Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata - 28/08/2014

1 Evaluation of Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata

How well placed is Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga 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.


Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata provides education and care for children from birth to six years of age within an immersion Samoan context. The aoga is associated with the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Mangere and operates from purpose-built premises on the church grounds. Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata has been relicensed under the 2008 regulations for up to 50 children, including a maximum of ten under two years old. All of the five teachers are qualified, and two are fully registered.

Since the 2011 ERO review, changes in leadership have significantly impeded progress on areas that ERO identified as needing further development.

A new supervisor was appointed in 2014 and aoga managers and staff are enthusiastic about making the improvements needed, with some initiatives already underway. In recent months the staff have been supported by a professional development consultant to improve programme planning and assessment practices and to guide the implementation of new governance approaches.

This 2014 ERO report finds that children continue to receive good education and care and have rich opportunities to engage in gagana and fa’a Samoa. However, it also identifies concerns about areas of leadership and governance of the aoga. The current licensee agrees that in order for the aoga to make necessary progress, a more suitably qualified person should be appointed to the role of licensee.

The Review Findings

Positive relationships between adults and children are a feature of the centre. Children’s preferences and ideas are respected, and teachers respond well to children’s cues. All children are welcomed and are included and engaged in programme experiences. They have many opportunities to make choices in their play and to lead their own learning. Children benefit from mixed age play, and infants and toddlers are able to freely explore the environment. Older children have friendly social relationships with each other and initiate play based on common interests. Teachers should now build on these good basic skills by strengthening children’s independence and self management skills.

A strong feature of the programme continues to be children’s engagement in Samoan language and culture. Children demonstrate a strong sense of identity. They engage in meaningful cultural experiences that provide them with a high level of enjoyment. Teachers’ interactions with children are warm, caring and responsive to the different ages of children. A next step for teachers is to build on children’s conversations and extend children’s thinking and problem solving.

Teachers have participated in a significant amount of professional learning and development that is changing their thinking about programme planning and assessment. This learning provides a good foundation for further improvement and the development of an emergent curriculum. Portfolios for children under two years of age are very good quality records of learning and demonstrate teachers’ skilful analysis of learning. These records are strongly linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, particularly the exploration and communication strands.

The centre’s physical environment is attractive and reflective of teachers’ pride in their work. The recently appointed supervisor is seeking professional support to strengthen her understanding of her new role and to further support staff to improve programme planning, assessment and evaluation. It is essential that the supervisor has rostered time to complete her leadership responsibilities.

The management committee recognise the need for external support to urgently establish effective operational systems to support future sustainable practice. Self review is still in the very early stages of development. Teachers’ appraisals and a mentoring programme are newly implemented initiatives.

Key Next Steps

The management committee and staff have begun professional learning and development to support change and improvement.

Centre managers and ERO agree that next steps are to:

  • develop collaborative team relationships and shared understandings amongst staff to support future progress
  • consolidate teachers’ understandings and practices of effective practice in early childhood education
  • develop a strategic plan with improvement focused goals to guide all aspects of centre operations
  • establish a regular, documented cycle of self review to support ongoing improvement and future planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to curriculum and self review. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • implement an ongoing process of self review to help maintain the quality of education and care, improve the quality of management, and to promote the good health and safety of children

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA6, HS4-8,HS12, HS17, HS28-29.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata will be within two years.

Steffan Brough

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

28 August 2014

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


Mangere, 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

Boys 15

Girls 15

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā







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

June 2014

Date of this report

28 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2011


Education Review

March 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.