Samoa Moni I Lana Gagana Aoga Amata - 28/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Samoa Moni I Lana Gagana Aoga Amata

How well placed is Samoa Moni I Lana Gagana 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.


Samoa Moni I Lana Gagana Aoga Amata in Mangere provides education and care for up to 30 children over two years of age. The philosophy and values of the aoga promote learning outcomes for children where the Samoan language and culture are nurtured within a Christian context. Children's holistic wellbeing is central to the philosophy statement.

The aoga is governed by a board of trustees and licensee, and is associated with the Mangere Methodist Parish. The head teacher works with two other qualified teaching staff, and an administrator is also employed.

ERO's 2016 review of Samoa Moni I Lana Gagana Aoga Amata reported about positive relationships and strong affirmation of children's identity and belonging. ERO recommended that the aoga leaders improve governance and financial systems, and aspects of compliance. ERO also reported that teachers needed professional development and leadership in order to improve curriculum planning and assessment, and learning outcomes for children.

ERO's 2016 report noted that little progress had been made in addressing similar concerns stated in ERO's 2012 report and that external support was required to make improvements. Leaders, new trustees and teachers have responded positively to ERO's 2016 recommendations. They all express the wish to provide the best learning outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

Parents feel welcome in the centre and are pleased that teachers promote the Samoan language and culture through daily routines, through lotu, and in the context of play. Children are enthusiastic and proud of their Samoan heritage. The learning programme and environment strongly families' cultural backgrounds. There is a particular emphasis on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the inclusion of tikanga and te reo Māori.

Teachers have received appropriate professional development in curriculum planning and assessment, and ways to document children's learning. They are now more aware of how to respond to children's individual interests and strengths, and how to let children initiate learning activities. Children's records of learning are updated regularly, and are available to share with parents.

The aoga has a new set of policies to guide operations in relation to the licensing criteria and regulations for early childhood education services. Policies now include the aspects of child protection, protected disclosure, privacy and teacher performance that were identified as areas for improvement in ERO's 2016 report. It is important that the procedures are now well understood by staff and trustees.

The constitution of the newly established board has improved governance of the aoga. Members of the board have clearly set out guidelines about their roles and code of conduct. A variety of external advice and expertise has supported the introduction of the new policy framework, updated systems, improved reporting and accountability.

In particular, the formation of a legally constituted board has resolved governance relationships with the Mangere Methodist Parish, and improved the efficiency of aoga management. Financial systems managed by the new board have been implemented and audited. Teacher and parent representation on the new board has improved communication and collaboration.

The board has developed a comprehensive long-term strategic plan. Trustees' priorities are aligned to ongoing improvements and accountability, including the new systems for managing teacher performance. Teacher appraisal procedures for 2018 now comply with Education Council requirements, and trustees agree that leadership of the aoga is the key to strengthening teaching practices.

Teachers are keen to build roll numbers by promoting the aoga through the church and local community. Other challenges for the future relate to embedding the new governance systems and procedures, rationalisation of staffing, developing child-led learning approaches, and sustaining ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

To sustain and build on recent improvements, the next steps for the trustees and leaders should include ensuring that:

  • there is ongoing professional development for teachers to ensure that the learning programmes reflect Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum

  • expectations of professional leadership are clearly defined to better support teacher development and embed the new performance appraisal systems.


ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education continue to support teachers to implement learning programmes that respond effectively to children's learning interests, strengths and capabilities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Samoa Moni I Lana Gagana 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.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

To improve current practice, the manager and head teacher should ensure that all staff take collective responsibility for recognising and promptly minimising or removing hazards in the environment.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance in relation to the curriculum. Trustees and teaching staff need to ensure that:

  • teachers plan, implement and evaluate a curriculum that reflects an understanding of learning and development that is consistent with current research, theory and practices in early childhood education

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008, C4

Education (ECS) Regulations 2008, 43 (1a(iii).

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Samoa Moni I Lana Gagana Aoga Amata will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 June 2018

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

30 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 8 Girls 7

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

28 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

June 2012

Supplementary Review

April 2009

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.