Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool - 21/07/2017

1 Evaluation of Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool

How well placed is Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool 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.


Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool is a Samoan bilingual centre, located on the grounds of Glendene School in West Auckland. The centre is licensed for up to 50 children, including a maximum of 10 up to two years of age. Most children are Samoan.

The centre's philosophy promotes the teaching of Samoan language, culture and identity alongside Christian values and within the context of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool is owned and governed by a charitable trust, Lupesina o Samoa Trust. The board is ineffective in its governance role and has only recently recognised that there are conflicts of interest at governance, management and staff levels.

Financial accountability has been identified as an area of risk for the aoga. The Trust was deregistered as a Charitable Trust in 2012. The board has recently taken steps to restore its Charitable Trust registration and restructure to reduce conflicts of interest.

The board continues to support high staff ratios employing 12 full-time staff. These include a centre director, three qualified teachers one of whom is the supervisor, five teacher assistants, a property manager and a kitchen hand. Only one of the three teachers holds current teacher certification. All of the staff are long serving.

Since ERO's 2015 review staff have accessed a significant amount of Ministry of Education (MoE) professional development. This is not yet well reflected in the programmes for children, leadership or management practices. The aoga operates in two separate age groups, with a head teacher for each group.Ongoing external professional support is essential to help the director, supervisor and teachers lift the quality of teaching and learning.

The 2015 ERO review found that insufficient progress had been made since its 2012 review. This review finds that the board is not meeting legal requirements and there continues to be significant risk to the sustainability of the aoga. ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education reassess the licence of Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool. 

The Review Findings

Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool board, centre director and staff need support to develop and implement practices, policies and procedures that meet legal requirements. Areas that require immediate attention are:

  • parents nominating representatives on the Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool board
  • commitment to regular board of trustee meetings
  • ensuring that the centre environment is a safe place for children and adults and that all legal requirements are met.

While the impact of teachers' professional learning and development is evident in some professional records, day-to-day practices do not yet reflect a good understanding of this learning. There continue to be significant inconsistencies between documented expectations, guidelines for teaching and learning, and the programme provided for children.

Teachers have yet to participate in professional development to gain understanding of new Education Council requirements. As a result, there is very limited progress evident in teachers' appraisal or their engagement with the requirements of the Education Council.

The board and director must improve public accountability and financial management. The board, director and teachers need to review and update centre policies and procedures to bring them into line with good practice and legal requirements. This would assure parents that centre operations are being guided by relevant policy frameworks.

Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool requires significant ongoing support to ensure that improved teaching, policies and procedures are well understood by teachers and actioned in the daily running of the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool 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:

  • teacher registration and performance appraisal
  • financial records and practices, particularly relating to equity funding, board minutes and accessibility to the community
  • systematic, improvement focused internal evaluation
  • risk analysis and management for excursions and for hazards in the environment
  • leadership of teaching and learning to develop high quality curriculum
  • provision for the health and safety of children and adults in the centre
  • personnel, employment and child protection policies and procedures relating to the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008,  C2,4, PF5, GMA6,7,9,  HS12,17,31; Education (ECE) Regulations 43,47.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool. 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 Lupesina Aoga Amata Preschool will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education. 

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

21 July 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 


Glendene, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       19
Boys      22

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

May 2017

Date of this report

21 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

May 2012

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.