will need external support to develop:

  • shared understandings of effective teaching and current early childhood education theories and practices

  • a systematic approach to planning for and assessing children’s learning over time with a focus on developing a responsive and challenging programme.

The board must act with urgency to:

  • provide adequate learning resources for an effective teaching programme

  • implement teacher appraisal processes that meet the Education Council requirements

  • ensure all teachers' certificates and police vets for non-teaching staff are current

  • ensure the strategic planning is relevant, based on evaluation and used to achieve the a'oga goals

  • improve financial management and accountability to ensure the a'oga is financially viable

  • address health and safety issues.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ketesemane A'oga Amata E.F.K.S Inc. 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, management should ensure the path above the sandpit in the outdoor area has a safe fall zone.

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to governance, management, curriculum and provision for health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • systematic, improvement focused internal evaluation

  • the quality of teaching and learning

  • teacher appraisals that meet Education Council requirements

  • policies and procedures that meet current legal requirements, particularly the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for the health and safety of children and adults in the centre, including management for hazards in the environment and the records and evaluation of emergency drills

  • financial records and practices, particularly relating to the use and outcomes of equity funding .

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C2,4, PF5,13,28 GMA3,6,7,7A,9, HS7,8,12,31; Education (ECE) Regulations 43,46,47.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Ketesemane A'oga Amata E.F.K.S Inc. 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 Ketesemane A'oga Amata E.F.K.S Inc. will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

20 September 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


Porirua, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 10 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


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

20 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012

Supplementary Review

August 2008

Education Review

June 2007

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.