Shannon Preschool - 17/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Shannon Preschool

How well placed is Shannon 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.


Shannon Preschool is a community-based education and care service located in Shannon, in Horowhenua. It is situated within the grounds of the local primary school and operates five days a week. A community-based committee is responsible for governance. The service is licensed for 25 children over the age of two. At the time of this review 16 identified as Māori.

The service has a variable reporting history with ERO. The July 2015 ERO report recommended the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education (the Ministry), develop a plan to address the significant number of issues raised. A programme of professional learning and development was implemented, supported through a Ministry funded Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) programme. This programme started in early 2016 and is planned to continue through to July 2017.

The preschool has a significant role in providing early childhood education in this rural area. The committee and teachers are committed to improving outcomes for children and their families. They have actively participated in the professional learning provided and continue to build their capabilities. However, this evaluation finds that progress has not been sufficient.

The Review Findings

ERO's previous report found six areas of non-compliance. These were in the areas of: health and safety; curriculum provision and teaching practice; and human resource management. Many of these have been addressed.

Further to these, identified key next steps outlined significant further development was needed in relation to:

  • responsiveness to Māori children's culture, language and identity

  • consistency of teaching practice and assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning

  • appraisal for teacher development

  • centre self review

  • centre leadership

  • strategic planning and understanding of governance roles and responsibilities. 

Teachers continue to build their knowledge of effective practices for Māori learners. Te ao Māori is developing as an integral part of the service's curriculum. Te reo Māori is modelled by adults and used meaningfully by them and children on a daily basis. Māori learners' culture, language and identities are affirmed and celebrated.

A programme of professional learning for teachers began in March 2016. The focus of this was to support them to effectively assess children's learning and progress, use this information to determine next steps teaching and improve the quality of learning experiences. This evaluation found that variability in teacher practice continues.

The service remains in the early stages of establishing an organisational culture that promotes ongoing improvement. Centre leaders and governors continue to develop awareness of their roles and responsibilities. However, strategic direction is lacking and the planning framework in place to prioritise and guide the service's progress, is not sufficiently developed to ensure the centre is governed and managed well. Centre leadership continues to require support for leading improvements to curriculum and teaching and learning.

Insufficient progress has been made in building and supporting leaders' and teachers' professional practice. Their appraisal lacked rigour in 2015. Staff continue to build their knowledge of effective evaluation practice and are currently trialling a model.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Shannon 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:

  • adults' understanding of children's learning and development

  • appraisal of teachers, including renewal of their practising certificates

  • governance, management and administration of the service.
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C4, GMA6, GMA7, GMA8, GMA9

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 February 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 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 14, Girls 11

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

17 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2015

Education Review

November 2012

Supplementary Review

August 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.