PORSE Albany Q1 - 01/06/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

PORSE (Play, Observe, Record, Support, Extend, Evaluate) is an in-home early childhood organisation with its National Service Office located in Hawkes Bay. Area offices are located throughout New Zealand. Within the area offices, PORSE personnel, including coaches and programme tutors, work with parents, nanny educators and home educators to provide early childhood education and care for infants, toddlers and young children. Children are cared for in their own homes or in small groups in the home of their educator.

The PORSE mission is “to have all people in New Zealand schooled in nurturing and educating children in their care.” Families are valued partners in children’s education and care.

The PORSE North Shore Q1 network provides a service to 116 children in the North Shore area of Auckland city. Programme tutors, who are all registered teachers, have primary responsibility for children’s learning. They provide support, encouragement and informative resources for in-home educators. PORSE offers opportunities for educators and programme tutors to support each other and to participate in professional development courses.

Educators foster children’s social and emotional development, and children benefit from warm, caring interactions in familiar environments. Educators use community facilities and PORSE playschools to provide children with regular opportunities to play and interact with other children. PORSE encourages educators to make the most of natural environments. Re-focusing assessment, planning and reflective practice on children’s learning would help programme tutors to enrich outcomes for children in both home and playschool environments.

Parents/whānau select their children’s educators. They have direct day-to-day relationships with educators and are well informed about their children’s daily activities. Parents/whānau are generally happy with the services offered by PORSE, although they would like more involvement in programme and planning for their children. ERO suggests that review how the organisation supports staff to develop their confidence and skills in fostering bi-cultural practices and improving partnerships with Māori whānau.

The PORSE coach and programme tutors agree that a next step is for them to further develop self review and to strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation practices so that they provide better support for children’s learning. PORSE could review its support for programme tutors to help them refocus their work on outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of PORSE North Shore Q1 was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by PORSE North Shore Q1 to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the service (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atPORSE North Shore Q1.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The review of the PORSE North Shore Q1 office is informed by organisational and local documentation, visits to homes selected by PORSE, interviews with PORSE staff and educators, written feedback from parents/whānau, and observations of programmes for children.

In PORSE North Shore Area Office a team approach means that all staff have direct contact with families and educators to support enrolment, induction and office administration.

Areas of good performance

Relationships. Affirming and mutually respectful relationships between staff, programme tutors, families, educators and children are a strength of the service. Practices that support positive relationships include:

  • home-based education and care settings, which promote the formation of strong attachments between children and educators;
  • responsive and respectful interactions between educators and children;
  • increasing levels of communication by PORSE staff with their client families and educators; and
  • social events for staff, educators and families to recognise and celebrate success and progress.

Children benefit from these positive relationships.

Learning environments. Children learn in appropriate, well-resourced home-based learning environments. Educators also make use of community resources, events and weekly PORSE playschool sessions to provide children with opportunities for active participation and exploration and social contact with their peers.

Programmes. Educators prepare the environment with resources and experiences to stimulate children’s interests. Home-based experiences are complemented by a range of group sessions in community settings. Features of the programmes provided for children include educators:

  • promoting children’s social skills and fostering their sense of security and belonging;
  • encouraging children to be independent and self managing;
  • listening and responding to children’s interests and ideas; and
  • recording children’s participation in the programme and sharing these records with families.

Collaborative team work. PORSE personnel at PORSE North Shore S1 implement a shared leadership approach that is inclusive and responsive. They continue their professional development through a collaborative culture of team dialogue and reflection. These good practices support ongoing developments in the PORSE organisation.

Areas for development and review

In-depth self review. Information about self review is gathered in multiple ways. It could be beneficial for PORSE organisation to strengthen the evaluation of this information to ensure that programme tutors and educators are supported to review the impact of their work on outcomes for children. PORSE could also:

  • review the quality of appraisals for programme tutors and educators to increase the focus on teaching and learning, ensure the provision of constructive feedback and clarify expectations for bi-cultural practice; and
  • support programme tutors to provide, in their visit notes, more in-depth feedback on children’s learning and progress.

In order to improve current practice ERO and the PORSE coach agree that the service could:

  • establish practices that document programme planning and assessment practices based on children’s emerging interests;
  • provide further support for programme tutors to improve their skills in facilitating learning conversations and in providing educators with more useful professional advice.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service;
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children;
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Background

The PORSE Māori as Tangata Whenua policy promotes connections with Māori communities and professional development for staff on the application of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The policy reflects the aims of the service, to increase Māori participation and to ensure that training programmes reflect the bicultural nature of New Zealand.

Programme tutors at the PORSE North Shore Q1office currently have responsibility for six children of Māori descent.

Areas of strength

Relationships with families. There is a strong emphasis on building positive, respectful and supportive relationships with educators, children and their whānau. Daily interaction assists educators to be responsive to the needs and aspirations of whānau, and to discuss shared strategies for working with children. Daily journal entries keep whānau informed about their children’s activities.

Areas for development and review

Review of policy and practice. It would be worthwhile for PORSE North Shore Q1 to review the application of the PORSE Māori as Tangata Whenua policy and consider how they could:

  • review the policy and practices against Ministry of Education strategic plans for promoting educational success for Māori, and against ERO’s evaluation reports and indicators of good practice in this area;
  • increase the knowledge and skills of all staff so that they can incorporate aspects of bicultural practice in their programmes and practices;
  • consider goals and strategies to improve educational outcomes for Māori children; and
  • implement appraisal processes that reflect the service’s expectations for bicultural practice.

4. Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of PORSE North Shore Q1 completed an ERO Home-Based CareManagement Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

In order to improve current practice, PORSE should ensure that:

  • all practicable steps are taken to eliminate, isolate, or minimise hazards, to help ensure the safety of children; and
  • poisonous or harmful plants are removed from service environments.

5. Recommendations

ERO, PORSE coaches and programme tutors agree that it could be useful to:

  1. review planning, assessment and evaluation practices to further improve the quality of care and education provided for children; and

  2. review the implementation of policies and strategies that contribute to the achievement of improved educational outcomes for Māori children.

6. Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Service

Licence type

Home-Based Care

Chartered under

Education (Home-based Care) Order 1992

Roll number

116

Gender composition

Boys 61, Girls 55

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 51%,

Māori 5%,

other European 30%,

other 14%

Review team onsite

March 2011

Date of this report

1 June 2011

Previous ERO reports

Education Review, September 2006

Accountability Review, May 2003

1 June 2011

To the Parents and Community of PORSE North Shore Q1

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report onPORSE (Play, Observe, Record, Support, Extend, Evaluate) is an in-home early childhood organisation with its National Service Office located in Hawkes Bay. Area offices are located throughout New Zealand. Within the area offices, PORSE personnel, including coaches and programme tutors, work with parents, nanny educators and home educators to provide early childhood education and care for infants, toddlers and young children. Children are cared for in their own homes or in small groups in the home of their educator.

The PORSE mission is “to have all people in New Zealand schooled in nurturing and educating children in their care.” Families are valued partners in children’s education and care.

The PORSE North Shore Q1 network provides a service to 116 children in the North Shore area of Auckland city. Programme tutors, who are all registered teachers, have primary responsibility for children’s learning. They provide support, encouragement and informative resources for in-home educators. PORSE offers opportunities for educators and programme tutors to support each other and to participate in professional development courses.

Educators foster children’s social and emotional development, and children benefit from warm, caring interactions in familiar environments. Educators use community facilities and PORSE playschools to provide children with regular opportunities to play and interact with other children. PORSE encourages educators to make the most of natural environments. Re-focusing assessment, planning and reflective practice on children’s learning would help programme tutors to enrich outcomes for children in both home and playschool environments.

Parents/whānau select their children’s educators. They have direct day-to-day relationships with educators and are well informed about their children’s daily activities. Parents/whānau are generally happy with the services offered by PORSE, although they would like more involvement in programme and planning for their children. ERO suggests that review how the organisation supports staff to develop their confidence and skills in fostering bi-cultural practices and improving partnerships with Māori whānau.

The PORSE coach and programme tutors agree that a next step is for them to further develop self review and to strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation practices so that they provide better support for children’s learning. PORSE could review its support for programme tutors to help them refocus their work on outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood service we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the service or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood services; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each service’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.

Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a service, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

National Evaluation Topics – This strand contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.

Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this service has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this service.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a service is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this service.